Going green may be a trend, but the fact remains that we are facing tremendous environmental challenges. Each and every one of us can contribute to a healthier planet, without having to give up many comforts (if any).
For example, clean tech is nowadays widely available and not considered too expensive to afford. And if you want to make a few big moves, there are also solar panels, as well as office or home EV chargers.
Let’s take a look at some of the ideas on how to efficiently make your office a healthier and more pleasant place for everyone and also help the planet cope with human-induced pollution.
1. Build Your Own Sustainability Team
First of all, not many people know or indeed concern themselves with these rather burning issues. It is necessary, therefore, to provide education. There are, indeed, numerous eco-friendly ideas that are neither expensive nor restrictive and can benefit everyone.
For starters, think about learning how to alter bad habits.
When done right, these activities can prove to be a fun idea for employee engagement, as only imagination is the limit. For example, you can organize brainstorming sessions, workshops, contests… the list goes on.
2. Learn More About Going Green
You can go one step further and invite an expert. You can organize fun workshops, rather than training sessions and encourage everyone to brainstorm eco-friendly ideas.
Of course, if this option is not up your alley for any reason, there are always online courses for teams and other easily accessible learning tools and training methods. Look up the options online and draft a strategy in accordance with your needs.
It is almost unbelievable how many things can be changed with ease, but people usually don’t think about them. For example, many people leave their computers on when going on a break and leave the lights on after leaving a space. These two bad habits, at the very least, everyone can easily change.
3. Bring Plants Into the Office
One of the easiest ways to make your office more eco-friendly is to bring some greenery. This can also turn into a fun activity, as you can encourage employees to vote for their favorite options, or bring a plant or two for their desks.
The only thing you need to keep in mind here is — which plants can thrive in the office. Not all offices offer much light or proper climate, so opt for the plants that can prosper in a variety of conditions. Common office plants include ZZ plants, snake plants, bamboos, devil’s ivy, jade plants, succulents and cacti. Note that cacti cannot withstand high humidity, however.
4. Update to the Latest Equipment and Products
Updating office equipment and products should be considered a long-term investment. Here are some ideas that will make your office more eco-friendly.
- Replace traditional printers with multifunction printers in order to eliminate the need to use multiple machines for multiple purposes. Choose the ones with energy-saving features.
- Print on both sides of a sheet.
- Really think before you print out some or, worse yet, all your emails.
- Refill used ink and toner cartridges.
- Buy green office supplies. Some ideas include: staple-less staplers and pens that can be refilled.
- Use recycled paper (see below).
- Use recycled plastic products when plastics cannot be replaced.
- Recycle used office supplies.
- Keep computers and monitors up to date. Newer models are more energy efficient than older ones.
- Turn off computers when they’re not in use.
- Replace standard bulbs with CFLs or LED bulbs.
- Paint the walls of the office in light colors so that less lighting is needed.
- Use cloth towels or hand dryers instead of paper towels.
- Only use eco-friendly cleaning products.
5. Ditch the Paper
Finally, what we all know but rarely consider is that there are many alternatives to paper. Even when this isn’t applicable, you can always opt for recycled paper.
As mentioned above, rationalize by printing on both sides of a sheet and replace paper towels and mugs with suitable alternatives.
Don’t forget that with the rise of digital technologies, we don’t need to use nearly as much paper as before. Take just one example: printouts for meetings are not completely obsolete. Everyone can access a shared document on a mobile device, which alone contributes to loads of paper being saved.
It is not difficult to make your office more eco-friendly. Start with the small hacks before attempting larger goals. Everyone can get used to mugs and glasses instead of disposables and use cloth towels on a daily basis. Not only is it eco-friendly, but it is also much cleaner. Add to that the changes to bad habits nobody was originally paying attention to (leaving the lights on and forgetting to turn off the computer), and you’re already halfway through.
The biggest challenge is updating the office with the latest equipment, as it is expensive and new models pop up all the time, so think long-term. It’s always better to invest a bit more into quality equipment that will last longer than repeating the process every year.
Overall, it is safe to say that the change begins with us — bad habits should be addressed first. Plus, there is a plethora of information available online regarding this topic. Many people even offer online courses, or have training programs, as mentioned above. Be sure to take full advantage of every opportunity to be as eco-friendly as possible. Our planet will thank you!