There are lots of things that businesses can do to reduce the carbon footprint that they stamp on the environment. Here are six top tips to make any office more eco-friendly.
1. Go Green
Green isn’t just the colour of money; you can buy green too!
As well as recycling used materials it is also important that you buy back recycled products to complete the recycling life cycle. What is the point in separating papers from plastics if you then go on to buy new products that are made from raw materials?
Products made from recycled materials are created using less energy and save extra waste that would typically end up in landfills.
Did you know that recycled paper uses up to 50% less energy and 90% less water than paper made from trees?
Make a difference by going green and replace office stationary orders with alternative products, such as:
Recycled pens and pencils,
Recycled light bulbs.
Contact your current supplies provider and see what alternatives they offer.
2. Switch them off!
Modern offices are now typically dependant on a day-to-day basis of electrical equipment including computers, photocopiers and lighting, with office equipment counting for 20% – 70% of energy used in the workplace.
Simple tips to reducing the amount of electricity used in the office can make a huge difference to a business’s carbon footprint.
Make sure that all computer monitors are switched off at the end of each day and that each computer system is shut down. By simply leaving your monitor on overnight you are wasting the equivalent of 800 laser printed A4 pages, per computer!
The same goes for printers and photocopiers as for computers. It is best to switch them all off at night and don’t switch them on until you need them: Did you know that you would save 0.5kg of carbon dioxide per week for every hour less that you have your printer or photocopier running?
Lights are also an important factor to the amount of electricity used in the office. Make sure lights are switched off at night and try to use energy efficient bulbs wherever possible.
By following best practices for saving electricity consumption in the office you will save money whilst benefiting the environment. Train or encourage all employees to do the same.
3. Save the trees
With the average office worker using 100 sheets of paper per day, one great way to reduce paper used is by limiting the amount of printing and photocopying in the office. This can be done by sharing information in the workplace via email rather than printed out memos and a weekly or monthly newsletter that is produced online rather than in print.
Try to further reduce the amount of paper that you use when printing by reducing font size and print margins so less paper is used per document. If your printer can print double sided then use this function too.
As well as ordering in recycled paper, another great way to help save the trees is to reduce the amount of packaging coming into the office. When ordering from your suppliers request that they use recyclable packaging if available or request that the packaging be taken back to the supplier to be re-used. Ordering in bulk may also reduce the overall amount of packaging and the waste that it creates.
4. Reduce fuel emissions
Encourage staff to go green with their transport to and from the office. Here are a few ways that you can reduce your businesses negative impact on the environment.
Offer cycle or walk to work incentive schemes for staff and encourage colleagues who live close together to car share to work. Not only will they be saving the environment but they will also be saving money on petrol as well!
Using public transport also has added benefits of making travel easier, cheaper and also means that you don’t have to fight for a parking space either!
5. Economy kitchen
Economize the staff kitchen with energy efficient appliances and go for the smallest options when possible.
Set out kitchen rules for staff to follow such as only filling the kettle with however much water is needed, rather than filling to the top every-time it is boiled; wasting energy to heat water that isn’t used.
Invest in a decent pair of washing up gloves and swap disposable paper cups for mugs that can be washed and re-used again and when buying in coffee and tea for the office buy fair trade products.
6. Use recycling options
Organize the office for staff to easily recycle products used on a daily basis in the office. Set up a recycling station with labelled bins for collecting paper and cardboard, one for plastics and glass and another for food waste.
By labelling or colour coding bins colleagues will learn how to make best practice of recycling options, encouraging an eco-friendly office.
How do you make your office eco-friendly? Share your eco-friendly tips with us in the comments!
Photo by FreeDigitalPhotos.net.