Going green isn’t something that only has to be done in your personal time. You can apply the concepts of sustainability to every aspect of your life and everywhere that you go, and this includes your workplace too. No matter what type of job you have, there’s always something you can do that makes your work environment a little more earth-friendly. Some of the most common things include using less paper for printing, switching off gadgets like laptops and printers when not in use, carry water bottle instead of using a disposable bottle, using energy saving lights and many more.
With global warming and climate change making noise all around the world, one should provide a helping hand by being environmentally conscious not only at workplace only but at home too by making some simple and small changes in their daily lifestyle. All the tips mentioned below are pretty simple and easy to follow. All that is required is an intention to do something for this planet that has given you amazing landscapes, stunning wildlife, exotic species to look and admire. Below are 30 remarkable ways to go green at workplace and make this planet a wonderful place to live and work.
1. Change the way you commute. Using public transport isn’t as bad as you may think. It cuts back on gas and it saves you money in the long term. You can also talk to people in your neighborhood to set up a carpooling system that could be beneficial to everyone. If there are already carpoolers in the area, join in. Also, if you don’t live far from your job, consider walking there when the weather is pleasant.
2. Pack your lunch ahead of time with reusable containers. When you buy food during lunch, it’s likely that it will be packed in a bag you’ll have to throw away. If you have to do this, make sure you dispose of the recyclables in a recycle bin. If you do bring food from home, pack your food in reusable containers inside of a storage bag that can be reused as well.
3. Use reusable water bottles and mugs at work. Disposable water bottles are found all over landfills and their environmental impact is atrocious. With reusable water bottles, you save money and won’t have to ingest the invisible residue that is known to come from throwaway plastic bottles. You can also enjoy the personal touch of drinking coffee from your own mug instead of disposable cups.
4. Be conscious of your printing practices. It’s best to print using the double-sided printing option that comes with many of today’s printers. If that’s not an option, then print what you must and reuse the sheet of paper by writing on the blank side if you can. When you fax, learn ways to do so electronically. There are many virtual options that don’t require you to print paper in order to send a fax, and e-signatures help you sign off on important documents without needing to do it by hand on paper.
5. Have a personal spot for your recyclables if necessary (and encourage others to do the same). Sometimes, recycling while at work isn’t always an option. If this is the case, then you can set aside recyclable material that you can properly dispose of later, whether it be at home or dropping it off in a recyclable bin during your commute.
6. Upgrade your office decor. Suggest that real plants be placed throughout your office and other indoor working spaces. Because carbon is stored in plants, putting them inside filters the air. They also create a more peaceful and enjoyable environment for everyone.
7. Use energy saving lights. It goes without saying that anywhere we must work should be well lit, but this need can also be met in an eco-friendly manner. LED lights conserve energy and last much longer than standard light bulbs while brightly illuminating the room.
8. Make it a habit to think before you act. Have you ever thought about the reminders at the bottom of some emails telling you to consider if your document really needs to be printed? These considerations are a good practice for all of your work habits. Think about the things you do and consider alternatives that are more environmentally friendly.
9. Don’t trash gently used material and items. Donate books and manuals that could be of benefit to someone else. When you upgrade equipment, see if someone else may need what you are replacing. Oftentimes, we forget that many of the items we no longer use can be of value to others.
10. Share printed files with coworkers to cut back on how many copies have to be printed. To avoid printing altogether, create digital copies that everyone can open and read from their computers or create a presentation that can be viewed by everyone at once.
11. Have a recycle bin and encourage its use. If there is no recycle bin at work, find out if it’s acceptable to place one in a frequently traveled area within the office so that everyone can be prompted to use it. Spread the word that there is a recycle bin in the office if one has to be newly added. Then, by placing it in clear view of everyone, it will serve as a gentle reminder of the importance of recycling.
12. Show that recycling is part of your company values. Usually, the culture of the office is set by both the higher-ups and the employees. Offer fun prizes and giveaways as a way to show employees that you appreciate their efforts to work sustainably. If you are an employee, suggest the idea to management.
13. Make the most of paper you use. After you use one side of a sheet of paper, whether it be printed or notebook paper, it’s typical to throw it away. Along with making use of the blank side of the paper, you can cut out blank spots of paper to create a custom notepad to jot down reminders before recycling the rest.
14. Buy eco-friendly office supplies. When you buy recycled products, you support a business that values sustainability, and you are also helping to support initiatives that preserve trees and natural resources.
15. Get into the habit of turning off electricity when it isn’t in use. Turn off lights and unplug electronics when they’re not in use in order to save energy.
16. Set up a collaborative online workspace. There are all sorts of ways that team members within a company can communicate online without the use of traditional methods involving paper and limited natural resources. This also helps to keep everyone organized and on track while fostering better communication.
17. For holidays, special events and birthdays, send e-cards instead of buying traditional cards and mailing invitations. Not only are e-cards fun and often humorous, they are more environmentally-friendly than sending out paper announcements that recipients tend to discard after reading.
18. Turn computers and electronic devices completely off instead of setting them in standby mode when they’re not in use. Standby mode and screen savers still use a lot of energy. Give your computer and the electricity at the office a well-deserved break.
19.Telecommute whenever possible. Many bosses will allow employees to work from home in order to complete tasks that doesn’t require their physical presence at the office. If your boss doesn’t offer this, it never hurts to ask about it. Telecommuting is both a convenient way to work and a great way to reduce your carbon footprint from commuting to and fro.
20. Purchase gently used items for work. You would be surprised at the quality of clothing you’ll find at thrift stores that are appropriate for work, along with miscellaneous items for storage or general decor. Office furniture, including chairs and desks, can also be bought and re-purposed if desired. Shopping this way is eco-friendly when considering the natural resources that are exhausted to constantly produce new items.
21. Fill the office kitchen or break room with reusable dishes and silverware. Plastic and paper is the norm when it comes to eating at work, but replacing them with reusable products that simply require washing is a very effective way to reduce the amount of disposable products that have to be discarded.
22. Recycle old office furniture and equipment. Many times, businesses are remodeled and upgraded with the newest of computers and furniture. A very common practice is to throw away the old items. Instead, suggest that it be donated. Anything that is not worthy of donation might be completely recyclable or composed of parts that can be recycled instead of trashed.
23. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. It takes a large amount of energy to travel back and forth between floors using an elevator. Furthermore, stairs are a worthy alternative since taking the stairs is a healthier option that can help you get in better shape because of the aerobic benefits.
24. Use refillable pens. At work, we tend to go through a countless number of pens that we have to throw away shortly after use. Reusable pens simply require cartridge changes and can be used for a long period of time.
25. Use lights with motion sensors. When you use lights with motion sensors, you don’t have to remind everyone to turn the lights off in order to conserve energy. Motion lights are also extremely convenient since they intuitively know when they are needed, and they are quite appreciated by workers who are often on the move and carrying many items at once.
26. Instead of paper towels, use hand dryers. Usually, everyone at work is washing their hands throughout the day, which means paper towels are constantly in use. Hand dryers are a sanitary replacement that can largely reduce the use of paper towels. If hand dryers are not an option, put a recycle bin close to the paper towel holder for disposal.
27. Get creative. Upcycling is a fun way to reuse products without having to dispose of them. You can find inspiration for just about anything through social media sites, such as Pinterest and various websites online. Everything from old jars to random items that can be used for storage are likely to have various uses.
28. Use natural light if it’s an option. If you have various windows, or just a large window that can be opened, make use of it. Natural light adds a great ambiance to the room and is very inviting to workers and visitors.
29. Buy re-manufactured ink. Re-manufactured ink is affordable and environmentally friendly. The cartridges are also more full and producers of manufactured ink help to keep excess metals and disposables from being trashed.
30. Use non-toxic cleaning products to tidy up. There are all sorts of cleaning products that are based on natural substances instead of hazardous chemicals that are dangerous to the environment, the user, and harsh on furniture and electronics. Oftentimes, there are all-natural solutions that will work just as well as store-bought products.