As the climate continues to deliver more extreme weather and governments worldwide are passing more restrictive pollution laws, many businesses are looking for ways to do their part in keeping our planet healthy.
If you don’t have a large budget for renovating your office into a modern hub of eco-friendly technology, fear not! You can take several steps that are affordable and can revolutionize your office into a more sustainable and healthy operation. Read on to learn all about going green in your workspace!
Power Down in the Evening
Generating electricity to support a city and its residents and businesses residing in them is a significant source of pollution and waste. When your office isn’t in operation, power down non-essential equipment. This requirement should include copiers, monitors, lights, coffee machines, and other equipment. If you’re open around the clock but have less crew in the evening, switch off electronics in unused areas.
Create a Team to Focus on Going Green
Many of us have plans to live and work in a more sustainable environment, but implementing and enforcing this new approach takes a team effort. So, create a Green Team that not only educates your workplace about ongoing efforts to be more environmentally friendly but puts an action plan in place to get everyone on board.
This team can also assist in equipment purchases to prioritize energy efficiency whenever possible.
Generate Enthusiasm with Engaging Goals
Another way to create an eco-friendly workplace culture is to implement good-natured challenges between departments revolving around environmental sustainability. For example, host a desk or cubicle clean-out event, and the department with the most recyclables wins a pizza party.
Incorporate Renewable Energy Sources in Your Work Environment
Some businesses haven’t invested in green power sources because of unfamiliarity with these newer technologies. Start small with solar-powered parking lot lighting and work your way up to possibly installing rooftop solar panels to run your breakroom appliances. Consider creating charging stations that don’t rely on a plug-in the wall for laptops and cellphones but have solar panels in windows with USB plugs instead.
Be Paperless as Possible
A significant source of waste in the world is paper. Switching to a paperless workplace has its challenges but benefits, not just the environment but your overhead operating costs. Imagine how much money your company could save on printing equipment and supplies if you went completely (or mostly) digital.
Also, consider how much space your office uses to house traditional files and paperwork. Could you digitize these items instead and utilize these areas for better purposes? While this may seem impossible, setting aside time every day to scan this information into an online database makes this endeavor extremely doable.
Finally, make sure to go paperless in your breakroom! It’s more efficient to wash reusable cups and silverware than recycle paper cups and plastic utensils.
Increase Natural Light in Your Building
Natural light does more than positively affect mood and alertness; it also saves on electricity. If your office has plenty of windows, consider rearranging workstations so they are within 20′. You can also replace some of your indoor lighting with LED fixtures which are more reliable than traditional bulbs and consume less energy.
Reconsider the Office Products You’re Using
Reducing the cost of office supplies is a common goal of any business. However, at what cost does this savings come to the environment? Try to purchase eco-friendly brands whenever possible, or at least when it comes to products you use the most. Supporting environmental awareness outside of your own company’s interests is always a good thing.
Be More Conservative with Climate Control
We all have that one coworker who is always too hot or cold and will constantly fiddle with the thermostat. The reality is that there are more affordable ways to control the climate so that you aren’t wearing a sweater in the summer while at your desk.
Consider setting the thermostat to 75 or 76 degrees when running the air conditioning in the summer and between 68 to 70 degrees during colder months. This will make it easier for your system to maintain a constant temperature. Also, consider modifying your windows that get the most sun. Glass acts as a magnifier and can quickly raise the temperature in a room by several degrees in just an hour. Commercial window tinting in Charlotte, NC, is more affordable than running your AC non-stop.
Invest in a Few Plants
Commercial buildings often struggle with air quality due to their size and difficulty circulating fresh air efficiently. Desk plants are a great way to address this issue and create a reminder of your organization’s dedication to running a green operation. It may be wise to avoid flowering species so allergy sufferers on your team don’t suffer.
Incentivize Green Commuting
Another way your office can be more eco-friendly is to encourage your team to carpool, take a bus, or other forms of transportation for their commute. Consider combining delivery trips and keeping vehicles regularly maintained if you own a commercial fleet. Leaking transmission fluids or oil have a disastrous effect on drinking water sources.
In addition to greener transportation habits, minimize wasteful commutes altogether by conducting meetings virtually when possible.
The biggest challenge for any office to go green is getting its team onboard and breaking bad habits. You can install new recycling bins in your breakroom, but they won’t do any good if employees don’t separate plastic from paper or metal. If you are truly committed to creating an environmentally friendly workplace, provide regular encouragement and guidance to get everyone on the same page.