Living green has been an ‘it’ thing ever since Al Gore broke the devastating news some years ago that global warming has been taking over the Earth more now than ever before. Well, if you just step outside for 5 seconds, you can already know what I’m talking about.
Practicing green living at home is great, but what about the other places where we spend most of our time in? Let’s say our offices? You can still adopt some simple changes of habit you have at home and bring it to the office so you can be eco-friendly there, too!
Tomorrow is Earth Day, so encourage every one in the office to do their part in saving the planet with these easy steps you all could follow, not only for tomorrow, but for always:
1. Green you’re air.
Plants do more than just pretty up your space. They absorb indoor air pollution and increase the flow of oxygen around the workplace, while also preventing “Sick Building Syndrome” — a condition where off-gassing office decor, carpeting and furniture can lead to upper-respiratory colds, eye infections, viruses, and inflame allergies.
Indoor air pollution is a serious environmental problem in the world, it amounts to 4.5 million deaths yearly from illnesses caused by inefficient use of solid fuels.
2. Go paperless when possible.
Think before you print. Is this document all right to send through email? Can this document be edited online instead of paper? An average office worker consumes a staggering 10,000 sheets of copy paper every year! That’s one tree times 2.5 billion working people. Lowering your paper usage at the office would not only save the planet, it can also result to higher efficiency measures in an organization, not to mention the large amount of money you’re going to save.
So start doing little changes in your office, like increasing recycling efforts, printing less or going paperless, or reuse old paper materials.
3. Be bright about light and electronics.
Everyone knows you can save energy by turning off lights and electronics when they’re not in use. Did you know that you can actually eliminate 2 pounds of CO2 per kiloWatt-hour (kWh) of energy generated?
So if you plan on leaving the room for more than 10 minutes, you may dim, or switch off a light or two, and leave one open so people will know you’ll still be coming back.
Some countries have made a drastic change about energy saving. In France for instance, it’s the law for all nonresidential buildings to have their lights off between the hours of 1 and 7 a.m. unless there are workers present. Way to go, France!
4. Watch how you eat and drink your morning coffee.
Bringing your own lunch to work in reusable containers is not only highly sustainable for the environment (and for your wallet), it also encourages healthier eating. Another thing to do is, if you use paper or Styrofoam cups for your morning coffee, or perhaps you order one to go, try switching to a travel mug instead. By doing so, you could help eliminate about 1.25 pounds of CO2 emissions each week.
Also, coffee shops give you discounts if you use your own mugs, you you’re kind of saving money at the same time, too!
5. Use recycled materials in the office.
If you really want to go a notch higher into your environmentally friendly ways, why not use office supplies made entirely from recycled materials? This will minimize further waste or unnecessary waste of additional natural resources.
These are just a few of the numerous ways you can try saving the environment, there are still many you can do. Encourage your office management to practice these ways. Start doing it yourself, and soon you’ll inspire others to follow as well.
Let’s not wait for a global event start doing our part for the environment. We should live it every day.