Going green is a popular New Year’s resolution. People commit to riding their bicycles to work and buying reusable water bottles to limit their carbon footprints.
Making green changes isn’t just a good resolution for individuals — it’s a good resolution for businesses, too. The strategy can help you conserve energy, cut costs and create a healthier, happier workspace in a matter of weeks. Read ahead to find out how you can make your office eco-friendly.
1. Go Paperless
Printed copies are things of the past. Digital copies are the way of the future. By prioritizing digital copies and platforms, you can drastically reduce paper-waste in your office. Use cloud storage programs like Dropbox or Google Drive to save on storage space, along with paper and ink.
If you can’t nix paper from the office, stock your supply closet with recycled printer paper, notebooks and other stationery. Look for logos from the Sustainable Forestry Initiative or Forest Stewardship Council on the package. These will confirm that you’ve made an environmentally-friendly purchase.
2. Recycle E-Waste
You have a bunch of out-dated computers, laptops and tablets that you have no idea what to do with. You shouldn’t toss them in the garbage because they contain toxic chemicals that are harmful to the environment. So, what do you do?
The best thing that you can do is call up a company like Canadairon.com to recycle the entire office’s e-waste and dispose of it properly. They provide services such as secure data destruction of hard drives and can send you certificates of destruction, so you can be certain the material is being recycled properly.
They are licensed members of the Canadian Association of Recycling Industries (CARI) and the Ontario Electronic Stewardship Program (OES). That’s how you know they will carefully collect and recycle those unwanted electronics.
There are lots of precious metals in old cell phones and computer boards, if your company manufactures circuit boards or needs to dispose of high-value items, you will be paid a pretty penny for them.
3. Encourage Green Commutes
Unless your employees live a block away from work, they’re probably going to commute by car. Sadly, this type of commute creates a lot of unnecessary air pollution. To reduce the levels of harmful emissions, you should encourage employees to try greener solutions.
Arrange a carpooling program so that people in similar neighborhoods can share trips to the office. Offer discounts for public transit passes. Install a bicycle rack in front of the office to inspire employees to bike to work.
4. Change the Lights
You’re going to need a lot of power to light up an office. To cut down on your energy consumption, you should consider swapping out your old incandescent bulbs for more energy-efficient versions.
For instance, a light-emitting diode bulb (LED) will use much less energy than an incandescent bulb, and it will last much longer too. An LED can last for approximately 50,000 hours before needing a replacement. That’s 50 times longer than the average incandescent.
You can also rely on a natural solution: sunlight. If it’s bright outside, open up those blinds and let some of the daylight pouring in. If you’re worried about sunlight disrupting your employee’s workspaces, you can use translucent curtains to reduce the glare.
5. Put in a Coffee Machine
Discourage your employees from heading off to the nearest café and bringing back a latte in a to-go cup. Those paper coffee cups that cafes hand out are very challenging to recycle because they have a layer of plastic inside to prevent leaks and spills.
To stop paper cup waste, you should set up a coffee machine in the office. That way, when employees need a coffee break, they’ll skip the trip to the café and head to the kitchenette instead. Stack the cupboards with reusable mugs that they can carry to their desks. Have a sponge, dish soap and dish rack by the sink so that they can wash and dry the mugs when they’re finished using them.
6. Give Useful Swag
Most companies like gifting swag to their employees to show appreciation and increase morale. Instead of handing out items like ball caps and magnets, think of handing out items with a greater purpose. For instance, reusable water bottles can persuade your employees to stop buying single-use plastic water bottles — these dramatically contribute to landfill waste and ocean pollution.
Here are some other eco-friendly items that you could hand out:
- Reusable cloth bags
- Metal straws
- Small plants
- Bamboo toothbrushes
- Recycled highlighters
7. Adjust the Thermostat
It takes a lot of energy to heat up a whole office. During the colder months, you can reduce energy consumption by turning down the thermostat by a few degrees. It will trim down your monthly utility bill and shrink your carbon footprint.
Repeat a similar process during the warmest times of the year. Instead of blasting the air conditioner, keep the temperature moderate. You want to take away the discomfort of sitting through a heatwave, but you don’t want to turn the workspace into a walk-in refrigerator.
Before you reset the thermostat, send out a memo to employees about the upcoming change. Give them a day to adjust their wardrobe.
8. Allow for Remote Work
Hiring remote workers instead of workers that come into the office for the entire workweek can reduce harmful emissions caused by long commutes. They don’t have to sit through rush hour traffic every morning, and then repeat the same bumper-to-bumper slog every evening. Their commute can be as simple as walking across the hallway to their home office.
If you don’t need any new employees, you can try to find ways to encourage your current staff members to use their home office more often. Propose that they make the transition slowly. Start with one day a week, then move up from there.
Once you have all of these steps covered, you can add to the list. Stock up on eco-friendly supplies. Eliminate single-use dishes and cutlery from the kitchenette. Plant trees in front of the office. You’ll find it gets easier and easier every time that you cross an idea off of the list. According to spraygrassaustralia.com.au Making green changes isn’t just a good resolution for individuals — it’s a good resolution for businesses, too.