You all know I work for an eco friendly company which recycled emulsion paint, so we like to run things as eco friendly as possible.
As offices go, they generally have a bit of a reputation for being a little taxing on the environment. With all of that used and wasted paper lying around, the computers running 24/7 and the majority of staff driving into work, it’s fair to say that offices and workspaces are guilty of emitting their fair share of carbon emissions. However, there are subtle, small changes that can be made in the workplace that can have a huge, positive impact on the environment.
Change your Commute
A lot of people drive into the office purely for convenience. Granted, it’s fast and easy, and some people commute so far they have no other alternative, but if you stop to think about how much driving costs and the impact it has on the environment, you might stop and think twice about jumping in your car in the mornings. Why not stop and think about your commute. Could you walk it? Even if it took 20 minutes each way, you could get up a little earlier and have a really positive impact on your health (as well as save yourself a fair few quid!) If it’s too far to walk (most offices are) then how about cycling? Failing that, could you jump the bus or train? If more people got public transport, carbon emissions (and traffic!) would be hugely reduced. If you have to drive, how about switching to an eco friendly car like I did?! How can you do your bit?
How many offices are filled with unknown pieces of paper, lying around in filing cabinets with no one really sure where they have come from or what their purpose is? If this sounds familiar to you then you are probably aware of how annoying it can get when things go missing or haven’t been followed up. The wastage of paper also has a huge impact on the environment and is something that desperately needs to be cut down in most workplaces. Document scanning is a great solution to using less paper and is also a way of making sure no important documents are misplaced or forgotten about as there will be digital copies saved into your storage system. When printing, why not select the ‘double-sided’ option and save that extra piece of paper?
Whilst you might think this has more to do with your lifestyle rather than your workplace habits, you will be surprised at the amount of wastage in the office. I’m sure you’re all accustomed to forgotten about food that sits in the fridges and cupboards until someone can be bothered to throw it away, often being left until a suspicious smell emulates from the kitchen area. Do not be that person that buys a load of food and forgets about it. Fill the fridge with things that you will need for the week (whether that be tupperwares of meal preparation from home, or supermarket ingredients to freshly put your lunch together) and buy a few nutritious snacks to sit at your desk. If you know you’re not going to eat something before it goes bad, remember to take it home and throw it in your dinner or even ask someone else if they will make use of it. The greenest way to eat at work is to bring your lunch in reusable containers and quit buying plastic bags at the supermarket! If you’re a business owner/in charge of office supplies, be sure not to over-buy on things like milk, and gather a rough idea of how much you go through on average, so less is being wasted.
Get some Office Plants
Not only does a bit of greenery liven things up and improve everyone’s mood (a happy office is a motivated one!) they also filter the air for a healthy working environment. Getting a few potted plants won’t break the bank and will also contribute to your offices décor, giving a modern, minimalistic vibe that is also a friendly and welcome space for clients. Just remember to water them!
Switch things off!
It’s amazing how many people rush home at the end of a busy day and forget to switch off their computer, leave their desk lights on and the radio still playing. We all know the amazing feeling of finishing work at the end of the day and yes, we all want to run as far away from the office as possible – think of all the energy that is wasted overnight whilst no one is around? If you’re last out of the office or responsible for locking up then make sure that anything that doesn’t need to be on…is off. You’ll be amazed at how much you save on bills as well!