Ways to Make Your Office More Environmentally Friendly
One of the hottest trends in every industry is focusing on ways to make the workplace more environmentally friendly. Most offices are pretty much the same: stark white lighting, bright computer screens, and piles of paper shoved in closets. But you can make that space much greener and more environmentally friendly by following some of these tips to help out.
Invest in a Smaller Space
First of all, take a look around your office and work out if you’re using every inch of space efficiently. A lot of office spaces are far too big, meaning that you’re using a lot more power than you should be when it comes to heating and air conditioning. Not only is that bad for the company finances, but it isn’t great for the environment either. It’s important to make sure that your employees have plenty of space, but instead of focusing on floor space, focus on light instead. A company with lots of windows and natural light will save money on lighting bills, be better for the health of its employees, and feel a lot more spacious.
Also consider the storage space that you’re using and what you could throw away, donate, or recycle. Storage space is often dead space for which you’re needlessly paying rent. You could also consider the possibility of remote working a few times a month for each employee. That will cut down on costs and reduce the environmental effects of commuting.
Cut Down on Paper Use
Every company gets told to cut down on paper use, but that doesn’t necessarily always happen as much as it should. If you rely on paper, consider why you do. If it’s because your desktop computers aren’t portable enough, why not invest in smaller laptops or tablets on which you can transport documents? Kindles are just as useful as computer printouts for reading long papers, and since they are not backlit, they won’t hurt your eyes.
If you’re the office manager, why not move the printer to a less-convenient spot so that people are less tempted to print documents out of laziness? It could also be an excellent time to start implementing new systems to encourage a paper-free office, such as reward schemes for different office teams or training to improve computer literacy. Finally, if you have a company mailing list, move it to email instead of mail-outs. You might also find that it’s cheaper in the long run.
Consider Your Electronics
Check out your overhead lighting and the bulbs that it uses. Even though traditional light bulbs are going out of fashion, a lot of office premises still use them. If that’s the case for where you work, then it’s time to invest in LED or other energy-efficient bulbs to replace the old ones as they burn out. Not only will they use considerably less energy, thereby lowering your bills, but they’ll also last a lot longer. Make sure that natural light is a focus of your office space so that you don’t have to keep the lights on all day.
You should also focus on the other electronic equipment in your office. Make sure that employees don’t leave their computers on standby all night and that you turn off equipment like printers and TVs at the mains every evening. Arrange your photocopiers and printers, so they print double-sided by default and ensure that all employees know how to use them properly so that they don’t waste ink and paper.
You could consider making a long-term investment in solar power. Installing solar panels on the roof might be expensive in the short term, but in the long run, it will save you money. It will also be a great use of a natural, free, and entirely renewable energy source.
Get Green Products and Supplies
Although it won’t be possible to eliminate the use of paper, you should make sure that what you do use gets recycled and that your suppliers are all eco-conscious. Try to buy products that have recyclable; cardboard is much better than plastic, for example. Ink and toner cartridges may not be the most eco-friendly things in the world, but you can buy refillable units so that the packaging isn’t an issue. If you can’t get hold of those, remanufactured ones have the same effect.
When purchasing new products, why not consider going second hand? You might want the desk chairs that support your employees’ spines to be new, but your desks and other equipment will be just as good if already used. They’ll also be considerably cheaper too.
Focus on the Office Kitchen and Bathroom
When it comes to communal spaces, you need to make sure that all your employees are aware that they should be focusing on making the company as eco-friendly as possible. Provide labeled recycling bins in the kitchen so that all the staff knows where to throw their post-lunchtime trash, and discourage them from using more paper towels than necessary or running the dishwasher when it isn’t full. In the bathroom, paper towels are more energy-efficient and often cheaper than electronic hand dryers.
Purchase all-natural soap so that employees don’t get needlessly exposed to chemicals. Buy a set of mugs for tea and coffee to encourage people to stop buying takeaway ones, and get paper cups for the water cooler instead of plastic ones. Finally, make sure people are frugal with the water by putting up posters in the bathrooms and kitchens reminding them to turn off the faucet when they’re finished.
Going green in the office is a whole lot easier than you might have thought. With just a few simple changes, you can reduce your energy consumption along with your energy bills.
We hope you have gained valuable knowledge by reading our article “Ways to Make Your Office More Environmentally Friendly”. We hope you are able to put some of these great tips to work for you in your business, not only to become an environmentally friendly business but to save you money as well.
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