Making the decision to be more environmentally conscious is a positive choice that may possibly involve a whole range of lifestyle changes. Whether you are an employer, an employee or self-employed you may find being eco-friendly at work can be a little more challenging but with some careful planning you can begin to make a difference.
Manage Your Electrical Use
Modern offices are furnished with banks of electrical equipment that hum and purr all day long. But do they all need to be running at night?
If they’re not being used remember to switch off all computers, printers, photocopiers and any other equipment that doesn’t really need to be left on when you head for home. If possible park them in sleep mode or simply power down until the next shift arrives.
Since the invention of the light bulb parents have complained to their children about switching off lights when leaving a room. Don’t start complaining at work but set an example by turning off lights in unused offices. It may be gloomy when the staff arrive in the morning but there is no need for lights to be burning all day long. Use your windows for what they were designed and make the most of vitamin D enriched natural sunlight .
As they wear out replace all bulbs with LED or modern energy saving equivalents. Install eco-efficient solar powered lights that charge during the day and will activate in poor light using timers or motion sensors.
Think About Your Commute
Make the most of public transport, it cuts back on fossil fuel consumption, reduces carbon emissions and air pollution and will save you money in the long term. The enhanced social aspect of using public transport and carpooling schemes contributes to positive mental health while cycling and walking to work, weather permitting, will keep the rest of the body in shape.
If your job permits it cut out commuting altogether and spend part of your week working at home.
Use Less Paper
Resist the urge to print documents when information can easily be shared through email or cloud based applications. Presentations can be produced with excellent graphic detail and viewed using tablets. Important documents can be easily signed off using e-signatures.
If you must print then always use recycled paper and adjust your printer settings to use both sides. Recycle all paper and card using clearly marked, easily accessible, collection stations throughout the building.
Use the memo app on your phone and banish post-it notes forever.
Use the Stairs
Beat the crush by taking the scenic route, avoiding the lift. It will get easier as you get fitter.
Take a Packed Lunch
Cut out food and packaging waste by preparing your own lunch. Make eco-friendly choices with what you eat and decide the portion size that suits you. Home prepared food instead of processed takeaway food will be better for you and for our environment. Use washable containers and take your own cup to work.
Use Eco-Friendly Office Supplies
Inks and toners are used at an incredible rate and replaced instantly without a moment’s thought. Ensure the inks are non-toxic and that the used cartridges are recycled correctly. Look into investing in refillable eco-printers that are more economical and efficient to run.
Bring the Outdoors In
Green your workspace with plants to remind us what ecology really is. Plants will naturally replenish and filter stale air, fix carbon dioxide and provide a pleasant atmosphere to do business. You can even create an indoor garden in a sunny corner and grow your own herbs and salads for those healthy lunches.
Making small changes to our chaotic modern lifestyles can easily make a difference towards meeting our eco responsibilities. Lead by example and before long those little changes become commonplace.