10 Eco Friendly Ideas For The Office

eco friendly ideas for the office

When I’m at home, being conscious about using sustainable energy, not using plastic, being as zero waste as possible is set in stone. I have my methods, my routines, and being environmentally friendly is second nature. When I’m at the office I feel like I don’t have as much control and I’m not as dialed in. It’s kind of like going to someone else’s house and they don’t have a recycle container to put recyclables in. It just sucks.

Well, the office is one of those places that we have a bit more control over, and going green at the office is a bit easier. I think being eco friendly at home is pretty simple. And I think people really do try. The more sustainability practices outside of the house are where we could probably improve.

Depending on where you work and how much you’re allowed to alter your workspace, implementing eco friendly techniques and products at the office can be a simple switch.

Eco Friendly Ideas For The Office

1) Get a Recycle Bin

By now, I would hope that most medium to larger companies has recycle bins somewhere on site. If they don’t have recycle bins in your office or in your cube, I would get one. Recycling is much easier when you have a bin accessible and close. Even if you work in a smaller company, getting a recycle bin that everyone can use and has access to, is a great start. I’ve found that most people are conscious of recycling but just need a little push to start and maintain practices.

2) Print on Both Sides

Saving on paper is easy. Printing double-sided is widely accepted and most printers have this capability. To go a step further, avoid printing copies and emailing documents. I’m not the most tech-savvy person, but saving documents on my desktop and then attaching them to emails has saved me a lot of walking to and from the copy room as well as paper.

3) Less Lighting

Office buildings tend to be very well lit and this is an easy place to reduce energy consumption. I’m not saying keep the lights out, but reduce the number of lights on in the office. People often complain about how bright it is in my office, and we’re constantly having the maintenance crew unscrew lights. It helps people with their headaches and saves energy. If you have the capability, either switch to environmentally friendly lights or use less lighting. Additionally, if the office has rooms that are used on occasion, be sure to turn the lights off when not in use. I’m surprised at how often a copy room light is on, though no one is in the room. This goes for bathrooms too. Use motion-activated lights when possible.

4) Energy Saving Equipment

Manufacturers of computer monitors love to get Energy Star certifications. And fortunately, there are computer monitors that are close to 10% energy savings compared to regular monitors. If you get offered a chance to upgrade or swap out laptops or monitors, try to choose one that is Energy Star certified, and you’ll cut down on energy use. This goes for printed and copiers too. If you’re in charge of the organization’s purchasing, using energy-saving products is better for the environment, but it will cut company cost too!

5) Alternative Transportation

If possible look at alternative modes of transportation to and from work. If you live close, try biking to work. If you have accessible public transportation, see if there is a but you could use. Sometimes we mindlessly hop in our vehicles and drive to work, when we could do more for the environment by using alternative transportation.

6) Add Plants

There are many ways to save on energy, save on paper, save on consumption, but adding items to help is possible too. Cubicles and offices can look pretty drab, but bringing in some plants will not only help, but it will spruce up your office too. When you’re surrounded by items that make you feel good, you perform better too. Plants look good and are pretty easy to care for when you’re so close to them.

7) Green Supplies

I talked earlier about energy-saving equipment. But consider using sustainable products like cleaning products, compostable cups, tubeless bathroom tissue, reusable plastic bags, etc. Try to implement what you use on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis at your home and apply it to the office.

8) Reduce Electronic-Waste

This goes along with recycling that I mentioned above, but electronic waste is usually specific to offices. Technology is upgrading as fast as it can, and this means electronic equipment getting swapped out quickly. You can’t just throw electronics away. Be sure your old or unused electronics are being disposed of properly. This will ensure less hazardous material in our landfills and more plastic getting recycled.

9) Energy Audit

If you’ve never done a home energy audit, it could be well worth your time. Using an infrared camera can show you where you’re losing energy. It shows you where you have air leaks in the office, drafty doors, and windows. By upgrading windows and doors, you’ll cut energy consumption and cost.

10) Start a Garden

In the concrete jungle this eco friendly idea might be difficult, but if the space is available, starting a garden along with a composting function makes for a great office lunch. Potlucks, holiday feasts, and office gatherings where food is around, having a locally sourced garden makes for a great idea. By using products that are compostable, you’re killing two birds with one stone on this.

Why Go Green At The Office

If you haven’t noticed there is a big movement of going green and having zero waste. Employees want to work for companies that use sustainable practices. Employees want to make a difference and contribute to movements like this. Studies show they’re willing to work for a smaller salary if the company is taking steps to help the environment. Additionally, employees will leave a company, for another one if they’re taking steps to help the environment.

Consumers want to buy from companies that implement environmentally friendly practices. And they’re willing to pay extra if that’s what it means to help the environment. Studies show 85% of consumers are conscious of “greener purchases.”

Conclusion of Eco Friendly Ideas For The Office

At the time of this writing, inflation or the consumer price index is close to 7%. This means costs are rising and wage stagnation is a real thing. Companies are producing green products, and they’re using environmentally friendly practices in their production. The rise of going green means this is important to workers and consumers. If you’re not either producing green products or using sustainable methods, your competition is going to get your employees and your profits. The aforementioned ideas are easy to implement and will save you over the long run.

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