9 Ways you can Make your Office Green and Eco-Friendly
Want your office to be more eco-friendly? There are many ways for businesses to adopt eco-friendly policies. But for going green to work, everyone in the workplace has to work together.
An eco-friendly workplace has a lot of benefits. In fact, it might be one of the best decisions businesses can make. Here are 9 ways staff can contribute to going green in the office.
1. Use Eco-Friendly Cleaning Products
Make sure that any cleaning products used in your office are biodegradable and eco-friendly. Most green cleaning products are made using sustainable manufacturing practices. Often, they also feature naturally-derived ingredients that are safe and non-toxic for both people and the environment.
Eco-friendly products are often just as effective as conventional cleaners at eliminating harmful substances and odours from your office. They will also protect the health of your staff.
On the other hand, conventional cleaning products contain toxic ingredients. To add insult to injury, these toxic ingredients also often come from non-renewable resources, such as petroleum. In short, most conventional cleaning products are terrible for both the environment and your health.
2. Educate Staff by Starting a Green Team for your Office
Starting a Green Team can help raise environmental awareness in your office. It can also help make sure things get done. After all, employees engaging one another can be much more effective than memos from management. Indeed, having your own office Green Team can help make sure everyone feels involved.
Your Green Team should be in charge of starting green projects for the office. Here are some ideas:
- An Office Recycling Programme: Put your Green Team in charge of creating an office recycling programme. If your office already has a recycling programme, then your Green Team can work on quantifiable ways to improve the programme’s efficiency.
- Informational Staff Lunches: Your Green Team can help educate staff by organising informational events. These events can even feature keynote speakers from local water and power departments, or waste authorities.
- Conduct Monthly Inspections: This can include anything from power metres to office supplies.
- Inform Purchasing Decisions: Before any purchasing decision is made, make sure it’s approved by your office Green Team. This should include everything from office appliances and supplies to cleaning products.
Your Green Team can also create monthly green challenges for your office. For example, they can challenge everyone to go without plastic eating utensils for a month. At the end of the month, a reward will be given to those who complete the challenge. These challenges can be a fun way to encourage your staff to go green. They also help foster healthy competition and team bonding.
3. Make Use of Natural Lighting
Instead of spending money to keep the lights on, why not embrace the natural lighting available in your office? It’s better for the environment, your wallet, and your employees’ productivity! In fact, according to the World Green Building Council, employees who work near natural light have a 15% higher production rate.
In areas where natural lighting is scarce, you can opt for LED lights, or other energy saving units.
4. Unplug Electronics at the End of the Day
This is because many electronics consume electricity even when they are not in use. This is referred to as “Standby Power”. So advise staff to unplug any computers, printers, scanners, photocopiers and other devices before they leave the office.
5. Make Use of Power-Saving Features During the Day
Most modern electronics have power-saving features. Enabling these features not only saves power, but it also reduces your carbon emissions.
In addition to enabling power-saving features, there are also other small changes you can make to reduce energy use. For example, you can set your monitor to power off, instead of using a screensaver. You can also make sure that lights are switched off when rooms are not in use. These small changes can make a huge difference to your office’s carbon footprint.
6. Go Paperless
The less paper you use, the better. Go paperless. Print fewer documents.
Make use of technology to reduce some of your paperwork burden. This not only reduces your office’s carbon footprint, it also helps improve business efficiency. Here are a few ideas:
- e-statements: Offer e-statements and online invoices instead of paper statements. Ask vendors you work with to do the same.
- Automated Payments: This can reduce paperwork. It also eliminates the need for printed cheques.
- Go Digital: Encourage everyone to review documents on their computers. Keep printing to a minimum. Keeping files digital makes it easier to take copies with you on-the-go. It also reduces the headache of paperwork piling up in file cabinets.
If you can’t go completely paperless, make sure to use recycled paper and envelopes.
7. Choose Better Office Products
- Eco-Friendly Electronics: Choose photocopiers and printers that can do double-sided printing.
- Ditch the Paper Towels: Use hand dryers instead.
- Ditch the Disposable Pens and Markers: Opt for refillable options instead.
- Buy in Bulk: Buying in bulk can help reduce unnecessary plastic packaging.
8. Get Staff to Bring Plants for their Desks
Get a plant for your desk, and encourage your staff to do the same. The more plants you can bring to the office, the better! Plants can help improve air quality by scrubbing out carbon dioxide, and other chemicals in the air. They also improve the mood. Indeed, a greener office is more comfortable and inviting for everyone.
9. Encourage Homemade Snacks
Food delivery and takeaway often lead to a pile of packaging waste in your office’s rubbish bins. Instead, encourage staff to bring lunch from home in reusable containers. Not only is this better for the environment, it also tends to be healthier. Staff can also bring their favourite mugs and refillable water bottles to eliminate the use of bottled water and paper cups.
An eco-friendly workplace has a lot of benefits. In fact, it might be one of the best decisions a business can make. Thankfully, a greener office is an easily achievable goal. There are many ways we can each contribute to a greener work environment.