Every home in the country now has access to recycling facilities. For many of us it is the council provided wheelie bin for our tins and paper and many take their eco-friendliness even further with energy efficient light bulbs and better insulation. But what if you want to be more eco-friendly at work? Read on for five tips to help you become more ‘green’ in the office.
OK, so it will be a while before we can have a truly paperless office but there are many steps you can take towards that goal. You could change your filing system so that you don’t need paper backups for all of your files and documents. You could also encourage everybody not to print emails but to send them to portable devices (such as smart phones) instead. If you absolutely must use paper for a task, then look into the cost of buying recycled paper.
Switch It Off!
We should all know to switch off the lights when we leave a room but you should also make it your policy to turn off computers when they won’t be used for a long period. Simply turning off the screen saves some energy, but the main power hungry beast is the computer itself. So turn it off! There are other solutions, too, such as turning your thermostat or air conditioning down or even switching these systems off altogether when the office is closed.
As well as lighting it is possible to buy more energy efficient computers, printers and servers. You can even buy toilets and taps that are designed to use as little water as possible. If your company is large enough, it may even be worth investing in solar panels which will pay for themselves with free electricity.
Meetings don’t always need to be face to face. Online technologies allow you to have virtual meetings where, with the addition of webcams, you have all the benefits of a face to face meeting without the cost (both in money and to the environment) of travelling. On top of that, you will be able to get more work done in the time saved by not travelling.
There are various companies now who will help you to first calculate, and then lower, your carbon footprint. Once this is done they will provide you with some carbon offsetting solutions. This typically involves paying to have trees and foliage planted to soak up the amount of carbon which your business contributes to the atmosphere. In fact, you could even introduce some plants into your office to promote the image of a healthier and greener working environment.