Owning a business is constant hard work and a wonderful achievement. Along with that achievement often comes a sense of responsibility to give back to the community. Adopting eco-friendly measures is one way to care about the local community. A green business not only helps the environment and the surrounding community, but also improves the brand’s image. On top of all that, it often results in cutting costs as well.
Choosing to go green in your office is a huge decision, which takes time, dedication, and full cooperation from all staff. Keep your end goal in mind and review your efforts regularly, constantly looking for creative ways to make your business environmentally friendly.
If you’re ready to take your business in an eco-friendly direction, here are some fabulous green ideas and practices you can adopt.
1. Go Paperless – The Simplest Green Measure
In our digital era, going paperless is really not difficult at all – it’s rather an obvious choice, in fact. Utilize this practice to get the ball rolling by creating a more environmentally-friendly office. Once you go paperless, you’ll wonder what took you so long. The practice will:
- Reduce waste at office
- Save your expenses on paper and printer needs
- Eliminate the need for physical document storage
It’s understandable going paperless could be a painstaking process for an old-economy legacy business. You have to be patient as you go through the necessary steps. Just keep your eyes on the goal and remind yourself how much better updated digital files will be.
2. Use Motion Sensor Lights
It is a good idea to switch to motion sensor light fixtures because workplaces tend to have lots of rooms that are not in use regularly. These fixtures will turn on automatically when there are people nearby, thus ensuring you don’t waste energy when someone leaves lights on in an empty room. You can also install LED bulbs in each fixture, which would further reduce the amount of power used.
3. Maximize Natural Light
Speaking of lighting, you need to use natural light as much as possible. This means getting rid of the dark and heavy window curtains and allowing natural light to pour into the office space. If your windows are obstructed by office furniture, look for ways to reconfigure the space.
4. Turn off Computers at the End of the Day
How many times have you been the last to leave the office at the end of the day only to see a number of computers still on? This is a huge waste of energy, and there’s a simple fix. Speak to employees; send out a memo, or hold a meeting about energy efficiency, asking everyone to power off their computers at the end of the day.
5. Cut down Single-Use Items
If your office has a lot of single-use plastic items, it is high time to replace them with sustainable alternatives. A great example is the office water cooler or coffee machine. If you’ve got single-use cups for employees to use, encourage everyone to bring their reusable cups or supply each employee with one.
6. Find Environmentally-Friendly Way to Commute
This tip doesn’t directly impact your business operations, but it helps create a more environmentally-conscious company culture. The office commute gives your employees an opportunity to make a better choice and put less strain on the environment. Lead by example, and encourage your staff to commute via electric car, carpool, public transit, or bike. These are just a few great options.
Another interesting and popular option is to drive a golf cart. It’s very common to see communities in Florida, for example, where people use golf carts to get around nearby. A typical golf cart only goes as fast as 20mph, and there are many narrow streets and trails that golf carts can traverse. It’s all about stepping outside the box and looking for more creative and greener ways to commute.
7. Choose Energy-Efficient Computers
While it’s not likely that you’re going to invest in brand-new company computers if the existing ones haven’t yet reached their lifespan, be sure to choose energy-efficient models when the time does come for a replacement.
8. Introduce a Recycling Program at Office
Recycling is another great way to help save the environment that all employees can take part in. Be sure to place enough recycling bins across the office space and clearly label what each one is for. You’ll also need to look at what your city offers in terms of recycling services to be sure that your office can take part in the program. A contract with a reputed waste management company will make the recycling process even less burdensome.
9. Add Some Greenery
Did you know that by adding some indoor plants in your office space, you can reduce your overall energy costs and help clean the air? Plants are a simple and beautiful way to make an office greener. Experts recommend going for low-maintenance plants that are highly tolerant of indoor environments, and capable of cleaning the indoor air. Some great options include:
- Spider plants
- Chinese Evergreen
- English Ivy
- Dragon Tree
- Bamboo Palm
- Parlor Palm
10. Encourage Remote Work
Allow employees to work remotely whenever possible. This won’t be ideal for every business, as certain types of operations require employees to be physically in the office. But if you can give staff the option to work remotely only a couple of times a week, it will still cut down on energy use. Finally, with a part of your staff working remotely, you may also be able to use a smaller office.