We’ve reached a point where being eco-friendly is no longer an optional choice: it’s a civic duty.
This applies to our personal lives and our workplaces. Although it may be daunting to change your office’s established procedures, you can do so one step at a time.
Take a look at these 7 ways of going green at your office and choose one to tackle first.
1. Buying Bulk
There are some office supplies that you can’t go without. For these items, try to buy large quantities at a time so that you can reduce packaging and shipping.
This can include buying bulk name badges for employees all at once, purchasing large portions of fair trade and organic coffee, and recycled bathroom tissue.
To start, make a list of all recurring supplies your company consumes. Then, decide if there are recycled or used options and if you can buy larger quantities of necessities in bulk.
2. Going Paperless
Offices around the U.S. use millions of pieces of paper per day.
With small adjustments, you can mitigate your business’ participation in this form of waste. First, you’ll need to establish secure document sharing online.
From there, you can offer electronic copies of meeting materials, online billing and receipts, and opt-out of paper bills and mailing lists.
3. Enforcing Reusable Materials
At least 100 million plastic utensils are used every day. These short-term tools end up in landfills and oceans in large quantities.
Encourage your staff to use reusable dishes, utensils, lunch bags, and water bottles. You may even want to invest in some for the shared kitchen to help make the switch.
4. Implementing Waste Management
If your office doesn’t recycle already, now is the time to get with the program.
Use resources online to educate your staff about recycling procedures in your area. With that, encourage reducing and reusing items whenever possible.
Offer separate bins for different types of waste and be sure to donate furniture when you need to make upgrades.
5. Choosing Vegetarian Food Options
Whenever you provide staff meals, it’s best to choose vegetarian options.
The meat industry consumes large portions of resources while contributing to significant amounts of waste and pollution.
To reduce this, opt for delicious, nutrition-packed vegetarian meals. If you have vegetarians in your office, this will also help accommodate their preferences.
6. Switch to Energy-Efficient Appliances and Electronics
Energy-efficient appliances can save your company money while reducing carbon emissions.
Start by switching all of the lightbulbs in the office to LEDs. Research shows that these types of fixtures use 75% less energy.
From there, make a plan to upgrade bigger appliances like your toilets, sinks, windows, and so on. These will reduce water waste and energy bills.
For a small change, consider encouraging carpooling to work and the occasional work from home day so that the office reduces carbon emissions from vehicles.
7. Get an Energy Audit
Energy audits are external reports that analyze your energy consumption. It can help you identify large areas of usage so that you can create a plan to reduce them.
This is a bigger picture tip to tackle over time. Still, an audit can help you assess what areas to focus on.
In the time being, you can make small changes like unplugging electronics when they aren’t in use and implementing motion sensor lights.
Going Green Starts With Small Choices
By trying one of these 7 tips at a time, you can make your office more eco-friendly.
If needed, implement incentives, seek out tax breaks, and do whatever you need to do. Going green saves your business time, money, and energy — and it reduces the impact on the environment.
Keep reading our blog for more eco-friendly tips.