Whether you want to wave the eco flag, be environmentally friendly, or just want to upgrade your green credentials, concentrating on simple, but good quality strategies will reap rewards and get your company noticed.
And it’s hardly a new phenomenon. Businesses have been going green for many years now, but, just like everything else, it’s a topic that needs to be constantly monitored and updated.
Yes, the mantra ‘Reduce, Re-use, Recycle’ still applies, probably nowadays more than ever, but businesses can’t afford to waste money, nor can they afford to spend huge amounts on complex or inefficient eco schemes.
The answer is to follow some straightforward but practical ideas for maintaining a greener workplace, reducing the carbon footprint and even saving some money!
Here are 5 top tips to create a greener workplace
1. Reduce power usage
This may sound obvious, yet energy bills remain high. This is because many appliances are left on ‘standby’ mode. This still continues to draw power, which could be anything up to 20 watts. To make sure that computers, monitors, printers, photocopy machines, televisions and microwave ovens are all the way off, pull the plug out if possible rather than flipping the switch on the machine.
Even better, use a ‘Power Down.’ This is a small device that the appliances plug into so that when one is switched off, they’re all switched off. Properly!
2. Push paper use down
The paperless office isn’t here yet and there’s still a lot more that can be done. Using recycled paper is an excellent start, but even recycled paper guzzles a great deal of energy, water and chemical resources during its manufacture. Printing on both sides of the page when appropriate is ideal, but also use misprints and the back of ‘mistake or duplicate’ prints as notepaper.
When sourcing printers, ask the supplier about printers and photocopiers that default to double-sided printing; they’ll be pleased to point these out. And don’t forget that if you post out any parcels during your business, use shredded waste paper as packing material.
3. Care for the humble staple
Our friend the staple has been with us for a long time and it works extremely hard. However the staple is made of steel and like any other metal product it needs resources and energy throughout its production and transport.
Consider this – 120 tons of steel could be saved per year if every office worker in the UK used one less staple a day! Puts things into context doesn’t it?
4. Buy a Hippo
Buy a what?
We’ve all got used to turning taps off, mending drips and generally being more aware of water use, but what about the toilet? Whether it’s just the one, or several units for male and female staff, multiplying a daily flush amount to get a monthly and yearly flush volume will give you some surprising figures and shows that you’re probably using a larger amount of water than you think.
A Hippo is a simple bag that is placed in the toilet cistern, which can save up to three litres of water per flush! The toilet still functions perfectly well but water consumption reduces. Think back to that yearly flush amount. Are you on a water meter? Save water AND save money!
5. Use Social Media
This powerful tool can be a real help in not only recycling products, but in showing Corporate Social Responsibility and getting your name known.
Are you having new storage units? New seating? New desks? New anything? Just pause a moment before ordering the skip to take all the old stuff away!
You’ll be surprised how many people could re-use your unwanted items. If you’re about to throw out old floorboards, rubber matting, dilapidated furniture, appliances, in fact anything at all, take to social media! Tell everyone what you have and see what happens. You’ll be surprised! Offer it for free and people will even collect from you. You may be helping a school, playgroup or nursery, a start-up business or a private homeowner. Whoever they are, they’ll appreciate your thoughtfulness and you’ll have prevented a whole load of waste going to landfill.
Going green has never been easier. We’re doing our bit. Are you?