With concerns about the climate, natural resources, and energy use at the forefront of everyone’s minds, you might be wondering how your workplace can contribute to the effort to “go green.” While larger-scale efforts are necessary to make major adjustments to waste disposal processes, water treatment, upgrading large buildings, and so on, there are little things that every office can do to pitch in and help. To get you started, here are several ways to maximize your office space’s eco-friendliness. As an added incentive, you won’t just be helping care for the planet; you might be due several tax credits and deductions as well for your efforts!
Let’s face it. It’s the 21st century, but we rely too much on 19th-century recordkeeping methods—namely, paper forms. While recycled paper has become more common, it’s so much better if you can just avoid setting up the circumstances for chopping down a tree. Start with paperless meetings where participants can refer to electronic documents on their laptops or observing projected screens rather than printing out one-time-use handouts. Encourage employees to send out receipts by email or text, and make more payments electronically rather than issuing checks.
Adjust the Lights
If you’ve been shutting the blinds during the day, open them up and enjoy all the free lighting the sun provides. Of course, you can keep them closed in the hotter months to cool things down, but open them up in the winter for added warmth, and adjust your thermostat accordingly. Replace bulbs around the office with energy-efficient LED bulbs and fluorescent lighting. Adding sensors that dim or turn off lights in unoccupied rooms will also do a lot of good to save energy and reduce your electricity bills.
Add Some Greenery
Some buildings have been re-equipped with green roofs. You can do likewise indoors! Set up and maintain plants around the office. They can bring beauty and charm to an office, but they also contribute to the oxygen levels and keep the air cleaner. Encourage employees to decorate their work areas with foliage as well. The variety will brighten up the workspace with their assorted blooms and make the place feel a bit more comfortable, creative, and relaxing. Don’t just stop with the inside, though. Plants make the exterior more inviting and can help bees, birds, butterflies, and other animals perform their own jobs of pollination, insect abatement, and more.
Challenge Employees To Be Their Greenest!
Here’s one more of the ways to maximize your office space’s eco-friendliness: reward employees for meeting green challenges. Ask them to come up with creative ways to make the office more sustainable, and offer prizes for the best ideas. Challenge them to walk and bike to work (and everywhere else) while using devices to chart their steps or miles, and award a prize to the winner. As for prizes, present reusable containers for water and coffee with the company logo!