5 Easy Ways To Make Your Office Greener

We all know the dangers - ice caps melting, polar bears running riot, global warming this, global warming that – but how much of an impact can we really have on the future of our planet?
Almost 4 billion trees a year are destroyed for paper. In the US, electronics stuck in standby (TVs, computers, radios, phone chargers) devour more than 100 billion kWhs per year. However green you feel, whichever way you look at it, we’re the ones who need to look after our planet. We’re the only ones that can do it. Let’s face it, animals are too stupid. And those numbers are too big to ignore.
Begin by taking the time to transform your office into a fresher, safer and greener environment (and it’s so easy to do). Not only will you feel great, but you’ll be feeding our earth medicine every step of the way.

1.       Unplug Electrical Demons

You’ve heard it all before, fine, but isn’t it just the simplest of all things? Understandably, bending down to unplug your phone charger after you’ve just got out of bed is a monumental exert, we all know this, but by doing so you’re contributing to a lengthier stay on our planet.
How many PC monitors are left on each night after the office closes? Electrical devices left on standby (that includes screen savers, which use excess energy) steal a nauseating amount of power. If you need to leave your desk, leave your computer on ‘sleep’ or ‘hibernate’ instead – it’s energy conserving and exactly what it’s for. Encourage your office to use energy efficient lightbulbs. Make sure the air conditioning is off. Unplug redundant devices, like chargers and electric fans. Unplug the kettle each night – it may annoy colleagues, but there’s no harm in moving your arm just that little bit further to plug it back in every morning (and no-one has to know it was you who unplugged it).

2.       Bat Away Paper Moths

In almost every office, there’s a pile of scrap paper stashed away next to the printer. Take a few seconds longer to make sure what you’re printing is what you want – do you need to use that much paper? Do you even need to print at all?
Some offices have mail rooms that are flooding with paper moths, bats and gremlins. Get rid of these pesky creatures by making sure all scrap paper goes in the recycling bin. It doesn’t take more than a minute to bundle spare newspapers together and chuck them in the green bin. Even better, change the default settings on the printer to print double-sided, avoid using paper towels in the kitchen and encourage the use of recycled paper.

3.       DIY Lunch

Bringing in your own lunch will save packaging, money and, thus, trees. Spend a little extra time the night before or in the morning bundling together a sandwich, leftover BBQ drumsticks (who wouldn’t?) or a hearty salad, and you’ll be cutting down on excess waste by using your own plastic containers to store food in. Or why not support local producers by buying organic food, thereby supporting local farms and eradicating pollution emitted from big supermarket lorries?

4.       Everybody Loves a Carpool

Everybody loves a carpool, because it means not everyone has to drive in and out of work everyday and not everyone has to sit in a stuffy carriage wishing they were somewhere else. If you live near each other - share lifts to work with colleagues, split the petrol, and take turns doing the driving. If you don’t fancy sharing lifts to work, then it might be worth investing in public transport, a bike or just walking. Think of all the petrol, pollution and fumes you’ll help save. On top of this, some companies encourage eco-friendly commuting and reward their employees with financial incentives. Encouraging enough?

5.       Be More Plant Friendly

Kit out your office with refreshing plants. Use this handy plant graphic to detect which plant is right for your office, depending on the number of employees that work there. Plants help to subconsciously create a calm atmosphere; a reminder of the outdoors adds a sense of serenity. Aid this green feeling by opening windows when it gets stuffy, instead of turning on the air conditioning. Natural light and air will immediately wake you up again. Make sure to take regular breaks from staring at the computer as well, to avoid eye damage and back strain (always ensuring that your computer is on hibernate, of course).
Follow these simple steps to an efficient, environmentally friendly office and you’ll help secure a safer future for your planet.

What other easy ways can you help keep your office greener?

Author Bio:

Carlotta is a journalist who blogs on various subjects, including film and lifestyle. She also co-edits Synaesthesia Magazine and recommends Ambius. 
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