You may sometimes look around your workplace and just sigh. That open-plan office is just full to the brim of plastic gadgets that will be redundant and replaced in 18 months, Reams of paper and toner being used up by printers and copiers, not to mention the hundreds of plastic cups of vending machine coffee and tea going cold on desks.
So, when even the plants are made of plastic, how on earth are you supposed to make your workplace more eco-friendly?
Well, it might not be as difficult as you might think. Below are two things you can do (with a couple of smaller side-tips thrown in for extra credit) to make your workplace just that bit more eco-friendly. There’s no need to worry about taking this list into your manager either, as they are both designed to save money, too …
1. Get your colleagues to ‘switch off’
This one is quite simple but will take a little bit of coordination. It’s just a matter of communication to the people who share your workspace to turn off or unplug lights and equipment when they are not being used.
Just engage whoever it is who prints off those little motivational signs and puts them up all over the office (there’s always one) and ask them instead to make up signs and banners reminding people to turn things off. As mentioned, it should have the support of management as it will lead to lower energy bills.
If you are worried about all of the turned-off lighting making the workplace dark and gloomy, a small side tip here is to paint the walls of the office space a lighter color to make the most of any natural light and reflect what illumination there is.
2 Get on Top of the Three R’s
We’ve all heard of reduce, reuse, and recycle, and as you might expect, it works just as well in the workplace as it does elsewhere. That multitude of plastic cups can be replaced with mugs brought in from home, and the same goes for bottles of water that can be replaced by reusable ones.
Clearly label and increase the number of recycling bins in the office space. It’s amazing the amount of waste in an office that could easily be recycled if it didn’t end up in the wastebasket under your desk.
This will, of course, lead to considerably more recycling than you had previously, but that can be compacted or baled. Compacting equipment such as that offered by cram a lot can compact the huge amounts of paper created by offices for collection – which leads neatly to a handy side-tip.
Another way to gain favor with your boss and at the same time help the environment is that recycling companies often pay for bales of uncontaminated paper and cardboard whereas before your employer would be charged to have the waste removed. This does vary though, so you would have to make sure this applied to your company’s recycling.