Make where you work nice for yourself and the environment with these 20 ways to make your office greener!
When you are running your own office, you want to make sure that you are giving to yourself as much as you give back to others. One of the best ways that you can do this is to make your office as green as possible. An eco-friendly office space gives back to others while making your workplace a healthier one to be in.
No worries I’m here to help!
As you might know, I started my career working in New York’s top ad and marketing agencies – rising up quickly to Senior VP.
But then I quit in my late twenties to pursue becoming a (hoped for) bestselling author. Plus I wanted to help people – in a more personal way – as a branding and marketing consultant and also as a personal coach. Thankfully, my career plan/dream worked out! Now I love to help people to create the career of their dreams – including creating an inspiring workspace!
With this in mind, I created this guide for how to make your office greener!
Below, I’ve put together a great list of 20 things that you can do to make your office more eco-friendly!
The most obvious way to go green in your office is to let go of the paper and go digital! You’re going to be able to use cloud storage and USB sticks, encrypted files and programs to stop using so much paper and you’re going to save a lot of money when you do. Use recycled paper business cards if you have to keep printing these, too, so that you can reduce your spend and give back. Reduce your printer numbers and increase your investment in cloud storage to make it happen.
While this is usually a tip for relaxing, you should instead use it as a tool for going green. You can switch off the computers and the lights. There’s no need to leave lights on in the office overnight if you don’t have to. Phantom power is going to haunt you if you’re not careful!
Speaking of the lights, instead of leaving them on all the time, have ones that will trigger when people walk through the office – even after hours. These can then alert to a security risk, and they’re a good solution for conference and meeting rooms, too.
Invest in the ones that don’t carry giant plastic bottles in them. You can have them plumbed into the wall so that you can get the right water flow without having to pay for plastics that you might struggle to recycle.
Paper towels are going out of fashion and they’re also a great way to waste paper. Instead of these, use microfibre cloths and towels in the bathrooms and the kitchens. These are the eco-friendly alternatives!
You’ll save on money and packaging when you buy in bulk for your kitchen and stationery in the office. Sugar, cream, salt and pepper and even coffee and tea can be bought in bulk and you’ll save both money and packaging. You can even bulk buy things like pencils and pens, which will save you a lot!
If your cleaner is not using eco-friendly products, then you should either ask them to swap or hire a cleaner like cleanster.com who will use the best products. Sponges that are plant-based, and products that are natural rather than packed with chemicals will help you to run a business that’s been cleaned in a healthy, natural way.
You need everyone feeling comfortable, and you can think about how much money you’re going to save on the heat and the air conditioning at the same time. If you can keep your office at a comfortable temperature, you’re going to keep the bills down and use less energy, too.
Washable plates are the ideal in an office but compostable plates and bowls are perfect and will come in a range of sizes. You can then use them for general office meals, office parties and during birthdays where cake is involved. You can keep the environment in mind when you use these products, and you won’t be using the dishwasher more than once per day as a result.
Plastic knives, forks and spoons are not eco friendly, so go with the reusable silverware here. If you do that, you can save money on products and you can make sure that you aren’t leaving plastic in the environment where possible. Always have a set of the reusable ones on hand over the plastic ones so that you can ensure that you are using what you need without discarding more plastics.
You need to let the natural light pour into the office as much as possible. The more natural light you have, the less electricity you need to use. This will save you a lot of cash in the long run and you’ll be able to warm the office at the same time, saving you money on heating, too!
If you have clearly labelled bins in your office, the kitchen and anywhere people congregate, you’re going to be able to get people into the habit of recycling while they are working. Helping your staff to become eco warriors is a good thing and the more that people use these bins, the better your office will be.
Pouring your hard earned profits into lunch for your staff is a good thing to do, but if you want to continue with making your office greener, you need to make sure that you are investing in eco-friendly caterers for your food and deliveries to the office. Instead of your snacks and wrappers going into the regular bins, they’ll be composted and recycled properly.
For computers, printers, copiers and server rooms, you should think about enabling power saving modes. You can do this with the light and batteries, too. Preserving the battery life and reducing the power consumption is important and when these devices are not in use, you have to ensure that you are saving money. No one wants to pay for something they’re not using.
If you keep your office at 72 degrees, you’re going to ensure that your office remains at a comfortable temperature and the higher your thermostat reads in the summer, the more energy and money you save in the long run. Even in the warmer months, it’s common to see employees wearing sweaters in the office. You can prevent this from happening by balancing your thermostat well.
You can buy into this for them if you want to make it easier, but you could get some company-marked bottles for everyone so that you are keeping everyone healthy. Reusable options are a healthier alternative for your office, and this is exactly what you want. Personalized bottles are a great form of expression in the office, and you can basically give out a free advertising tool! Bringing your own water bottle will reduce the plastic waste in the office, and this will potentially help to swap out the sugary drinks for something healthier.
We mentioned recycled paper business cards earlier, but you could also invest in magnetic business cards and even QR coded smaller cards that your team could hand out when needed. Digital business cards are the preference for most people these days, and some printers can even offer you cards on plant based paper. The point here is that you can save money and the world just by handing out the right cards with the right materials. Plantable cards made with seed paper will really make a difference and give you a leg up in being the kind of business people want to work with.
If you set up a bike rack in the office for your employees, you can encourage a cycle scheme to work and you could even use a bike as an incentive. The more miles cycled in a year wins a top of the range bike at the Christmas party. Things like this will help employees to be more active, to consider their impact on the environment and allow them to feel healthier on their way to work.
When was the last time you cleaned out the refrigerator? You have no idea what’s growing in there and there is a health hazard right in front of you. You need to make sure that you extend the lifespan of your refrigerator and that means regular cleaning, defrosting and doing what you can to save as much money as possible.
If you don’t have a mission that mentions your eco-friendliness, you need to get one done as early as possible. It’s likely that you want your employees to encourage sustainability and you want to show clients and customers that you are sustainable, too.
Being a green business puts you in much better stead and you should think about these 20 things that you can do to make life better in your office. The greener the office, the better because you’re going to give back to the world while you are using more energy than the average residential household. It’s time you went green today!