The biggest fad today is to go green (meaning eco-friendly) – and with good reason, as the environment can certainly do with a helping hand – but it is not exclusive to homes and residences, you can go green in the office too!
The office provides many opportunities for going green, from the option to recycle old paper and stationery, to the use of eco-friendly and energy-saving lightbulbs. Here we list some of the ways in which you can turn your office into an eco-warrior’s paradise:
- Look for green office supplies: This can include anything from stapleless staplers (yes, you read the correctly!) to pens that can be refilled, rather than simply thrown into the trash and sent to a landfill.
- Create a recycling centre: Dedicate a place in your office as the recycling centre,and make sure it is prominently displayed. Encourage staff to use the recycling bins that are at this hub of recycling and remember to empty the bins regularly.
- Use “real” cutlery and crockery: Rather than using polystyrene or paper take-out cutlery and crockery during lunch hours, encourage your staff to use real crockery and cutlery that they can wash in the sink and reuse later.
- Set up roots: Make sure that there is at least one large plant in your office, as plants recycle air, and cleaner air leads to a higher level of concentration in staff. Don’t stop at just one, however, and place larger plants at strategic points around the office.
- Use recycled coffee filters: Your daily grind can help towards an eco-friendly office too! Make use of coffee filters that are made from recycled paper, or go one step further and purchase a coffee machine that does not use filters.
- Go for green cleaning products: Make sure your office is being cleaned by green, eco-friendly products that are not harmful to the environment. Doing so will also help to improve the health of your employees, as there will be less chemicals and chemical fumes after cleaning.
- Display your memo’s for all to see: Instead of printing out an individual copy of office memo’s for each employee, you should display meeting agendas and office memo’s on a white board at a central point in the office – not only will this make it easier for everyone to see the same information, but you will be able to save paper.
- Let there be light: Replace incandescent lightbulbs with compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) or LED bulbs wherever possible, as use 75% less energy and deliver the same light output.
- Office wall colours matter too: If you are able to, you should use light wall colours for your office. Light paint colours and higher gloss sheens reflect daylight, which means that you will have less of a need for overhead lighting during the day.
- Update office hardware: Recycle your e-waste responsibly and make use of more modern technology, as current computers and monitors are now more energy efficient than previous models.
Even more eco-friendly office tips
If your company hosts events, or is hosting an event in the future, try to make it a green event, which means using washable crockery and cutlery, serving organic foods, relying on natural lighting (if the event is taking place during the day) and asking guests to recycle. By keeping the event an eco-friendly affair, you will reduce the amount of waste produced.
Keep in mind other aspects of the office that can be green, such as recycled or eco-friendly laptop bags, tote bags, wrist rests, chairs and even cables. Encourage your staff to utilise these items, rather than items that may not be as eco-friendly, or introduce them as new office perks – who doesn’t love getting a new laptop bag to replace the (slightly battered) old one they are lugging around? You can go green in style, after all!
Take the initiative and start converting to a greener way of working. Not only will you be helping the environment, but you will be saving money on electricity and waste bills too! If your staff are reluctant to embrace the changes, introduce them slowly at first, for people to become used to the new way in which the office is operating – over time, any changes can be embraced and implemented.
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