We’ve all seen examples of things you can do to make your office Eco-friendly. Often the advice given is impractical or costly. Let us list out the best environmentally friendly office practices to lead your lifestyle.
This list aims to give real and useful advice that will help you have a more Eco-friendly office without making things difficult!
12 Environmentally Friendly Office Practices
1: Stop wasting your printing
According to Toshiba, 45% of printouts are binned within 8 hours and with printer ink being one of the most expensive liquid on earth, it is a costly process.
It takes a lot of effort to manufacture the ink as well as the plastic cartridge, the situation becomes even worse when we include the cost of cutting down trees to make paper.
But, printing has become a necessity in our day-to-day life. So, if you have to print make sure that you use recycled paper instead of standard ones and start supporting our environment by printing in an Eco-friendly way.
2: Turn off the lights!
If you have windows near your desk, then you probably don’t need the light bulb to be”ON” all the time. Yet, this is a very common practice.
Typically, fitting energy saving bulbs saves $8 per bulb over a year, thinking before hitting the light switch could save you more than you can imagine.
Using natural light also has lots of health benefits over using artificial light. Also, putting lights on timers is a great way to reduce your energy bills!
Bulbs like these will automatically go on and off to provide optimum light!
3: Install a bike rack
Environmentally friendly office practices extend beyond the front door. Commuting is one of the most financially and environmentally costly activities for most staff.
Many people would love to cycle to work but can’t, because there is nowhere to leave their bike. Installation of a simple cycle rack outside your office can work wonders and can save a lot of time and money for your employees who are driving to work.
If you are living in a busy area consider installing an indoor cycle rack as well for extra safety.
4: Provide employees with reusable water bottles
We live in the era of reusable bottles and yet so many offices still buy dozens of classic single use plastic cups for their employess. To solve this issue, provide your employees with bottles or ask them to bring their own.
Not only will your employee’s benefit from the no cup policy, the office will also be a lot tidier with fewer overflowing bins and you don’t have to keep buying cups every month.
Try these ones!
5: Bin the bin
It is a well-documented fact that, if you provide desk bins for staff then waste generated will be high. If you get rid of them all then employees will be forced to make better choices, like not buying things with extra packing or only purchasing recyclable materials.
Encouraging employees to think and understand the benefits of becoming green consumers will be hugely beneficial for your office and for them as individuals.
6: Provide recycling bins
Most places now offer recycling bins for their employees, but some offices are more efficient than others in maintaining these bins.
Make sure the bins are clearly labelled, placed in obvious positions and can cater for common materials such as paper, card, plastic and glass.
Find some great advice about placing bins here: Litter Bin Strategy
7: Food waste
That spare food left in the fridge, leftovers from lunch and fruit peelings all have to go somewhere.
If you have a food waste bin then they can go there and after that they will be taken to an anaerobic digestion plant which produces electricity from food.
If you put them in general waste, they will go to landfill and produce methane.
Methane is a powerful greenhouse gas and highly inflammable material that makes landfills extremely dangerous.
In terms of direct greenhouse gas reductions, using food waste bins would be the best of all environmentally friendly office practices.
8: Check the heating
Typically room temperature is about 70°F, but offices often stray above this. Sometimes it is the heating system that needs maintenance or a sensor reset.
But, it can also be that someone leaves a window open. Which causes the heater to work extra hard to raise the temperature.
Also, make sure to adjust the timer for summer and winter as required. Outside temperatures vary hugely throughout the year and so, you need to adjust the indoor heating accordingly.
9: Form a sustainability team
A sustainability or green team is a group of committed people who suggest environmental improvements and help to raise awareness of any issues. They are important as every office is unique and each one will have its own unique challenges.
Working with people and collaborating with ideas is the best way to solve problems and forming a green team is one of the best examples of environmentally friendly office practices.
10: Provide Environmental Training
Many offices give environmental training for their employees at least once a year and it is a huge boost for them. It can be carried out either by a green team or by external people. But, ideally someone who works there would be the best choice.
Training should cover all basic environmentally friendly office practices, such as putting equipment on standby, printing reduction, saving water and proper recycling.
It doesn’t have to be a long session but it should at least be an open session where people are encouraged to discuss ideas and ask questions. Often people don’t know and feel embarrassed to ask!
11: Grow an office plant
If you have space then growing a desk plant at office would be a great idea. Not only does it help filter and purify the air, it also increases employee’s well-being and productivity!
12: Have competitions
Many offices now run environmental contests like who can use the least energy or who can come up with the best energy saving idea. Simple things like this can really motivate people to come up with ideas and get them thinking about Eco-friendly initiatives.
If I had to choose, I would say that the Green Team coupled with environmental training would be the best options on this list. Never underestimate what a group of committed people can achieve.
It is easy to be cynical and say “that won’t work” but it is worth trying new things and engaging with staff to come up with solutions. Environmentally friendly office practices are not difficult or costly to do and can really benefit the look and feel of your office.