“Green Philosophy” can be defined as a way of living that balances our human needs with conserving natural resources. It also calls on us to better understand our social responsibility to preserve these resources and how our actions affect the environment. Green life philosophy not only applies to our home life but our work environments as well.
There are many ways to go green at the office and incorporate eco-friendly habits into your workday. Check out this guide on ten everyday tips to go green. Put them in motion and you too will have a lasting impact on saving our planet.
10 Easy Ways to Go Green at Work
There are plenty of ways to go green at the office. Eco-friendly office environments are not only friendly to the planet, but also create a healthy space for employees to thrive. Here are some of the ways both business professionals and leaders can go green today.
1. Work in a “Green” Building
Business leaders can have a direct impact on the environment when they locate their companies in a green building. A “green” building is one that is designed and constructed in a way that reduces negative impacts on the environment. Green buildings can preserve our scarce natural resources when they are built with recycled materials.
For example, read more about how this company uses light gauge steel materials to manufacture their metal buildings. Light gauge steel is recyclable material. It’s also easily customized which leads to fewer wasted materials.
Telecommuting is an environmentally friendly way to decrease heating oil consumption and other energy costs that your office building racks up. The US Environmental Protection Agency reports that one of the largest sources of transportation-related greenhouse gas emissions comes from passenger cars. When you stay off the road, you’re also reducing these harmful effects on the atmosphere.
3. Walk, Bike or Carpool to Work
If working at home isn’t an option that your employer recognizes, try an alternative method to reach the office. Walking or biking to work will give you plenty of great exercise as well as save on gasoline. Join a carpool and reduce the number of cars on the road (yours!)
4. Take the Stairs
While you’re at the office, keep up the health trend and take the stairs instead of the elevator between floors. Elevators use approximately 100-watt-hours of energy per round trip between floors. This electricity generation emits over 30 lbs of carbon and sulfur dioxide into the atmosphere per month.
One of the easiest ways you can go green at work is recycling. Recycling cardboard, paper, ink cartridges, and soda cans reduces the need to reap new raw materials to create products. Recycling office products also cuts down on the amount of waste sent to landfills or incinerators.
6. Use Smart Power Strips or Other Power-Saving Features
Plugged in electronics (i.e, computers and printers) drain electricity all day long, even when they are turned off. This built-in feature is called standby power. Standby power is installed into equipment that allows them to be turned on quickly and used immediately.
Rather than turn your office equipment “off” use their energy saving settings to reduce the amount of standby power they accumulate. You can also use smart power strips to supply electricity to electronics. Power strips automatically shut down all electricity to those electronics that aren’t in use.
7. Stock Re-Usable Break Room Items
Rather than stock the kitchen with disposable paper products, supply the cupboards with reusable items instead. Keep a supply of used or reusable silverware, glasses, coffee cups or plates for you and your co-workers to share. Keeping used and reusable materials cuts greenhouse gas emissions and trash sent to the landfills.
8. Bring Plants to Work
Office plants can remove chemicals from the office air and make it healthier for employees to breathe. Plants can remove chemicals such as Benzene, which is found in tobacco smoke, plastic and rubber products. Indoor plants are also an effective weapon to remove Trichloroethylene, which is commonly found in varnishes and paper products.
9. Bring Your Lunch to Work
Another easy way for going green is to “brown bag it” and bring your own food from home instead of going out to eat. Bringing your own lunch from home helps reduce the amount of packaging and waste that restaurants produce on a daily basis. You’re also cutting down on CO2 emissions when you stay at your desk and out of your car to travel to your favorite eatery.
10. Compost Left Over Coffee Grounds
Recycling used coffee grounds helps reduce the amount of waste dumped into landfills. Coffee grounds thrown into a landfill create methane gas, which is a form of greenhouse gas. Save the coffee grounds for your garden where it can be used as a nitrogen-rich natural fertilizer.
Feel like you’re ready to put some of these ways to go green into motion? The good news is you can begin today!
If your office doesn’t have one, start an office recycling program. It’s important to be sure that your management approves of the idea. You’ll need their support as well as have them dedicate resources to ensure its success.
Survey your office to find out what’s going into the trash. After that, you’ll know what products are recyclable. Choose a recycling coordinator to help organize and manage the program.
Don’t forget to check our website for more ideas on creating a green office environment. It takes a team effort to go green. Our planet is counting on us!