Have you considered how environmentally friendly your workplace is? If not, now is the time to talk about it.
Nearly four decades after President Carter adventurously installed solar panels on the White House, America’s energy transition away from fossil fuels has seen only modest progress. 2007 marked the first year in history when more than half of the world’s population lived in cities, and the U.N. estimated that, by 2030, urban settings will be home to nearly two thirds of the global population. However, it was just in March 2017 that monthly electricity generation from wind and solar exceeded 10% of total U.S. electricity generation for the first time.
When the workplace turns more environmentally friendly, there are many benefits besides the environment. Many companies will see an increase in customers and clients when they start making the switch. The public pays attention to these sorts of things, so making a move to being environmentally friendly will benefit the office that way.
Companies also see a reduction in their overall costs. When you change out appliances and light bulbs with an energy efficient alternative, the workplace will use less power which will cost the company less in utilities. Recycling paper can reduce the number of stationery supplies needed, and bringing reusable cups and containers means the business won’t have to always by disposable items.
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Making the switch to becoming more environmentally friendly can start with the smallest and simplest changes. From riding a bike to work to bringing your own mug, every change will count. Here are six genius ways that you can make the office more environmentally friendly.
Recycle What You Can
One of the easiest steps your office can take to being more environmentally friendly is by recycling. Many materials commonly used at the workplace can go into the recycling bin rather than the trash.
Start with paper. Have containers throughout the office in which employees have easy access to. Unless they are important documents that require shredding or other methods of disposal, toss old papers into the recycling bin. That way the paper can either be used for printing on again, writing down notes, or something else other than going to the garbage.
Recycling doesn’t end with paper. Any electronics that the company does not use anymore can get recycled. Cardboard boxes also are excellent materials to throw in a separate recycling bin. You can even have a sealed compost container in the kitchen or staff room for food scraps. The more areas that have a container for recycling, the easier it will be for employees to use them rather than the garbage.
Use Environmentally Friendly Products
Nowadays, you can find an environmentally friendly version of almost any product on the market. Why? Because people are becoming more aware of what certain chemicals do, not just to our health, but to the health of the environment too.
Instead of purchasing commercial cleaners, see if there is an environmentally friendly alternative. You can even make cleaners out of food scraps and essential oils that leave behind a fresh scent. There are even stationary supplies that come from recycled material. The more you can change the better.
Bring Plants Indoors
Want to not only be environmentally friendly but to also improve the air quality and décor in the office? Bringing in plants will help with all of those problems.
Certain indoor plants are known to increase the quality of air inside. We spend so much of the day indoors so by improving the air inside, the better our health will be. Poor air quality can have an adverse effect on our health, including triggering asthma attacks in children and adults.
Indoor plants like Peace Lilies, Spider Plants, English Ivies, and Chinese Evergreens are common household plants that not only filter the air, but they are also easy to maintain. These plants will absorb things found in the air like Benzene, Formaldehyde, Carbon Monoxide, and Trichloroethylene and distribute clean oxygen for you to breath.
Install Energy Efficient Appliances
The amount of power your office uses will contribute to the health of the environment. If your workplace is a power guzzler, it requires more energy from the power sources which produce fossil fuels into the atmosphere.
Instead, work towards switching out office appliances with energy-efficient alternatives. You can start by changing out the lightbulbs to LED ones. LED lights are known to be 80 percent more efficient than incandescent bulbs and will last a lot longer too. Change out the water heater and any other machines in the office with energy efficient ones.
Reduce Energy Consumption
Continuing with the amount of energy the workplace uses, try to be more energy conscious. Turning off the lights in any rooms that no one is using will help reduce the power consumption. Switch off computer screens and other electronic devices at the end of the day is an excellent habit to get into. Basically, anything that is not being used, see if you can power it down.
Rather than relying on the staff to remember to turn off lights and power down electronics, install motion-activated lights and utilize power-saver modes. Motion lights will turn off after a period with no movement. Power-saver modes will put computers, printers, and other electronics to sleep, or shut them down entirely.
Encourage Employees to Change Their Commute
If all of the employees drive vehicles to the office, then they are distributing greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. However, if there was an incentive to encourage people to either carpool, walk, ride their bike, or take public transit instead, those small changes will make a significant impact on the environment.
Use Reusable Containers
Instead of using disposable cups at the office for morning coffee, have either coffee cups for everyone or have the employees bring their own. Not only that, try having kitchenware available for staff to use at lunchtime instead of plastic cutlery and paper plates for enviornmentally friendly options. Encourage employees to bring their lunch in reusable containers over plastic bags.
Every change counts towards making the company more environmentally friendly. Encourage employees and keep the conversation going about these points, and others that help reduce power consumption, fossil fuels emitted, and garbage tossed away. Incentives help employees stay on an environmentally friendly path. Every change will only continue to benefit not just the environment, but the company as well.