It’s never too late or too early to start thinking about the impact you or the people around you have on our environment. The good thing about eco-friendly and sustainable practices is that they have become a way of life.
People all around the world have found a way to incorporate sustainable fashion and practices into their everyday life.
You can easily go green and you can incorporate sustainability into your everyday life by trying to create a modern eco-friendly office.
Many huge corporations and industries have decided to put an end to damaging the environment by going green and eco-friendly.
If you’re looking for a way to reduce your carbon print on the environment, you too can create a modern eco-friendly office.
You too can incorporate sustainability into every aspect of your life. Check out our list of suggestions and tips on how to create a modern yet eco-friendly office.
- 1 Lower bills by limiting heating and cooling
- 2 Reduction of energy consumption
- 3 Natural light vs artificial light
- 4 The three Rs – reduce, reuse and recycle
- 5 Have you tried going paperless?
- 6 Sustainable materials and fabrics
- 7 Eco-friendly cleaning products
- 8 Bring nature inside
- 9 Eco-friendly food
- 10 Office products can also be eco-friendly
- 11 Employee commute can also be green
- 12 Small changes can have a huge impact
Lower bills by limiting heating and cooling
Huge amounts of money go on energy bills every year. If you’re planning to go green and eco-friendly, and in that way lower your energy bills, try limiting heating and cooling.
You can easily do this by installing programmable thermostats that can be controlled by time of the day as well as room-to-room. This way, you can heat or cool down only rooms that will be used and those unused or vacant rooms won’t be heated up or cooled down unnecessarily.
Similarly, smart cooling and heating systems allow you to program them so they don’t use up any energy at night while no one is in the office. And at some point in the morning, they will turn on, so that the office temperature is perfect for when the employees arrive.
Some companies even went so far as to install solar panels and wind turbines in order to save energy. Of course, if your company is not at that level yet, installing smart climate control will do its job just fine.
Reduction of energy consumption
You can protect the environment by reducing the consumption of energy. Just by looking at your energy bills, you can see the amount of energy your company or office uses.
Start using electricity more efficiently by investing in energy-saving computers, and other office equipment such as printers, monitors, and so on. You can also manage computer options to set laptops or desktop systems to hibernate when not being used. Similarly, monitors can be set to ‘sleep’ mode after not being used for a certain period. Simply use equipment that can be set to energy-efficient settings.
You can even go so far as to invest in combined heat and power systems. They are known as cogeneration as they generate electricity and thermal energy in a single, integrated system. This way, the heat that is normally wasted in conventional power generation can be recovered as useful energy.
Natural light vs artificial light
Of course, natural light is always better and much more eco-friendly than artificial light. And if you have the opportunity, take full advantage of natural light in your workplace. Put all the blinds up during the day and make sure that all the workstations are strategically positioned so that they also take full advantage of daylight hours.
On the other hand, not all offices can count on natural light. If your office isn’t one of the lucky ones, make sure you invest in smart lighting.
Smart lighting systems are specifically designed for energy efficiency and convenience. Automated lighting systems control lights based on the time of the day, occupancy, and other similar conditions. You can also use light bulbs and fixtures that use up less energy.
This way not only will you be reducing your electricity bills, but you’ll also be contributing to the environment.
The three Rs – reduce, reuse and recycle
This is something that everyone should be doing. Every company or workplace should have recycling bins for different kinds of materials. You can recycle paper, glass, food and you can even recycle electronics that are no longer in use.
Additionally, instead of disposing of huge amounts of paper, try to reuse them. Set a separate pile of reusable paper that can be used again for printing or writing notes. Similarly, you can reuse furniture instead of getting rid of it. If there is nothing wrong with a piece of furniture and it can be upcycled – why not give it another chance?
If you can try to reduce the use of plastic such as disposable cups, bottles, bags, and so on. Plastic is one of the biggest toxic pollutants, and you’ll be doing a huge thing if you reduce or even ban the use of all things plastic.
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Have you tried going paperless?
When you think about a typical office you automatically think about piles of paper documents, don’t you? Well, let us tell you that those were the offices of the past.
Modern offices try to use as little paper as possible because the paper is no longer necessary. If you too are looking for a way to limit the use of paper and unnecessary printing, try using emails and cloud storage for file storing and sharing.
Additionally, as mentioned above, try recycling and using recycled paper instead, and use FSC Certified paper as well.
Sustainable materials and fabrics
If you’re designing your office from the scratch try to incorporate as many sustainable materials and fabrics as you can. Try using different sustainable eco-friendly materials, or reuse the furniture and fabrics, repurpose wood, floors, and other materials.
For example, you can also use eco-friendly logo mats. These mats are ideal as they can be custom printed with the logo of your company, they are suitable for high traffic, and above all, they are made of natural fibres that are safe for the environment.
Eco-friendly cleaning products
It’s not a secret that many offices use harsh chemicals and highly toxic cleaning products. While the point is to keep the office place clean and safe for the staff, it shouldn’t be done at the expense of our environment.
The good thing is that cleaning is possible without the use of toxic products. Plus, eco-friendly, non-toxic green cleaners are often less expensive than dangerous cleaning products that contain ammonia, formaldehyde, and so on.
You can go green by using steam cleaners. Steam can reduce huge amounts of dust, dirt, and bacteria in any place. Plus, it cleans everything from floors to worktops. Similarly, you can replace bleach with Hydrogen-peroxide – it evaporates faster and it’s not so harsh to the environment.
Natural products such as lemon juice, vinegar, and baking soda can also be great allies in fighting grime and dirt in the office.
Replacing toxic cleaning products with green ones shouldn’t be difficult. Natural, green cleaning products are as effective as those toxic ones, but are non-toxic, non-harmful, fully biodegradable, and extremely cost-effective!
Bring nature inside
If you’re going to go green in an office – you should go completely green! So, why not bring nature inside. Bringing plants to an office can have many positive effects – from improving air quality to improving your overall health.
Plats are known to be natural air purifiers as they filter and reduce toxins found in the air. And clean air promotes better sleep, improves our mood, and relieves stress. Plus, it’s not bad that plants are aesthetically pleasing as well.
Consider decorating your office space with plants. Some of the best air purifying plants include dracaenas, pothos, bamboo palms, rubber, and spider plants, and many more. Most of these plants are easy to maintain and take care of. They don’t require much attention and if you don’t have a green thumb, you won’t have to worry about killing them.
In an office full of plants not only will you breathe cleaner air, but you’ll also enjoy the décor!
Sustainability practices can be employed in almost every part of your daily office life – even food. If you want to support healthy and sustainable office practices and reduce your carbon print on the environment, you should offer your employees eco-friendly food choices as well.
You can easily do this, by choosing to work with local companies that sustainably produce food. Not to mention that eco-friendly food choices are a hundred times healthier – so you’d be helping the environment, supporting local businesses, and improving the health of your employees all in one!
Office products can also be eco-friendly
Every modern office is aware that using eco-friendly office products can significantly reduce pollution and waste. Yes, eco-friendly office products are slightly more expensive but that is only a small price to pay for both pollution-free and a waste-free environment.
If you’re planning to go green in your office, consider switching to recycled materials, refillable ink cartridges, ethical and non-toxic stationery such as highlighters, markers, and so on.
Employee commute can also be green
Transport also makes a huge environmental impact – it creates air pollution and climate change. But did you know that you can contribute to the reduction of air pollution and climate change?
You can do this by encouraging your employees to either use public transport, carpool, or ride bikes or other sustainable vehicles to work. And for employees who have no other option but to drive to work, you can offer remote working and in that way reduce air pollution and save time.
Small changes can have a huge impact
Implementing all of these eco-friendly and sustainable practices can be expensive especially for small companies and offices. However, it’s good to know that even the slightest of changes can have a huge impact on the environment.
You don’t need to change the whole heating and cooling system, you can just reduce the energy consumption by turning off heating or cooling when no one is at the office. Similarly, unplug all the electronics that are not being used.
You really don’t need to make enormous changes to your office in order to go green and eco-friendly.
Many offices and companies are slowly starting to go green. If we were to implement only some of these eco-friendly practices we could significantly improve our impact on the environment.
Talk to your employees about going eco-friendly, try to involve them in this process of going green as much as you can. Tell them about all the benefits that the eco-friendly office can have on the environment and our planet, and not just that on our health as well.
Make it your mission to make your office an eco-friendly place. Start small and then work towards going completely green.