It’s one thing to make eco-friendly decisions at home, but once you get to work, your green routine probably goes out the window. Though it might seem impossible to change the policies in your office, there is actually plenty you can do to reduce your energy consumption in the workplace.
These simple tips for keeping it green at work can help you—and your co-workers—maintain an environmentally-friendly office space you can be proud of!
The idle electronics in your office are a huge energy zapper. In fact, idle electronics waste as much electricity as twelve power plants produce in a year! Adjust the settings on your computers to sleep when not in use.
Create a recycling culture.
Recycling is less common in the workplace than in the home. Get permission to put recycling bins in convenient locations, and encourage all team members to (literally) pitch in.
Old electronics (“e-waste”) often contain toxins like lead and mercury. Many manufacturers e-cycle their older products—you can check their website for details. You can also drop off old computers or monitors at certain retailers or e-waste day events.
Think before you print.
An office of only nineteen people goes through one ton of paper every year! Try going paperless with digital-only documents and correspondence.
If you live close to the office, consider riding your bike or walking to work. Not only is this better for the environment, it is better for your health, as well! If this isn’t an option, try taking the bus or carpooling with coworkers to get to the office, as both of these will reduce your overall carbon footprint.
Look into flex time.
Check your company’s policy on flex time—some employers will allow you to work from home, further reducing your carbon emissions and saving money.
Enjoy the daylight.
Lighting accounts for forty-four percent of a building’s electricity use. Rely on natural light when possible to cut down on your company’s environmental impact.
Purchase or grow plants for the office.
Not only does having plants in the office increase your overall mood and the quality of the indoor air you breathe, it will help offset the emissions of VOCs and CO2 in your office.
Reuse those coffee grounds.
It’s no secret just how much coffee the American workforce goes through every day. Consider saving those coffee grounds, and use them to help feed your plants, or take some home to add to your compost bin.
These small changes can add up to a big impact on the environment. And, once you get started, you will be surprised at how many little changes you find yourself implementing in your everyday life.