Making the Office Greener
Most people feel more responsible for their activities at home than they do for the impact they make while at work. This is why it is important for companies to encourage eco-friendly behavior in the workplace. The workplace is also a large contributor to environmental issues so there is the opportunity for employers and employees to make a huge positive impact on the environment. From your office building, to how you get to work and what you do at work, we will break down how to be environmentally friendly at your office.
Let’s first start with the office building. It is important that the structure meets standards for water savings, energy efficiency and indoor environmental control. Using fluorescent light bulbs and as much natural light as possible will allow you to save a lot on electric usage. Setting up a motion sensor or timed lighting system is a great way to ensure the lights are always off when the building is not being used. In addition, having the building in a mass transit area and using recycled materials during construction will reduce your company’s impact on the environment.
American workers currently spend a great deal of time commuting to work and sitting in traffic. This wastes billions of gallons of gas, as well as many unproductive hours. Being in a location where employees can easily commute to work will benefit the planet by lowering Co2 emissions and it will benefit the company by increasing employee productivity. We can ease the strain of our impact created through transportation methods by walking, biking, carpooling, or using public transportation as a means of getting to and from work. It is the employers’ responsibility to make these options possible for employees, and it is the employees’ responsibility to take action.
Employee eating habits also play a large role in the environmental impact of a company. Eating out and ordering food to-go often requires the use of unrecyclable items and creates a lot of unnecessary waste. Bringing your lunch to work in a reusable container and bag is a great way to reduce the amount of waste you create. Also consider purchasing a reusable mug for coffee and refilling a bottle or cup for water. Employers can help out by providing dishware in the office kitchenette for employee use.
Being aware of your material usage while at work is also very important. Most companies go through tons of paper and office supplies throughout the year and there are many ways to reduce this impact. Avoid using snail mail, keep manuals and similar reading materials online, and when printing documents always use both sides of the paper. It’s also a good idea to purchase environmentally friendly materials such as refillable pens and envelopes and paper that are made from recycled materials.
Whether you’re at home or work it’s always important to be conscious of the impact you’re making on the environment. Making small changes to your daily life and encouraging your friends and coworkers to do the same is a great way to make a big impact. Check out Cooler Planet for more great tips on how to reduce your carbon footprint!
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