An environmentally friendly workplace isn’t just better for the planet but also your employees and – believe it or not – your bottom line as well. It also has the added benefit of reducing risks and preventing losses as well.
Here are seven easy, cost-effective methods to help your office go green:
1. Give CFLs the green light: Switching from standard, incandescent bulbs to compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) will noticeably decrease your office’s energy consumption. Yes, they initially cost more than standard bulbs but you’ll end up saving in the long run as they last much longer. Just make sure they’re properly disposed of afterwards.
2. Turn off electrical equipment: While it may seem painfully obvious, turning off electronic equipment like computers and printers when they aren’t in use will save tons of energy and money. Setting equipment to go to “sleep” after a period of inactivity means you can reduce power without even thinking about it. On top of that, it lowers the chances of equipment shorting out and causing a fire or data loss.
3. Less (paper) is more (paper bills): You don’t have to be a mathematician to figure out that paper usage can be cut in half by implementing a “print on both sides” policy in your office. You can even take it a step further by purchasing recycled paper. While it’s marginally more expensive, you’ll still save money if you use both sides of a recycled sheet rather than one side of a standard piece.
4. Warm up to adjusting the temperature: Ever notice how there’s always at least a few people in the office who cover themselves with blankets even when it’s warm out? Well, they’re not crazy – your office is probably cold. So if your workplace can stand to be a few degrees warmer in the summer, (or perhaps a little colder in the winter), adjust your thermostat. Even a few degrees will lower your carbon footprint as well as your costs.
5. Don’t keep your love for the environment all (plastic) bottled up: Disposable, plastic water bottles should never be used. Refilling a cup or a stainless steel water bottle is much better for the planet and your wallet. While you’re at it, use a travel mug for your morning java. The vast majority of coffee shops will gladly fill a mug instead of a disposable cup – some even offer a slight discount for it. So buying a travel mug, like CFL bulbs, ends up paying off.
6. Make ecofriendly practices feel at home: Employees who work from home save gas, energy and time. Allowing employees to telecommute, even for just a few days a week is definitely worth looking into.
7. Clean up your environmental act: Non-solvent, environmentally friendly cleaning products such as washroom soap or floor cleaners are better for the planet and safer for you. Oil based-products can cause fires, while caustic products can damage equipment and buildings and harm employees.