Make Your Workplace More Eco-Friendly: Tips For Go Green Enthusiasts

As we learn more and more about the negative effects we are having on the environment, we are also learning more about what we can do to live healthier and save energy, instead of wasting it, in order to live more eco-friendly lives. One of the most important places to be more eco-friendly is at work. Workplaces generate a whole lot more carbon into the environment than individual homes do, which is understandable since there are more people. Make Your Workplace More Eco-Friendly

However, it does seem that people forget about being eco-friendly when they are at work. At home people recycle, they save paper, they make compost out of food waste and they walk in order to save petrol. At work, people lose this attitude, perhaps because it is their employer paying instead…

It’s not good enough. Below are just 5 ideas of how you can make your office a more eco-friendly place. In reality there are hundreds of things you can do but it’s best to start off slow.

1. Switch those lights off!

When you’re the last one to leave a room, you must switch off the lights. Not doing so just wastes so much energy. This is even more important when it’s a bright sunny day. You’d be shocked at how many offices still use their lights, even when the rooms are bright enough without the lights switched on.

To put this into perspective, it’s been estimated that leaving lights on overnight, in a typical UK office, will use up enough energy to make hot water for 1,000 cups of tea!

If you can’t rely on people to switch the lights off, install automatic lighting, which switch on when they sense movement and will turn off after a certain amount of time of sensing no movement. This is a lot more energy efficient and will ensure no lights are left on needlessly.

2. Turn that thermostat down!

Many people are very good at turning the thermostat down a few degrees or so at home but when it comes to work, they don’t care about the amount of energy they’re using up. This means thermostats are often a lot higher than they should be in the workplace.

You obviously don’t want people to be too cold but in all honestly, turning your office thermostat down by 1 degree will not make much difference to the warmth of the office but it will make a huge difference to the amount of energy you’re using.

3. Switch off your equipment if you’re not using it!

One of the biggest mistakes made in offices, all over the UK, is equipment being left on instead of being switched off. Standby setting is OK if only being used for 5 minutes but anything being left on, or on standby, for any longer than 15 minutes is simply a waste of energy.

To put this into perspective, it has been estimated that if 1 computer monitor is left on overnight, it is using enough energy to print over 500 pages.

If your office has 50 people, all of whom leave their monitors on or on standby overnight, think how much energy your office is wasting. Think how much money you could be saving if you enforce the idea of switching everything electrical off when not in use.

4. Cut down on the amount you’re wasting!

Waste is definitely one of the larger issues needing to be tackled in the workplace. Cutting down on the amount of waste is generally very easy but will be very difficult unless everyone in the workplace signs up to it.

You need to ensure you have many recycling bins distributed across the office, to encourage people to recycle any paper, packaging and other recyclables they are using. Make sure you have a scrap paper section, which people can use for printing draft materials or jotting notes down on.

You need to ensure people don’t print anything out unnecessarily, that your printers and photocopiers are set to double-sided printing and that everyone in your office makes good use of online sharing, electronic mail and the telephone, instead of printing various letters, documents and presentations.

5. Only use and purchase recycled goods!

When we talk about embracing the recycling culture, it is not just one way. Just because your office recycles does not mean you should stop there. You also need to buy in materials, equipment and goods that have come from the other end and made from recycled goods themselves.

If you are really determined to make your office as eco-friendly as it can be then you need to change the way you purchase. You must take a long hard look at everything your company is buying and make sure you’re buying responsibly and sustainably.

These days, you’ll be surprised at the number of things you can buy that have been made from recycled materials. For instance, you can find everything from pens and paper to ink cartridges, as well as just buying second-hand and refurbished printers, photocopiers and the like.

Featured images:

License: Image author owned

James writes for Jaga. When not writing about freestanding Jaga radiators, he can often be found insisting others make their workplaces more eco-friendly–whether they want to or not.


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