The pressure’s on for all of us to be greener in our everyday lives. Whether that’s recycling the weekly rubbish, using less water, or switching off the lights, there’s lots we can do at home, but also at work. Here are some top tips on making your office more environmentally friendly – helping staff to do their bit for the planet and maybe help save some money too!
Come up with a plan
The first thing you need to do in your steps to create a green office is to get everyone involved. Encourage colleagues to come up with ideas and suggestions for simple changes around your place of work.
Then, discuss them and come up with an action plan. You can use this as the backbone for your green activities – a kind of checklist, setting goals and monitoring progress. Make sure this plan is a formal document, that’s clearly identifiable. Copies of the plan should be available at your office(s). You can get specially made folders from companies such as folderprinting.co.uk
Waste or not?
Depending on your line of work, offices can create so much paper. You should ask yourself each time, do I need to print this document? If you do go ahead and print, you should be thinking about using both sides of each piece of paper. Try and use the single-sided ones again.
When you do have waste paper, you should have a dedicated paper recycling bin in your office – which is clearly marked, and everyone knows it is there. The same goes for cardboard and printer cartridges, etc.
Cut water and electricity use
Cutting water and electricity use around the office is easy – and is a great way of making it more environmentally friendly. Staff should be encouraged to switch off lights in rooms which are not being used. Is your building fitted with light sensors? If not, could they be considered?
They will help to save energy in places like corridors, which are not always continuously in use.
Another way you can save energy is by encouraging your colleagues to turn off their computer monitors while they’re away from the desks and any other equipment which does not need to be left switched on.
With water, it can also be saved straightforwardly. Think about conserving it when you’re washing your hands, making a round of drinks and washing up. It can also be saved in the toilets if your company invests in the latest flushing technology.
Go green to work
Helping the planet doesn’t stop at the doors of our offices and homes, you can also green up the bit in-between. Have you thought about the way you get to work? Could you ditch the car and take to two wheels instead? Or maybe use your local electric bus?
In the office, you should discuss the daily commute together. Can anyone car share? Anyone up for organising a walking group to work? If your company offers season tickets and transport loans, these can also help. While you’re working, do you need to drive to that meeting? Could you not have an internet hookup instead? There are many greener alternatives to consider.