As an individual, you understand how important it is to take care of the environment. You know that your efforts, regardless how small it is, can make a lot of difference to the preservation of the environment. This is also the same mindset that led you to go green at home. Now, you’re very conscious of your food wastes, and you continually look for ways on how you can minimize such wastes. You also make sure that all of your trash is segregated accordingly. But why stop there? Why limit your eco-friendly habits at home when you can do the same in the workplace?
If you’re working as an employee or as a business owner, chances are, you’re spending most of your day at an office. You report to work during daytime and leave in the evening. And with the hours you spent there, you can still do a lot of things to take care of the environment – you can continue your eco-friendly habits in the workplace! To help you out, consider these tips below:
1.) Suggest a sustainability team in your office: When your colleagues work with you to achieve the same goal, all of your efforts can make a very big difference. And for you to achieve that, you should suggest a sustainability team in your office. This team should raise awareness and educate other staff about the environment and how damaged it is right now. This team can give their talks during breaks and lunch sessions. If possible, they can also invite speakers from different water and power organizations to assist them. This idea might seem uncommon but this can do wonders for the environment and for everyone in the company.
2.) Create monthly green challenges: The workplace would become boring if the management doesn’t think of new ways to spice things up. Of course, employees need a break once in a while! Aside from the usual perks and incentives you get while working, you can also create monthly green challenges for everyone. This is an excellent avenue to combine simple challenges and attempts of going green at the same time. You can challenge your colleagues to go a month without plastic eating utensils and whoever wins can get a free gift card. There are many challenges out there, so make sure that you scout for ones which will really bring out everyone’s competitiveness!
3.) Turn off electricity every evening: Since you’re going green in your home, turning off electricity when not in use is something which you’re already familiar with – and this is something you can also do in the workplace. There should be a strict turn-off-everything-at-night kind of rule in the workplace. This means that the last person who leaves the office should make sure that everything is turned off. This includes the lights, printers, computers and other amenities. Whoever will fail to do this should put money in a Green Jar, which the company can donate to an environment fund. This is a simple yet effective way of conserving energy. The same can also be applied to common office spaces like the meeting and conference rooms. Whenever leaving, everything in the room should be turned off – the LCD projector, air-conditioning unit, and laptops.
4.) Opt for better office products: Nowadays, you can purchase a lot of office supplies which are also sustainable products. This can be helpful to the environment, but these don’t come cheap. If the company doesn’t have a budget for any of these, opt to focus on specific areas which have a substantial overall impact. You can start by purchasing more efficient electronics and energy-saving light bulbs.
5.) Go paperless: With the advent of technology, going paperless is no longer a challenge. Instead of printing several copies of memorandums, why not send it to everyone’s email addresses? This is an easier and faster option compared to routing a piece of paper in different departments in the office. Additionally, gradually teach everyone in the office how they can keep digital copies of important documents in their computers. Not only is this a better option for storage (since the company doesn’t have to buy large cabinets), but for the environment as well.
If a document needs to be printed, print on both sides of the paper. If the document is for internal communication, make use of scrap papers.
6.) Bring a desk plant: A plant can do wonders for your mood and for the environment! Seeing green can alleviate your mood, relieving you from any kind of stress you might have in the office. These are just some of the reasons why bringing a desk plant at the workplace is always a good idea. There are many plants which can thrive indoors like mini succulents, bamboo arrangements, and potted pen stand, so make sure you find one which fits your preference. Just make sure that your company actually allows employees to bring one!
7.) Maximize natural light: Natural light can bring a lot of benefits to the body. It can set the body’s circadian rhythms which controls awakening and falling asleep. Working near a natural light also increases your production rate of up to 15%. Instead of immediately turning on your lights the moment you report to work, maximize natural light first. This can save energy and can motivate you to do more.
8.) Encourage green commuting: This is a very fun idea you can do especially if you have colleagues living near you. Invite them to carpool or use the bike when reporting to work instead of using their own vehicles. If you’re working nearby, walking or jogging are also very good options. When you and your colleagues do this, you’re saving the environment from vehicle emissions while being healthy. A morning run or jog is always a good way to start the day, right?
9.) Stop using a water bottle: It’s normal to be thirsty while at the office. And while you can always purchase bottled water from the canteen, doing this can adversely affect the environment. Can you imagine how many plastic bottles you can consume in a week, a month or a year? Invest in a tumbler and bring it to the office instead. Whenever you’re thirsty, refill this from the office dispenser. This will eliminate plastic wastes and can also save you a lot of money.
Small Efforts, Big Effects
Your home might be green already, but when you do the same in your workplace, your efforts can go a very long way. This is one way of making sure that your efforts to take care of the environment is consistent. And by implementing eco-friendly habits at the workplace, you can also influence your colleagues to do the same in their respective work areas and even in their homes!
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