Climate change has made it more critical than ever to switch to eco-friendly practices at home and work. It might seem intimidating initially, but simple steps can help you have a greener workplace. Here are five ways to ensure you have an eco-friendly office.
1. Turn Off Energy Sources
Many things in a work environment use energy. Your office can suck up a lot of electricity, from computers to the heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) unit.
One of the best ways to save energy is to turn off these items when you’re not using them. Keeping computers, lights and heat on overnight wastes a lot of power, as no one is actively using them.
Adding a minute or two to your evening routine can significantly reduce your carbon footprint. Shut down your computer, turn off any other electronic devices and switch off the lights. Encourage those around you to do the same or even implement it as an official policy.
Determine the desired indoor temperature and save energy by reducing or eliminating heat and air conditioning overnight or on nice days. This saves significant energy and comes with the bonus of reducing your office’s electric bill.
2. Choose Sustainable Products
You might not think about using paper towels in the bathroom or plastic cups in the break room. However, choosing more environmentally friendly products keeps single-use items out of landfills.
Technology has come a long way in creating sustainable and effective products. You can replace regular paper towels with recycled ones or a modern air dryer. Choose bio-based cleaning products instead of ones with harmful chemicals. Additionally, using products like UV-C systems or electrostatic sprayers help office air and surfaces stay clean while providing a more efficient cleaning technique, reducing labor and cleaning products.
Speak to staff members about switching out cups, cutlery and dishes for reusable ones they can wash. You can also consider replacing plastic items with biodegradable versions.
Small, sustainable changes significantly impact your office’s carbon footprint.
3. Reduce Paper Use
It might be hard to go completely paperless, but switching to electronic communications, receipts and bills significantly reduces your office’s carbon use.
You might have realized how often paper packs disappear if you have a printer or copier. Transferring your documents online to a cloud-based server or external storage saves time and energy by duplicating and retrieving documents.
An excellent way to start is to pause before printing or making a copy of something and ask yourself if you can do it virtually instead. The answer is almost always “yes.”
Work with your information technology team to develop the best digital solution for your office. Then, explain the change to staff. You can even put up helpful signs by the printer or copier to remind them to go digital.
Going paperless helps your office be more eco-friendly and shows clients and customers you’re committed to helping the environment.
4. Incorporate More Natural Light
If you want to rework your office setup, try adding or moving your desks closer to windows. You’re less likely to need lighting when you work in natural light. It can also put you in a better mood and increase productivity.
Consider rearranging employees who don’t have a natural light source so they have access to a window or skylight. If you have the budget, consider installing more windows so everyone has at least one.
If windows aren’t an option, consider creating an outdoor workspace where employees can take laptops or paperwork to get some sunshine.
Using natural light saves the energy you would be operating from various indoor lighting and is better for the environment and staff.
If you don’t already have an office recycling program, this is your sign to begin one. Recycling paper, plastic, cardboard and cans keeps items out of landfills by giving them new life.
Place recycle bins in easily accessible areas and mark what items can go where. Arrange with a company or employee to regularly take them to a recycling facility. Explain the change to staff and watch as trash bag use decreases.
Keeping an Eco-Friendly Office
Simple changes can significantly reduce your office’s carbon footprint and help the environment. An eco-friendly office lets your workplace positively impact the world.