Eco-Friendly Office Habits: Simple Steps for a Healthier Planet and Workplace
Picture source: Frezza Magazine
The adverse effects of climate change and resource depletion are becoming increasingly apparent, leading to a growing awareness of the need for sustainable practices in all aspects of life. Among many different sectors, the office has become a key factor in the journey towards a greener future. With countless companies operating out of offices around the world, these workplaces have a significant environmental footprint. Our office operations have a significant environmental footprint, partly because we consume energy and raw materials through central heating, air conditioning, computers and electricity, and partly because we produce waste (such as paper, plastic waste, cardboard waste and office waste).
Becoming a greener company involves adopting sustainable practices and reducing environmental impact across various aspects of the business. Let’s explore some of these strategies together!
1. Reduce, reuse, and (properly) recycle your devices
Reduce, reuse, recycle is a slogan that is more than 50 years old, but it still offers solid advice for knowledge workers. While we often think of this lesson learned in elementary school as something that can be applied to things like plastic containers, the tools of our trade can also be reduced, reused, and recycled.
Reduce the number of new devices you buy.
Reuse items such as charging cables.
Recycle your old technology the right way.
2. Travel mindfully
You don't need a private jet to think about the impact of your travel. The first thing to consider is everyone's commute. And there are a few ways to deal with it:
Remote work. By now, we've all learned that remote work works. So if you're able to, cut your commute some or all of the time.
Carpool or use public transportation. Companies can incentivize folks to carpool or use public transit by paying for or subsidizing transit passes or rewarding carpoolers with perks. The difference in carbon footprint is massive.
3. Switch to sustainable products
Paper products, detergents, and even restaurant takeout containers can all cause environmental problems due to the way they are produced. Paper items, like toilet paper or printer paper stacks made from post-consumer or pre-consumer waste, are a better choice for an office concerned with sustainability. Office managers can help maintain a circular economy that reduces overall waste by purchasing recycled products. Cleaning products made from natural ingredients are much less toxic than commercially produced products. Using green cleaners helps remove toxins from waterways and reduces toxic waste in landfills.
4. Be mindful of consumption and gifting
Gift giving can help build relationships, but overloading customers or employees with unnecessary gifts and unwanted snacks wastes resources and leaves the recipient with a decision to make. see what to do with them. There are many options for making employee gifts more sustainable:
Give employees a chance to opt out of a gift if they don't want it.
Offer alternatives like donating the cost of the gift or getting a small cash bonus.
Make sure your gifts are as personal and impactful as possible, so that folks use them instead of throwing them out.
Suggest that your employees donate unwanted swag instead of tossing it in the trash.
Buy from eco-friendly companies.
5. Invest in office plants
Placing plants around the office can help beautify your workspace, improve the overall atmosphere in the workplace, and reduce stress and anxiety among your employees. Indoor plants can increase oxygen levels and remove harmful pollutants such as carbon dioxide and formaldehyde. In fact, NASA research revealed that houseplants reduce indoor air pollutants by 87% in 24 hours. In addition to the positive physical effects, plants also benefit productivity. Studies have shown that workplace plants can increase productivity by up to 15%.
Source: RISE, Zapier, Medium, WORKEST