Many of us work in an office, but we usually don’t realize that offices can be detrimental to the environment.
When many people work in a large space, resources will be wasted. In addition, climate change is a reality today, so taking steps to preserve our world is more important than ever.
This article discusses various ways to make your office more environmentally friendly. Many actions can be taken to achieve this goal.
- Ways to Make Your Office More Eco-Friendly
- Final Thoughts
Ways to Make Your Office More Eco-Friendly
We have a wide variety of tips on making your office eco-friendlier. Some of these may seem obvious, whereas others aren’t.
This point has several aspects; however, they all concern food. So, therefore, we’re going to group this into one category.
Food waste is a huge problem today. First, many people bring or order more food than they can eat. The production, transportation, and disposal of food require energy and resources; the more food you waste, the more energy you waste.
In addition, many of us buy food instead of bringing it with us. When you purchase food, you’re likely to have disposable containers, generally made of materials that aren’t good for the environment – whether plastic or paper.
Therefore, bring your own food or purchase it from a place that provides recyclable containers. If you bring your own food to work, use reusable containers – there’s no point in using disposable containers.
Moreover, provide your employees with reusable cutlery and dishware. Plastic knives and forks, Styrofoam cups, and plates are extremely bad for the environment. Make a rule that everything food-related has to be reusable.
If you order food, do so in groups. Make a group order so that there is only one trip required. This will save time, money, and gasoline too.
2. The Three Rs
Reduce, reuse, and recycle – these are things you need to be doing in your office. In one way or another, everyone in the workplace should start being eco-conscious.
This means recycling materials that can be recycled instead of thrown in the garbage. Of course, you don’t want recycled materials ending up in a landfill. The reality is that using recycled materials is far less taxing on the environment than using disposable materials.
Processing raw materials tax the environment more than recycling materials. Set up bins so your employees can recycle plastics, glass, paper, and more.
3. Regulate the Temperature + Dress Code
Nobody likes working in an environment that’s too hot or too cold. But, unfortunately, offices use huge amounts of electricity for heating and cooling. This is especially bad if electricity comes from non-renewable energy sources such as coal or oil.
Therefore, regulate the temperature in your office. For example, instead of cooling down to 20° or 21° Celsius in the summer, keep it at 25° Celsius.
Moreover, did you know that each degree difference can save up to 5% on an energy bill? Also, you don’t need to overheat your office in the winter. But, of course, this concerns the dress code.
If you have to wear a suit at work during the summer, you will want to use the air conditioning. Therefore, as the head of an office, you might want to consider being a little more relaxed with dress codes. This will allow people to dress according to temperatures and therefore help save energy with heating and cooling.
4. Insulating the Office and Using Curtains
Another thing you can do is insulate your office. If you have old windows and doors that aren’t sealed properly, you’re wasting energy. In summer, cool air will escape, and cold air will come in from the outdoors in winter.
This will increase your heating and cooling costs. Therefore, consider spending a bit of money to properly insulate and seal all aspects of your office to significantly reduce heating and cooling costs – both in the short and long run.
In addition, using curtains will help as well. During summer, keep the curtains closed to keep the sunlight out. In the winter, keep the curtains open to let the sun in. This will help keep your office naturally cool or warm without using additional energy.
Another thing you can do is to digitalize everything. Paper is still required for some purposes, but its need is decreasing. Generally speaking, more or less, everything can be done electronically and digitally.
If you work in an office where you see huge stacks of paper, consider digitalizing. This will significantly reduce your office’s paper consumption. Paper is not an environmentally friendly product.
It helps if you use recycled paper; however, even recycled paper needs to be processed and transported. Recycled paper is better than paper made from raw materials, but it’s still not good for the environment. The less paper your office uses, the better.
6. Purchase Eco-Friendly Office Furniture
Something else is to purchase eco-friendly office furniture. Again, we talked about recycling, but recycling doesn’t apply just to recycling your own office materials.
You can purchase already-recycled materials that can then be recycled again. Desks, chairs, and more can all be made from recycled materials. There’s no point in buying office furniture made of raw materials when you can be much more eco-friendly. Furniture made out of recycled materials can be just as good, if not better, than furniture made of raw materials.
7. Use Energy-Efficient Appliances and Office Equipment
It’s no secret that electronic equipment uses energy. Twenty years ago, nobody thought about how much energy they used.
We’re talking about the fax machine to your printer and scanner and the fridge in the break room. Purchase equipment that is energy-saving. For every energy hog, there is an energy-friendly counterpart. You can find electronic equipment and appliances that help limit energy usage.
This is important if you work in a big office with many electronics. On a side note, turn any electronics off – not kept on standby when not in use.
8. Consider Carpooling or Alternative Transportation
Another thing to consider is transportation. For example, if you have a large office with many employees, everybody has to get there every morning and return home at night.
If every person uses their own vehicle, that is a massive waste of gasoline; it is costly and detrimental to the environment.
Therefore, encourage employees to use alternative forms of transportation. This could include public transit or, even better, a bicycle. At the very least, you could encourage employees to carpool.
We aren’t saying you have to take all these steps, but the more, the better. So you aren’t just helping the environment – you’re also cutting back on your own energy costs.