As an eco-friendly business who takes a great initiative in being an active part of the sustainable lifestyle, we think it’s important for not only homes to be eco-friendly, but workplaces as well. Most of the workplaces are slowly catching onto this green wave of sustainability, but the rest of the workplaces, aren’t with the times yet! If you guys work for a company that doesn’t do their part in being eco-conscious, you can definitely help!
REDUCING PAPER WASTE
Cutting down paper waste is one of the easiest places to start! There are documents that will of course, always have to be printed- but we can reduce these printing efforts dramatically if we make a few tweaks.
- Make sure of Spell check and revise your paperwork BEFORE printing, so that only one version needs to be printed.
- Printing on both sides of the document and using a post-consumer waste paper or recycled paper.
- If your company doesn’t recycle-urge them too! Americans use about 85,000,000 tons of paper per year-this equates to 680 pounds per person.
- If you have paper documents that don’t require shredding, cut them down and upcycle the paper into small sheets and use these for personal notes or scratch pad paper.
- Paper products recycling in the past has saved more than 90,000,000 cubic yards of landfill space, so every paper counts! Designate a paper recyclable only bin (or box) to contribute to reducing paper waste.
REDUCE PRINTER USE
This goes hand in glove with reducing paper waste. Do not print things that are unnecessary, and create online drafts to preview & read before hitting that final print button. Go for printing in black & white whenever you can.
RECYCLE YOUR PRINTER CARTRIDGES
Many people don’t realize that you can actually recycle your printer & toner cartridges. Most of the time, if you purchase through companies like office depot, they offer a recycling program and charge$0 for doing so. Easily save your cartridges and toners and request a box from your office supply store. Even you can find many locations that will even pay you in exchange for your empty cartridges.
TRAVEL VIA TELECONFERENCE
You can save on travel time & travel expenses by opting in on video conferencing technology. There are several companies that offer video chatting that makes collaborating with team members in other states, and countries, more sustainable and economically efficient. Which will not only reduce the company’s cot but will reduce travel emissions due to flying & driving as well?
ENCOURAGE HEALTHY AIR FLOW
Use non-toxic or chemical-free cleaning products & encourage staff & coworkers to do the same. Minimize paper towel use by using reusable cleaning cloths to help clean work areas and break room areas. Again, open your windows! Let that fresh air flow! Designate a smoking area for employees who do smoke, away from areas where it can get inside the building
INVITE NATURE IN
Inviting nature into your workspace can have a big impact on how your company and employees view your commitment to being environmentally friendly. Follow and encourage the use of window opening to let fresh air instead of pumping the air conditioner. Get in a few low-maintenance plants-these plants help keep the air clean & purified! Grab advantage of energy efficient lighting & encourage the use of motion sensor lighting so lights don’t get left on.
BREAK ROOM SUPPLIES
Office break rooms items vary from company to company. Paper plates & plastic utensils are almost a break room staple. So, start bringing your own cutlery & reusable items to eat lunch with. If you need to buy, choose a compostable brand of items that will compost down in the landfill.
ELIMINATE THE KEURIG & SINGLE BREW COFFEE SYSTEMS
Yes, of course- we know they are quick & easy, but in the big picture, these single-serving coffee pods aren’t eco-friendly in any way. Along with all the packaging from the box it comes in, to the actual pod of coffee, only 1 part of the coffee pod is recyclable, and to do so, you have to effectively deconstruct the pod and remove the recyclable part and toss the rest in the garbage. A Good thing is they do make reusable coffee pods for these machines – this could be a good present for employees to show them that you are serious on taking your stand being more environmentally friendly. The best point about the reusable ones is that you can fill it with whatever coffee you like!
Composting things like paper towels & food waste can help reduce unnecessary landfill waste. Providing a place to compost items like food, paper towels, and coffee grinds can encourage the motivation to keep a green lifestyle outside of the workplace as well.
CONSERVE YOUR COMPUTER’S ENERGY
A computer is mandatory for many people with a desk job. It is estimated that people waste over $1 billion in electricity every year just in computer use. In order to help conserve energy from your work computers, you can invest in an energy-saving computer, monitor, or printer. In fact, these are usually labeled with an Energy Star label. You can also adjust your energy saving settings, so your monitors & display sleep & turns off after a certain amount of time of not being in use. Program your computer to sleep mode when you are away from it for short periods of time and turn off your computer when it’s not in use – like leaving work!
You can find so many items in your office workplace that you can recycle! If you don’t have one at the workplace– start your own and encourage others to follow. Water bottles, paper, soda cans, etc. You can designate a small recycle receptacle by your desk, better yet, talk to upper management about putting one in the break room if your workplace doesn’t have one yet.
Traveling green can and will reduce carbon dioxide gases that are released into the air that contribute to greenhouse gases. Rideshare or Join a carpool or take public transit. If you live close enough to a workplace, get exercise and ride your bike or walk to work. See if you can work from home a few days a week if your workplace allows it. Which in turn will reduce your carbon footprint, along with gas cost?
The best and charging up time of the day is usually lunch break! By carrying your own lunch to work, you can save a good amount of money by not going out to eat.
*Get your lunch in a reusable bag or box and if you bring it in a paper or plastic bag – recycle it!
*Use food containers & utensils that can be washed again
*Recycle your wallet soda cans, water bottles, and aluminum foil
*Bring your own reusable water or coffee bottle
GET OTHERS INVOLVED
Chat it up! Keep yourself involved in your green efforts and encourage others to do so as well. Plan and set up a carpool calendar, contribute your thoughts and actions on getting your workplace to recycle, or recycle better!