Reducing your office’s carbon footprint through small, manageable actions can be a smart move in many ways. If you make a commitment to “go green” at work, you protect the environment, create a healthier workplace for employees and save your organization money over time. As part of your employee development foster a culture of conservation by implementing these easy eco-friendly tips.
- 1. Reduce Emissions
Greenhouse emissions add up if every person in your office commutes in a separate car to work. The EPA estimates that leaving your car at home twice a week can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 1,600 pounds a year.
- Encourage employees to take public transportation by offering discounted bus and metro passes.
- Set up an organization carpooling chart where people can find co-workers who live nearby.
- Put in bike racks outside the office to make it easier to bicycle to work.
- Allow employees to work from home one day a week or try a work week with four 10-hour days instead of five eight-hour days.
- Consider starting an incentive program for employees who carpool, take public transportation, bike or walk to work.
- 2. Save Paper
Think twice before you hit the print button, and you can save money and trees by reducing your paper consumption.
- Conserve paper by only printing what is absolutely necessary and emailing, saving and reviewing other documents in digital format.
- When you do print, go green and use 100 percent recycled, unbleached paper and print on both sides.
- 3. Power Down
Energy costs can add up over time, but you can cut back on your bills by making a few small changes.
- Replace light bulbs with compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), which last longer and use up significantly less energy than regular bulbs.
- Use natural light from windows whenever possible.
- Turn off lights when rooms are not in use and at the end of each day. Consider putting in lights powered by motion sensors for hallways, conference rooms and other spaces that are not regularly used.
- Turn off all computers, printers and fax machines when you leave for the day. Machines that are infrequently used can be plugged in when needed.
- Go Green Meals
Make it easy and enjoyable for employees to make food and drinks at the office instead of buying meals and snacks to go.
- Buy a small refrigerator for employees to store their brown bag lunches. Stock it with milk, coffee creamer and condiments for everyone’s use.
- Store reusable mugs, cups, plates, bowls and silverware in a cabinet for employees to use instead of disposable materials.
- Buy a coffee pot and brew a batch a few times a day to cut back on coffee shop runs.
- Set aside a break room with tables and chairs for employees to eat lunch and take coffee breaks.
- Buy biodegradable soap, dish soap and dish towels for easy cleaning.
- 5. Recycle
Make recycling a no-brainer and just as easy as throwing something in the trash can.
- Place well-marked recycling bins for paper, cans and bottles right next to the garbage.
- Recycle printer cartridges and old electronics when they are expired.
How do you go green in your office? Add your tips in the comments.
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