These days, most of us agree that climate change is a REAL thing — so it’s more important than ever to be aware of the carbon footprint that you are leaving on the environment. One of the best ways to lower your impact is to lay the groundwork for a healthy, green office space. Whether you’re a boss or an employee, there are plenty of different ways you can introduce greener behaviors into your organization. Here are 6 helpful tips that will get you on the fast track to a green office.
Change up your commute
American workers spend 47 hours per year on average commuting in a car. If you live somewhere that it’s possible to carpool, bike or take public transportation to work, that can be a great first step in getting people focused on creating a green office. Emissions are at an all-time high and if every company could eliminate a few cars on the road it would make a huge difference. Talk to your employees about ride-shares or possibly getting discounted public transit cards for them – many cities offer commuter advantage cards for frequent riders. Also – don’t forget to consider telecommuting as an option!
Buy Green Office Supplies
Simply making the shift from buying regular printer paper to recycled printer paper can greatly reduce the damage to the environment. For every 20 cases of recycled paper substituted for non-recycled, you save 17 trees! Recycled paper products come in all colors and sizes and meet the highest technical standards – so you don’t have to worry about making any sacrifices. And most grades of recycled paper are comparable in cost to non-recycled paper – so you don’t have any excuses.
Our team is based out of a wellness and green-themed co-working space in the Financial District called Primary, and they’ve made the conscious decision to use environmentally sustainable supplies, from the soap we use to the snacks provided, all the way to the flatware available in the kitchen!
Alter your printer settings
One simple change you can make that doesn’t require any time or money is just changing the settings on your printers to double-sided print. Most of the printing done in offices is for inter-office purposes so it doesn’t need to be single-sided or super professional. This can save tons of paper and you can always switch the setting back when you need to.
Ramp up your office recycling
Most companies have at least a basic recycling program in place for paper waste. But chances are you’re missing out on plenty of other recycling opportunities! You can recycle everything from used electronics to furniture to soda cans and bottles. If you have a dining area at work or employees that frequently eat lunch in the office, you should consider setting up an office recycling station for food wrappings and waste, too.
Be vigilant about power usage
Many companies not only leave lights and electronics on in empty rooms but also leave them on all night, every night! This is a huge waste of energy, and you can cut down on environmental impact — and also your electricity bill — by switching lights off overnight or whenever you leave a room. You should also be sure to turn off computers, printers and other office equipment when they aren’t in use.
Implement a “precycling” mindset
Precycling is the act of reducing non-recyclable waste. Basically, this means asking yourself if you can recycle or reuse something before you buy it and opting to buy those things over other items that can’t be reused. If you’re an office manager or supplies buyer, think paperclips instead of staples, crumbled newspaper instead of bubble wrap, reusable tape dispensers instead of disposable plastic rolls, etc. You’ll start to notice a reduction in the amount of stuff you’re throwing away each day!
If you want to help reduce your carbon footprint, start implementing steps toward a green office today! Talk to your colleagues or set up a meeting with the boss to get everyone on the same page about the changes you’d like to incorporate – a few small steps can go a long way in saving our earth. If you need help getting recycled office supplies, changing printer settings, or handling your office recycling, get in touch with us at Vesper – we can help!