Have you been thinking about ways to create a more eco-friendly office, but don’t know where to start? With fires in the Amazon and trash in the ocean at an all-time high, it’s more important than ever to find ways to live more sustainably. But trying to make the switch can seem difficult or overwhelming — especially if you’ve been doing things one way for a long time. The good news is, we’ve compiled six easy changes you can implement right now to make your office more eco-friendly. Curious to find out more? Keep reading, below:
Switch Out Paper Plates & Plastic ware For The Real Deal
One thing you can do to instantly create a more eco-friendly office is switch out your paper and plastic products for reusable options. Invest in solid reusable plates, cups, and silverware. It doesn’t have to be anything too fancy. You can even buy a set of stainless steel straws to replace the disposable ones in your office. This switch will actually save you money in the long run, because you won’t have to keep replenishing your supply. These items will last you and your team a long time.
If you don’t have a sink to wash dishes in or purchasing real plates and silverware just isn’t an option, try switching to a biodegradable option instead. We know there isn’t one solution that works for everyone, so just take baby steps and do what you can!
Recycle, Recycle, Recycle!
Having a recycling bin right next to the trash bin in your office will encourage people to make the greener choice! It’s not any more difficult to throw a plastic bottle in the recycling than it is to throw it in the trash, right? Bonus points if you have a recycling bin that sorts paper, plastic and cans! You could even start an incentive program to really get your team motivated. Maybe provide catered lunch if the office can cut down two bags of trash a month? Or a team activity? Make it fun and get everyone involved!
One of the biggest and easiest ways to reduce your carbon footprint is by unplugging your electronics and turning off the lights at the end of the day. Electricity causes toxic fumes to be released into the environment. By simply unplugging your electronics when they aren’t in use, you can significantly reduce the amount of fumes your office is contributing towards. Set a reminder or place a sign by the door, reminding yourself and other team members to unplug, so it’s not forgotten!
If you want to make your life even easier, you can opt for motion-sensored lights that automatically turn off when no one is in the office. That way, there’s one less thing for you to think about — let technology do it for you!
We realize this might be easier said than done. Many offices do need hard copies of certain things on file. However, technology makes it easier than ever to reduce your paper usage. And this is a big step towards having an eco-friendly office. Email documents for meetings so everyone can look at them together on their tablets or computers. Switch to e-billing if you can (this will actually make your finances easier to organize and keep track of.) Make file sharing easier by using a useful tool such as Google Docs. There are many alternatives to look into before resorting to using paper. But if you must use it, just make sure you recycle when you’re done!
Encourage Green Commuting
If you live in a big city, it’s very easy to reduce carbon emissions by using public transportation! Taking the train or bus to work instead of your car will save some of those fuel emissions from being released into the air. If you’re feeling really ambitious, you can even ride your bike or walk! If you live in a city that’s more spread out, public transportation may not be an option for you. That’s okay! Try car-pooling with your coworkers who live near you. Make an adventure out of it and pick up coffee (or tea) on the way. Teams that caffeinate together, stay together!
Provide a Water Cooler & Encourage People to Bring-Your-Own-Bottle
Instead of stocking your office with plastic water bottles, switch to a water cooler. Almost everyone has a reusable water bottle at home already. Encourage your employees to bring one with them and refill throughout the day. If you really want to go the extra mile, you can order reusable water bottles with your company logo on them to hand out to all of your employees. This will cut down on plastic use and get your employees excited.
It may not seem like much, but these simple changes really do make a big difference in keeping our world clean and healthy! We hope that this gives you the inspiration you need to go green in your own office spaces. Who knows? It might even bring your team closer together.