Wednesday, April 22, is Earth Day, a worldwide event that was first celebrated in 1970 to demonstrate support for environmental protection. You can be a part of the movement from the comfort of your very own workspace.
The Office’s Environmental Footprint
Little changes can make a big difference. In some cases, office environments are the worst offenders when it comes to waste and environmental damage, but that trend is changing.
The future will see companies turn to the efficient use of local resources and services to help cut the high cost of powering and providing water to buildings. Communities are looking to “buy local” and are demanding that businesses play their part in creating a sustainable and environmentally healthy economy.
So, how can you help your office become more sustainable? Check out these 10 easy tips for an earth-friendly work day.
- Use energy-efficient light bulbs or natural light. If your office has plenty of windows, make use of that daylight. If not, choose compact fluorescent light bulbs, which use 25 to 80% less energy than traditional incandescent bulbs.
- Install motion sensors in areas like storage rooms, bathrooms, and spare rooms. Timers and smart control systems turn off devices that are not in use, like kitchen and heating appliances.
- Introduce a recycling bin system. Encourage co-workers to put plastic bottles, waste paper, and other recyclables in these recycling containers to reduce waste in landfills.
- Start a “bring your own” program for coffee mugs and plates. Have a contest to see who has the most unique coffee mug and discourage the use of paper and plastic plates and silverware. The simple task of washing used dishes can save hundreds of dollars, as well as reduce waste.
- Read memos and reports online. Printing every memo or multi-page report equals hundreds of pounds of paper waste every year. When possible, read these reports and communications on the computer instead of printing them out.
- Turn off machines that use a large amount of energy overnight. Employees should be encouraged to power off their computers or put them in “sleep” mode when they leave.
- Recycle ink cartridges. Empty ink cartridges can be sold to companies that recycle them. Some companies even deliver a collection box for empty cartridges and will collect them as well.
- Start a carpooling or car sharing program. Adding incentives like gifts or rewards to those who carpool helps boost participation – plus, you’ll get to know your co-workers better!
- Reuse and reclaim. Try to use companies that reclaim unwanted or used furniture and fix them up. Not only do you help the environment, but you can get some truly unique and cool items.
- Buy local. By choosing small, local businesses, you’ll save on transportation costs and will help strengthen the health of your community.
What does your office do to help save the planet? Share your best office conservation practices with us in the comments section below.
Happy Earth Day!
Movin’ On Up is brought to you by Express Employment Professionals.