Until a decade ago, creating an eco-friendly office space didn’t feature prominently on a business’ to-do list. Businesses who cared about waste reduction and energy consumption were considered an exception rather than the norm.
Today, however, a nonchalant attitude towards the environment has the power to affect brands adversely; with more people becoming environmentally conscious and embracing eco-friendly practices, businesses have had to become – to quote the millennials – ‘woke’.
Here are five easy steps to get you started on your journey to going green!
1- Bring Your Own Coffee Cup
Presentations, targets, meetings, and pressing deadlines are all made bearable by caffeine, with many employees often taking a quick walk to the cafe near work for their next hit. However, did you know that the disposable cups your coffee is served in are the second largest contributor to waste in Australia after plastic bottles? To alleviate this problem, encourage your employees to buy environmentally friendly reusable coffee cups.
You can even take a proactive step and invest in some reusable cups to stock up your office’s kitchen cabinets with. Ask your employees to use these cups instead of the disposable ones that they get from the cafe when they step out to get their fix.
2- Light It Up with LEDs
One of the simplest ways to make your office more environmentally friendly is by opting for LED lights. While these lights are costlier than standard fluorescent lights, their long-term benefits make them a profitable and wise investment.
With a life of almost 50,000 hours, LED lights last much longer than regular incandescent bulbs, thereby reducing their maintenance costs significantly. Additionally, they’re more efficient because 95 per cent of the energy in LEDs is converted into light, with only 5 per cent wasted as heat. Go for LED, and the environment will thank you!
Photo by Nielsen Ramon on Unsplash
3- Don’t Print That Email!
According to research, Australia’s annual paper usage per head is 230kg, making it one of the largest consumers of paper products per capita in the world! If you’re committed to going green at your business, quitting paper and going digital is one of best things you can do both environmentally and economically. Instead of taking physical notes in your meetings, use a laptop or tablet.
Cloud computing apps such as Dropbox can reduce the demand for stationery, and make it easier than ever to collaborate with team members. Lastly, whenever possible, use post-consumer waste (PCW) paper options, as they are made from discarded paper which puts less pressure on the environment.
4- Go for Green Transport
A 2014 study found that two out of three employees drive to work instead of carpooling or taking public transport. To assist in decreasing the carbon footprint associated with vehicle emissions, encourage your employees to bike to work or set up a carpool together. Carpooling is not only an excellent eco-friendly idea but also a great way to strengthen the camaraderie among your employees.
5- Plant a Garden
As well as making your office space look lush and beautiful, indoor plants improve oxygen circulation and make the air inside healthier. Invest in a variety of indoor plants for your office, or – if you have space – grow a small garden. Give your employees small potted plants as gifts that they can place on their workstations or nearby window sills.
When running a business, making an eco-friendly office space may seem excessive and unnecessary. But, with more and more people becoming attuned to the importance of going green, adopting environmentally conscious solutions can make a significant difference not only to the planet but the way potential customers view your business too.