Green looks good on you! Take your sustainability efforts one step further and bring them to your workplace or home office. From ditching plastic cups to adding plants to your desk, your actions can go a long way in promoting a greener, more eco-friendly environment. Making small changes in your daily habits can make a big impact on the environment. Not to mention the good influence you’ll be on your coworkers.
Earth Day is a special day to remind us to protect the Earth and choose to live a greener life. Small changes evolve into daily habits which only help you make a greener impact on the world. Hit “Yes” on the paperless option for your bills and let’s add a pop of green to your workspace.
Tips to Promote an Eco-friendlier Workplace
Not sure where to start? Here are ten easy ideas to help you clean up your space for a more sustainable work environment.
Tip #1: Go paperless
Paper accounts for 26% of total waste at landfills. One of the easiest and best ways to go green in the office is to stop using paper (unless you really need to). Everything is digitized and found on the cloud, so ditch the printer and share your meeting notes on your screen instead. As some of us are remote, we will have our notes pulled up in any case. Less paper means less clutter, something you will thank yourself for once spring cleaning comes around.
Tip #2: Add a plant
Spruce up the workplace by adding a plant to your desk. Even if you’re at home, adding a plant will reduce stress and boost productivity. Your favorite plant will surely be a wonderful décor piece for your coworkers to ask you about, especially when it’s peeking out during your video chats. If you’re looking for ideas, Snake Plants, Peace Lilies, and Bamboos are great options for a greener space.
Tip #3: Ditch the plastic
Do you need to use plastic water bottles during the day? No! This goes for when you’re working from home as well. Use your own mugs and glasses for water and coffee refills. While grabbing a plastic bottle might be easier, adding in short walks to the kitchen for refills is healthier for your body. If bringing your lunch or eating at home, use Tupperware or non-disposable utensils that you can wash later instead.
Tip #4: Switch to green supplies
Next time you purchase a cleaning product, look at the label and make sure it’s clean and non-toxic for the environment. The nontoxic products will also be healthier for you to touch and breathe in. Additionally, opt for energy-efficient appliances and switch to led lighting to further your sustainability efforts.
Tip #5: Say goodbye to paper towels
Microfiber cloths are a great alternative to paper towels in the kitchen and are more environmentally friendly. If you work from home, you should already be using a kitchen towel to wipe off spills and messes. Additionally, if budget allows, switch to hand dryers in the bathrooms as an alternative to paper towels. Again, if you’re at home, you should be using a hand towel to dry your hands.
Tip #6: Switch off
When leaving any room with a light, switch it off. It might even be a good idea to install motion-activated lights to help those of us who might be on the forgetful side. You must also turn off computers and other devices completely instead of leaving them in standby mode when not in use. The switching off rule even applies to the faucet – make sure you turn off the water completely to avoid waste. Additionally, try to keep an eye on the thermostat, especially in the summer months. While you might want to cool down, you don’t need to create arctic conditions. Choose a reasonable temperature that will save energy (and save your electricity bill).
Tip #7: Encourage sustainable commutes
If the office is not remote, give your employees and coworkers one day in the week to work from home to reduce emissions from commutes. Encourage employees and coworkers who live close by to bike to work, if possible. As a plus, opting to walk or bike is also more beneficial for all of our physical and mental health. Additionally, if you work remotely and want to grab lunch, try to walk or bike to the café instead of heading to your car.
Tip #8: Recycle properly
Before throwing anything away into the blue bin, make sure the item can in fact be recycled. To further help with accurate recycling, check to see if items can be reused before being recycled. If you have items, you don’t need and are ready to throw away, check to see if your coworker or other friends might benefit from your donation instead.
Tip #9: Use natural light
Open your shades and take advantage of the sun! Natural light is good for you and will also boost your mood and immune system (hello vitamin D). Taking in that sun will also save you from high electricity bills. If your office, whether it’s at home or in a building, does not get much light, you can use LED lighting to help with your energy use.
Tip #10: Plan monthly green challenges
Get all your employees and coworkers involved! Plan monthly challenges where you can encourage your coworkers not to use plastic utensils or invest in reusable water bottles. If budget permits, add a little gift card to the mix and see how quickly you’ll have people participating.
Green is In
Your sustainability efforts will be contagious and can be practiced at the office or even at home where your whole family can join in. Your friends, colleagues and family members will catch on, making everyone around you more conscious and less wasteful in the long run. Isn’t that such a good feeling?
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