9 Ways to Keep Your Workspace Environmentally Friendly

by Laika Deunert

There are plenty of opportunities in your office to go green. And in today’s climate —literally— it’s essential to take them. Businesses today are realizing how important it is to have a hand in helping the planet by reducing their carbon footprint and creating an environmentally friendly workspace. Going green aids in the battle against climate change, and it also helps create a healthy space for you and your coworkers.

And did we mention that being environmentally friendly can also help reduce your monthly expenses?

Going green isn’t as scary as you may think. There are hundreds of small things you can do around your office to make it more eco-friendly. All it takes is getting into the habit of doing a few of them to make a difference. This list provides an assortment of different tips that you can use to keep your office green.

Recycle

Make sure your office space has bins for recycling. These bins should be beside any prominent garbage containers in order to encourage you and your coworkers to sort your used paper products and glass/plastic containers. If setting up multiple recycling bins would take up too much room, make a single recycling center instead.

Stay Away From Disposables

Encourage your coworkers to avoid single-use products. These include plastic straws and cutlery, as well as plastic cups, paper coffee cups, and plastic/paper plates. You can effectively reduce your trash accumulation and your carbon footprint by utilizing items that you can wash and reuse. Bring travel mugs and metal water bottles to work to save your office the trouble of getting rid of disposables.

Use Recycled Paper

Did you know paper can be recycled up to 5 times? Recycled paper requires less energy and water to manufacture. Recycled paper also generates lower carbon emissions than non-recycled paper production. Don’t stock your supply closet with normal paper products! You can buy a range of recycled paper products, including printing paper, sticky notes, paper towels, tissues, and even binders. 

Why not reuse what you already have? Use a box or paper file to create a dedicated spot where you and your coworkers can toss used paper. If you need something to scribble on later, you can take a piece of paper from this pile instead of using a brand new sheet.

Go Paperless

It’s never been easier to reduce your business’ paper use. Try to only print out documents and emails if it’s necessary. If you need to convey information to a group during a meeting or presentation, consider using a computer or a projector instead of printing and handing out information packets. When you can, have receipts and invoices emailed to you. Opt to store these documents on your computer and back up the information via flash drive.

Have Plants in the Office

Make sure that your workspace has plants. Of course, plants are an easy way to make your office beautiful. But plants can do so much more for you and your coworkers than add a stylish flair. Plants clean the air by absorbing carbon dioxide and turning it into clean oxygen. Plants also help to reduce sickness and fatigue, as well as boost levels of productivity.

Make Your Printer Green

Green printing doesn’t have to stop at using recycled paper. Using a multifunction printer with copy/scanning functions means that you won’t have to waste electricity by plugging in three separate machines. If your printer has an eco-mode, be sure to use it in order to save ink on less important paper projects like early assignment drafts. Whenever you can, try to save paper by utilizing the double-sided feature on your printer.

Adjust Your Lighting

There’s no point in keeping the lights on in a room nobody’s using. If the lights aren’t needed, turn them off! Many office buildings have automatic lighting that stays on during the day. But if your office space has lots of natural light, you may want to find the light switch and turn lights off until they’re actually necessary. 

Replace any incandescent light bulbs with more energy-efficient ones. LED or fluorescent bulbs use way less energy than standard bulbs while emitting the same amount of light. Motion-activated lights are also a great way to ensure that energy is saved whenever possible.

Reprogram Your Thermostat

If you’re able to access the thermostat, heat or cool your office slightly. Your air conditioner won’t have to work so hard if it only has to raise or lower your office temperature by a few degrees. Turning your office into an ice-box or an oven will likely cause your coworkers to be uncomfortable anyway.

It’s also important to make sure your heating/cooling systems are functioning properly and optimally. If you work at a coworking center, these services are taken care of by your office management team. 
These are just a few ways you can help to make your office more sustainable. These tricks will decrease your business’ ecological footprint and make your workplace a healthier, happier environment for everyone. Are you and your team looking to find new ways to make your shared office space green? Talk to a representative at 360 Lab San Francisco.

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