Creating a green office space is not as hard as it might seem. As a matter of fact, there is a range of methods you can apply in order to achieve this goal. Furthermore, outfitting your space so as to transform it into green office needn’t be costly. And doing so can often save you money in the long term.
An initial method of quickly going green is to look at what you are purchasing and from where. Simply change some of your regular office supplies to ensure that you are buying only eco-friendly products. When you do, you will immediately be making a difference. You will also support other companies and the wider economy in terms of ethical trading.
Let’s look in more detail at some of the things you can start doing right away.
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Recycle, Re-Use and Conserve
Ensure you have recycling bins in the office for various recyclable items and that everyone knows where these are. Make sure that you assess the whole cycle of rubbish disposal to ensure that everyone uses the correct external bins for collection. By promoting a strict recycling regime, you can ensure that your company is seen in a positive, environmentally friendly light by your clients and employees.
From carrier bags to plastic cups, really scrutinize your office space. See if you can dispense with disposable items and replace them with reusable ones. What other changes can you make? Once you start thinking in this way you will begin to see many areas where things could be altered with little disruption.
You can achieve great energy savings by merely adopting an office policy of switching off electricity every night, or when it’s not in use. If everyone on your staff gets into the habit of doing this regularly it quickly becomes second nature. Ensure to set all computers to energy-saving mode. Make sure that someone switches them off before the last person leaves the office at night. Moreover, use light bulbs of the energy-saving variety for longevity and reduced costs.
Systematically go through all office cleaning supplies and products and replace harmful ones with non-toxic products that are eco-friendly.
Are your ink cartridges the refillable type? If not, then change them. Look at other supplies you use as well. For instance, consider a host of other green office products that are available, such as non-toxic highlighters.
When you need new furniture or other decor, look at what is available in terms of environmentally friendly materials. Specifically, look for products that have not been treated with toxic dyes and other chemicals. To take it a step further, can you recycle your old furniture by giving it to charities, schools or shelters? Alternatively, charitable recycling companies will ensure that it is distributed and reused effectively.
Eco-Friendly Food Choices
Buy Fairtrade tea, coffee and other goods and try to make other green food choices when buying drinks and edibles. Think about it: In just one office over the course of a year, you’ll purchase a huge amount of food and drink.
Green Working Policies
Working from Home
If your staff can work from home on occasion, not only will that diminish traffic pollution, but also it will save on energy and materials in your newly green office.
Getting to Work
Some companies have benefits to encourage the use of bicycles or buses instead of cars. Where staff members do drive their cars to work, does your company have a car share scheme? If not, you could adopt one as an incentive. What’s more, your employees will save money with such a plan, too.
Ensure that you include a discussion about your company’s green working conditions when you bring new hires on board. When you do, new staff will support this ethos and it will become embedded throughout the organization.
Environmental Issues on the Agenda
In team meetings, ask staff for ideas and suggestions about the environmental policies you adopt. Use their suggestions to make other improvements and reflect on any issues or obstacles.
There is a multitude of ways to refurbish your office to create a green office space. This can also lead to other positive effects when teams start to work together to make it all happen.
Given time, a green office culture will emerge. What’s more, it can actually be fun for colleagues to develop new methods of becoming environmentally friendly. Some companies encourage a competitive environment where staff are rewarded for coming up with new ideas.
Other benefits are team solidarity and the bond that comes from problem-solving. Above all, everyone will appreciate knowing that they’re doing something beneficial. And it will be happening not only in your green office, but also as a contribution to the much wider agenda of preserving the environment.