10 Easy Ways to Go Green Around the Office
Going green does not just apply to our personal lives. We already know that turning off lights and reducing our water usage are a great first step, but there are also ways to minimize our footprint at work. Making a few simple changes in your daily habits can add up to a big impact. Here are 10 easy ways to go green around the office:
Create monthly challenges.
Monthly office challenges are a fun way of combining competition and going green, one idea could be you can challenge the office to go a month with no plastic eating utensils. A reward system can be put in place for those who stick with it by offering small prizes, like coffee gift cards or snacks. Learn more.
Keep it digital as much as possible.
With technology usage at an all-time high, the need for printing continues to lessen. So, if your office tends to print for unnecessary means (like printing out PowerPoint presentations for everyone in a meeting), suggest switching to paperless meetings. If printing is necessary, consider printing double-sided.
Bring a desk plant.
Adding real plants to your office environment not only helps the air quality but can also create a calming and inviting space. So, if your office allows you to, bring in a small desk plant! Learn more.
Maximize natural light.
The World Green Building Council reports that employees working near sunlit windows have a 15% higher production rate. “Natural light sets the body’s circadian rhythms, which control awakening, falling asleep, synthesizing vitamin D and digestion,” said Jennifer Walton, principal of H. Hendy Associates. “Indoor light, however, is a major disruptor. If possible, move workstations to within 25 feet of peripheral walls with windows.” On average, artificial lighting consumes about a third of electric use in a commercial building. Natural light can reduce the need and expense of artificial lighting. Learn more.
Use reusable packaging for lunches.
If you bring food from home, reusable containers are a great way to keep unneeded trash from entering the landfills and environment.
Share helpful earth-friendly reminders.
Whether it is posting a sticky note above a light switch to remind employees to turn off the lights or having recycling posters hanging around the office, these quick tips are a great way to remind others to be conscientious of the environment.
Eliminate single-use cups.
Office breakrooms tend to have coffee pots and water fountains for their employees. Instead of providing single-use cups, employers can encourage everyone to bring their reusable coffee mug and water bottle to reduce trash. Some retailers, such as Starbucks, are piloting contactless reusable cup programs that come with a discount to consumers. Learn more.
Have central trashcans and eliminate individual trashcans.
Encouraging the use of centralized trash cans reduces the waste of individual can liners at each desk. This will not only help cut down on waste but also expenses.
Work from home.
Letting employees work from home is another way a company can help the environment. By letting people work remotely, fewer vehicles are commuting to and from work, which means fewer greenhouse gases releasing into the environment. Learn more.
Use refillable pens.
Single use pens add countless amounts of plastic to our landfills. Consider using reusable pens which only require cartridge changes and can be used for longer periods of time.