Inspired by Nature: How to Make Office Space More Eco-Friendly
Being ecologically responsible is something that many of us practice at home, so why not take the green mentality we have adopted and be more environmentally friendly at the office as well? From recycling to using eco-friendly products to being energy conscious, there are many ways to stay environmentally friendly even after we leave our homes for work. To help you get started, we’re giving you five green ideas for making your office space greener while simultaneously raising environmental awareness at the workplace.
Be mindful about office energy consumption
Oftentimes, a lot of energy will go to waste simply because we have a habit of leaving things on. Make it a new rule in your office to turn off any appliances or electronic devices that are not being used (computers, printers, etc.). Make sure that they don’t go into standby mode, as they will continue to consume electricity. This is known as standby or vampire power and costs consumers billions of dollars annually.
Fortunately, there are ways to prevent energy loss, such as cutting off the power or replacing wasteful appliances and devices with energy-efficient alternatives. Some other ways to be more mindful about office energy consumption include turning off the lights if you’re leaving a room, adjusting the thermostat to maximize energy savings, and having the heating and cooling units regularly inspected to ensure optimal performance.
Incorporate eco-friendly office products and appliances
As previously mentioned, older appliances require more electricity to run, so making the switch to their greener versions is a major step in making your office space more eco-friendly. When purchasing green products, you want to look for energy-saving features (e.g. printers that come with eco-mode). Nevertheless, you should aim to use printers less often in general. Making the switch to LEDs or CFLs is another way to reduce carbon footprint and make your office greener, as they have the same light output as standard light bulbs but use 75% less energy. You should also consider updating the windows and doors by weatherstripping them to prevent heat loss. Even better, upgrade them with green, energy-efficient versions.
Rely on nature-inspired elements to green up your office design
An office space doesn’t always have to rely on alternative and renewable energy sources to be considered green. Promoting environmental sustainability in your office can also be done by incorporating biophilic office design elements. From implementing green office decor and plants to using eco materials to maximizing natural light, there are plenty of ways to green up your office design and create a more sustainable, eco-friendly work environment for the employees. When designing spaces that prioritize well-being – which is the healthy building definition – consider hiring a sustainable building consultant. They will apply eco-friendly strategies and deliver an interior environment that promotes wellness, productivity, and worker efficiency through nature-inspired office design. Green building professionals can also provide valuable information on green purchasing, water efficiency, and green transport strategies, as well as source sustainable materials for your office and incorporate products that can be reused or recycled.
Consider going paperless
Even the smallest changes in the way your office operates on a daily basis can go a long way in reducing the impact on the environment. One such smaller tweak you can make is going paperless or reducing the amount of paper you use for printing. Go digital whenever possible to help reduce the number of documents being stored in file cabinets. Also, instead of printing the documents that need to be reviewed, review them on-screen. Equip the printers with recycled paper you can use when there is no other option but to print out certain files, as this is more environmentally friendly than using virgin paper. Also, printing on both sides will help save even more paper. Be sure to put a sign as a reminder for others to only rely on printers when they have to.
Increase motivation with monthly eco-friendly office challenges
Making a workplace greener and healthier place takes joint effort, and creating a challenge can be a great way to get everyone to participate. As for the challenge itself, it can be anything from incorporating Meatless Mondays to using reusable eating utensils to planting a small garden (if space allows, of course). There can also be incentives for green commuting (biking, carpooling, etc.). All it takes is a little bit of creativity to motivate others to be more eco-friendly, so take some time to come up with monthly challenges to encourage their competitive spirit. Don’t forget to provide small rewards for those who stick with the challenge!
Taking small, eco-friendly steps on a daily basis goes a long way in reducing your business’ ecological footprint and preserving precious resources. While it may take a while to adjust to these green changes, they will add up and make a big difference over time. The earlier you start, the sooner you will be able to reap the benefits of going green while also ensuring a brighter tomorrow.