Returning to the Workplace: 5 Ways To Make Your Office Space Greener
With people slowly but surely beginning to return to work at the office, the workplace will become a second home for many. The same way we practice eco-friendly habits in our houses; such as composting, recycling, energy and waste reduction, etc. We should maintain these behaviours wherever we go. That is why it is becoming increasingly more beneficial to create a green office!
A green office is centred around sustainability. This implies that the workplace takes greater consideration of its impact on the environment and takes the essential steps to maintain higher levels of energy efficiency and lower waste/emissions.
Here are 5 things we do at Eco Four Twenty to make our office greener that you can do as well!
1. B.Y.O.D (Bring Your Own Dishes)
Paper plates and cups have a tendency to be over-used if available. It may seem easier to just toss the paper plate rather than having to wash and dry it. However, this is a destructive habit to establish in an office space. On average, the typical office worker uses 500 disposable cups and 129 plastic water bottles (that aren’t recycled) every year. To counteract this throwaway culture, we encourage all our staff to bring their own mugs, cutlery and dishes to use at the office!
2. G.O.O.S. Paper (Good On One Side Paper)
The facts are that the average office worker generates about 2 lbs., worth of paper and paperboard products every day and uses 10,000 sheets of paper per year. All that unnecessary paper waste puts a heavy burden on our recycling plants and thus, needs to be addressed. By keeping a recycling receptacle in a central location in our office, staff are constantly reminded to appropriately dispose of their waste. Furthermore, we limit paper use by communicating electronically and making sure both sides of the paper are used before we dispose of them.
3. Bring The Outdoors, In!
Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) levels are of constant concern in office spaces due to the amount of time and the types of activities that go on within them. Poor IAQ has been linked to impeding on worker cognition, focus and concentration; both of which have a direct effect on worker productivity and overall health. Aside from using natural methods to circulate air in the office (windows, drafts from outside, etc.,), we also encourage staff to bring their own desk plants! The presence of plants in the office help naturally clean the air, as well as providing beautiful decorations.
4. Saving Energy
Energy use in the office is a significant expenditure in operating costs for the businesses. In an average office building- lighting, heating, and cooling represent almost 70% of total energy use. At Eco Four Twenty, it is imperative for our staff to take the daily steps to reduce unnecessary energy consumption. Things like reminding workers to turn off lights, computers and monitors, opening/closing the blinds, and unplugging any unused equipment from the outlets are all important practices for conserving energy.
5. Eco-Friendly Transport
Depending on the distance from home to work, the average person can spend anywhere from $2,000 to $5,000 annually on commuting costs. Over time, the environmental and financial costs of commuting can accumulate into many negative effects. At the Eco Four Twenty office, we encourage staff to minimize their carbon footprint by virtue of alternative means to transportation. The office has a carpool program for employees to share rides to and from work to reduce the number of vehicles on the road. Another alternative for our staff members that are closer to work than others is to use greener forms of mobility such as public transportation or even riding their bikes!