Thank you Alek Sabin for providing this Guest Post.
Going green in the office space is a major trend for companies today, and for good reason. If businesses in America and around the world can embrace more ecologically friendly practices, then it can start a broader momentum towards more sustainable practices around the country, in general. To do this, it requires a cultural within a company that includes administrators, employees, and better practices.
As a start, here are some ways that you can add more sustainability within your office.
Lead By Example
The first, and perhaps most important, step in effecting any type of corporate culture change is to make sure that all management is on board. Members of senior management who are wasteful with resources or who toss their soda can into the trash will establish that as the company culture without saying a word. However, if managers uses reusable drink containers, recycles when containers are not reusable, re-uses supplies as much as possible, prints on both sides of the paper and more, the culture of the office will begin to become more and more green.
Establish Proper Policies and Procedures
Verbal goals aren’t going to really sink in or stick around very long. Only when policies are written and enforced will change take effect. Establish policies that are small and easy to follow. When they are mastered by all, add to them, until you are as green as you can be.
Heating, electricity, and water are all things that take up energy and resources to provide for an office space. Updating your office utilities and how they work can drastically cut down on waste, and can save your office hundreds of dollars, each month. This doesn’t have to be a big dramatic update, either. Even just fixing up one leaky faucet can save potentially 2000 gallons of water, every year!
Use Reusable Bottles
Discourage the use of throw away water bottles, paper cups, and other disposable drink containers. You may consider buying everyone a glass, stainless steel, or other high-quality reusable bottle. Not only will this reduce waste, hopefully it will reduce the time spent walking back and forth from the water cooler.
Going completely paperless may or may not be possible with your company, but try to reduce as much paper usage as possible. Emails, invoices, documents, and other papers can be saved electronically. Use a service that receives faxes as PDFs instead of a paper fax. When you do need to print, print on both sides of the paper. Purchase recycled paper (not recyclable paper).
Save on Resources during Lunch
Carpool to lunch, or even better, bring your lunch from home. Save some money and save the planet! If you need to buy a lunch, try the mobile food trucks if they come by your office. If they don’t, call some and see if they will put you on their route.
Install Bike Racks
Make sure there are plenty of bike racks. Encourage employees to ride their bike to work. Maybe have a company wide bike ride or race.
Upcycle the Office
You can bring a more sustainable culture to the office in the form of how you decorate and present yourself, as well. For example, using upcycled furniture in an office space shows that your company values existing products and materials, and is devoted towards preventing waste.
Upgrade to Energy Efficient Lighting
Switch out any older incandescent light bulbs to LED lights. Install timers and motion activated lights in bathrooms, file rooms, hallways, or others areas that do not get constant use. Change to low flow toilets.
Make It Easier for Employees
Make sure you give lots of opportunities to be green. Most people will not take their can do another floor of the office to recycle it. Instead, have aluminum, glass, and plastic recycling bins by every garbage can.
Form a “Green Team”
Find a few others that have the same desire to go green. Brainstorm and get their ideas. If nothing else, you will have more people to lead by example, and can kickstart a wave of passion for green culture around the office.
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