Most people want to help the planet, but just aren’t sure where to start. Fortunately, if you manage or even simply work in an office, you can make it eco-friendly in a variety of ways, some of which require very little effort or expense! So if you’re interested in making your office space more environmentally friendly, check out these tips.
Cut down on waste in the office
First, try to reduce the amount of items employees waste around the office. You can do this by encouraging everyone to use regular dishes and coffee mugs, not the disposable kind. It doesn’t take long to wash dishes after using them, or to simply put them in the dishwasher at the end of the workday. You should also use coffee filters made from recycled paper, or even use a coffee maker that doesn’t use paper filters at all.
Speaking of recycled paper, make it easy to recycle in your office by putting a recycling container next to every trash can. This way, people can toss their cans, bottles, junk mail, old paper, and any other recyclables into it. You should also reduce any unnecessary printing, meaning you should think twice before printing documents that you could just keep on your phone or in the cloud. If your office issues receipts or invoices to customers or clients, make electronic receipts and invoices an option so you can print less. You’d be surprised how many customers would rather receive documents by email than by mail.
Go green on office supplies
Anything you use in your office should be eco-friendly whenever possible. Start by buying green cleaning supplies so the products you use to clean your office are not damaging the environment. And instead of using disposable products to clean (such as paper towels and disinfecting wipes), try to clean with reusable towels and rags.
Your office supplies should also be eco-friendly. For example, you can buy pens and printer ink cartridges that can be refilled instead of thrown out when they run out of ink. Also, try not to use up a lot of rubber bands, staples, or paper clips. Either cut down on your use, or reuse them whenever possible so you’re not wasting products around the office.
Reduce the amount of electricity & water you use in the office
Finally, you should find ways to cut down on your use of electricity. You can do this in a variety of ways. First, turn off your computers, printers, lights, and any other electrical fixtures when you leave the office. Maybe you already do this at the end of every day, but consider doing it any other time everyone leaves the office at once, such as at lunch or when you’re all meeting with a client in another building. And of course, keep the lights off in any room you’re not using most of the day, such as bathrooms and meeting rooms. If you need more light during the day, open all the windows first to see if that helps before you turn on all the lights.
You should also replace electrical equipment with eco-friendly options whenever possible. Start by removing all incandescent light bulbs and replacing them with LEDs, which hardly use any electricity but last for years. If you have older computers and printers in the office, try to buy new ones that have energy-saving options, such as standby mode for when they’re not in use. You can donate the old computers and printers to charity if they still work and you want to essentially recycle them.
After you replace lightbulbs and computer equipment around the office with new ones, consider replacing old bathroom fixtures so you can save water. For instance, old toilets often use more water than newer ones do, especially when compared to the new low-flush options you should look at. And if your current toilets are always running—therefore wasting water all day—you should get them fixed or replaced as soon as possible to save water. While you’re at it, think about replacing old, leaky faucets with motion sensor faucets that only turn on when they sense hands in front of them. You should also make sure your heater, air conditioner, and pipes are all in good working order—and get them fixed or replaced if they’re not.
These tips will save your company money on water and electricity while also helping the environment. So you might as well give them a try, especially considering that many of these tasks are inexpensive and easy to do yourself!