Many offices still follow practices that aren’t environmentally-friendly. You can help green your office with these simple switches. You’ll not only help the planet – you’ll save your company a few bucks, too.
- Make It Easy and Fun: Some coworkers may balk at the idea of such changes, thinking it will create more work for them. Strive to make greening the office as user-friendly as possible; for example, set the office printer to default print double-sided. Put up funny, cheerful reminders to recycle or turn off the lights. Create an office-wide challenge to see which department can recycle the most paper in pounds in a month – winners get a pizza party!
- Tackle the Paperwork: Reduce paper waste by going digital. When you do print, print double-sided on 100% recycled paper and provide multitude bins around the office so employees aren’t tempted to dump paper in closer trash cans.
- Green the Office Bathroom and Kitchen: Buy natural products for the bathrooms and kitchen and supply the custodians with non-toxic cleaners. Natural ingredients are not only better for our health; they’re better for the environment, too. Use coffee mugs, real plates, silverware, and towels instead of the disposable stuff.
- Buy in Bulk: Buy in bulk to reduce shipping and packaging waste and minimize fossil fuels used during delivery. Recycle old printer ink or toner and purchase remanufactured ones in large quantities.
- Save Electricity: Replace incandescent bulbs with energy-efficient lighting. Place reminders up in the office to turn off equipment and lights at night. Use natural light when possible. Computers still use energy in standby mode; use a power strip so employees can completely shut down their computer, printer, and desk light with a flip of one switch.
- Get to Work With Less Energy: Consider letting eligible employee telecommute, and organize employee carpools for those who need to come into the office. Offer employees the chance to work four 10-hour days instead of five 8-hour days – they’ll reduce time on the road by 20%!
- Consider Larger Operations: Look for ways to green your company’s final product. For example, packaging that uses recycled materials or factories that have goals to reduce or eliminate waste. Environmentally-friendly changes will benefit your company’s bottom line and image among consumers.
Written by: Caitlin Boyle; Feature image courtesy of Bakoko