Whether you are an employer or an employee, there are many small things that you can do very easily in order to make your workplace a much greener space. Here are ten top tips that you can implement today and really make a difference.
More work – less energy
These days computers are the hub of any office environment. They also tend to use an enormous amount of energy. However, with a few simple changes to your working patterns these can be vastly reduced. For instance, familiarise yourself with your computer’s energy-saving setting and always set them to optimum. Make sure they are turned off at night (standby setting still draws energy).
Even in these days of the post-digital revolution it is still amazing just how much paper the average office uses. Most of this paper is looked at probably no more than once or twice and then thrown away. To reduce this why not ensure that as much as possible is done online – put memos in emails, not on paper, file away things on your computer, not in filing cabinets and review documents on screen rather than printing them out. In short, try to make your place of work as paperless as possible.
Don’t be a paper pusher
Sometimes there is simply no alternative to paper. However, when buying paper always ensure it is recycled or green paper with a high percentage of post-consumer content and as little bleaching as possible. Try to use both sides of the paper and when printing or photocopying try to but machines that will print on both sides too.
Greening the commute
It is simply amazing just how long we spend each day just getting to and from our place of work. Not only is this simply valuable time wasted in most cases but of course it can make a huge impact on the environment, especially if the journey is made by car. Therefore think about alternatives – why not implement a car-share scheme in your office, or think about travelling by public transport? You might also think about investing in a hybrid or an electric vehicle or why not even try a scooter or even a bicycle if possible to get to work?
You may not be aware just how smart work clothes from thrift shops can look these days. Avoid clothes that need to be dry cleaned and buy clothes with organic or recycled fibres.
Work from home
Working from home will not only get rid of the tedium of the daily commute and save you a lot of time but has a massively beneficial impact on the environment too. In this sense telecommuting makes perfect sense, especially in these days when the technology allows us to do it. E mail, file transfer systems, cloud computing, teleconferencing, Skype, etc all now make working from home an easily achievable option for many companies.
Use green materials
As we have already mentioned always use recycled paper and envelopes. These days it is possible to buy recycled pens and pencils. Always try to use reusable office items rather than disposable ones such as reusable marker pens and refillable printer cartridges. Try, when ever possible to buy supplies in bulk to reduce overall shipping costs for your office materials.
Redesign the workspace
Try, wherever possible to use recycled furniture in your office rather than buy new. Switching from incandescent light bulbs to compact florescent lighting also makes a big difference to energy consumption, thus not only helping the environment but also cutting down on your overheads. Even better perhaps is to reorganise the office in such a way that you maximise the use of natural light as much as possible (this has also been shown to increase productivity).
The best thing is to bring your own lunch in reusable containers. However, many offices still pop out to a local store for prepacked food – you can help reduce waste here by joining your co workers by placing one large order than lots of small separate one thus reducing the amount of packing.
Get others in on the act
Perhaps the best tip is to share these tips with everyone else in the office so you are all making an impact – better still persuade your boss to implement some of these tips as standard office procedure.