Thursday, November 7, 2013
When trying to make your office more environmentally friendly it's easy to get overwhelmed and think you'll have to make huge investments in order to help the planet. However, there are much simpler steps you can take to make your office eco-friendly. Most of them just involve simple habit changes or product switches.
In this article we'll cover the exact steps you need to take to make your office a healthier and more environmentally friendly place to be and work.
1. Switch to organic cleaning products
Most cleaning products are made with harsh ingredients that are bad for your skin, and not very good for the water either. They also are made using extraction processes that are harmful to the environment. By purchasing environmentally cleaning products for your office kitchen you'll make your employees healthier and help the environment in one fell swoop.
2. Buy organic, fair-trade coffee
The process of making coffee is an extremely environmentally intensive process. A lot of the growing and harvesting methods are truly unsustainable. That's why it's important to buy fair-trade, organic coffee for your office coffee maker. As an added bonus organic coffee usually tastes better.
3. Offer incentives for biking to work/carpooling
The emissions from vehicles commuting to work add a huge amount of pollutants to the environment. By encouraging or offering incentives for employees to bike to work you'll reduce this amount greatly. However, if your office isn't located in a bike-able location you could ask your employees to carpool to work. That way they save on gas, get to know each other better, and help out the environment.
4. Switch to recycled paper
If you're an office that uses a ton of paper, switching over to recycled paper is a great investment. The dyes and methods of turning trees into paper is incredibly environmentally intensive, and ends up destroying a lot of natural habitats.
When looking for paper try to find a company that practices sustainable extraction processes and is as recycled as possible. Sometimes they have recycled blends, or 100% recycled paper.
5. Buy eco-friendly office supplies
If you provide paper and other office supplies to your employees you can easily switch to more environmentally friendly alternatives. From pencils, to pens, to paper. All it takes is a little searching to find a "greener" alternative.
6. Add recycling and composting bins
For this step it's important to check with your local sanitation district to se if they offer recycling or composting pick up. If they do then simply place recycling bins throughout your office for paper and other recyclable objects. Composting is another option for your office kitchen, basically it's a place for food scraps.
If your local sanitation department doesn't pick up composting, a lot of times there are other local waste companies that do.
7. Use less paper
Whenever possible see if you can switch to digital documents. For instance, you could email memos instead of printing them out all the time. If there's ever an instance where you could go digital instead of printing something out, take the digital route.
8. Use less heating and air conditioning
By setting your workplace heating and cooling to a comfortable temperature you will not only save money, but help the environment by decreasing you energy usage. For instance, instead of setting it at 70 go down to 68. You'll hardly notice the difference, but the energy savings will add up.
9. Place electronics on energy saving mode
Encourage your employees to put their electronic devices into sleep mode when they aren't being used. This will again cut your energy costs tremendously. You could even turn off all electronic devices when everyone goes home for the night.
10. Work from home once of twice a week
This last tip obviously depends on what type of business you run, but if it's possible you should encourage your employees to stay home once or twice a week to get their work done from there. There are all kinds of online tools today that enable you to stay connected even when not in the office.
I hope you've found this article interesting and filled with great ideas to help make your office and life have less of an environmental impact. By implementing any of the tips above you'll be well on your way to an office that's healthy for everyone, planet earth included.
Zane Schwarzlose is an SEO at Fahrenheit Marketing, an Austin Internet marketing company. Zane thinks that working from home every other day is an easy way to make your worklife more green.