Guest post by Kate Harveston
Small changes to your office can make a big impact on the environment. Recycling just one aluminum can saves enough energy power a television for four hours. We know you have already changed out your light bulbs and use energy-efficient appliances, but there are other ways to save your company money and help Mother Nature too!
Get everyone in the company on board with recycling. Install recycling stations throughout the building so that it’s easy for people to toss their recyclables. You can even earn money from your electronic or aluminium recycling.
Reducing Paper Waste
Recycling paper is one obvious way you can save trees, but there are many other ways to reduce paper waste. Use terry towels or install dryers instead of using paper towels in the restrooms. Only buy toilet paper made from recycled material.
Provide cloth napkins and table cloths which can be reused.
Use eco-friendly postage options.
Go Green in the Kitchen
Install energy-efficient appliances with an Energy Star rating. Replace the little individual packets of condiments with regular size bottles or large pump bottles at a station to cut down on trash.
Buy reusable coffee pods and have a green organic composting option.
Provide crockery and cutlery in the kitchen so people don’t rely on disposables for their lunch.
Don’t use chemical cleaning products or air fresheners. Make your own cleaners from natural products (tutorial here), make your own air fresheners (tutorial here) or buy eco-friendly products that won’t offgas into the air.
The EPA lists indoor air pollution as one of the top five environmental dangers we’re facing. Poor indoor air quality can negatively impact one’s health.
A good air filtration system, energy efficient compressors, and regular maintenance is vital. Also, indoor plants can absorb carbon monoxide and other toxins while returning oxygen to the air. Get a comprehensive list here.
As many as 28 billion plastic bottles do not get recycled every year, but end up in a landfill instead. One way you can alter your contribution to those statistics is to provide reusable water bottles and install water purification filters.
Make recycling part of the company culture. Encourage employees to come up with innovative ways to make the office as green as possible. If everyone works together, you can reduce your carbon footprint and do something positive for future generations.
Save on Energy
Appliances on standby account for around 10% of your energy bill. Use power bars with timers to turn off electronics when not in use. Ask employees to turn off appliances and computers when they are done and to turn off the lights when the room is not in use. If you are finding this difficult, install a motion sensor to turn off the lights in unoccupied rooms.
Encourage employees to walk or bike to work. Set up a social site where employees can share rides to reduce their travel expenses and carbon footprint. Allow employees to work remotely, even for a couple of days a week.
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