In this article I collected some tips and office practices that will help you and your team to become a more eco-friendly business.
Every little change will make a difference. You can start with something that takes the least effort and take one step at a time.
So get some inspiration and maybe you will find one thing you can implement today?
If you are a small business or entrepreneurs you can reduce your CO2 footprint by using co-working spaces. It saves you money, because you can share office supplies, coffee machine & printer, internet access, heating & air-conditioning, light and much more. Plus you get to connect with like-minded people.
Second hand & refurbished
If you have your own office space you can buy second-hand furniture, either online or from second hand stores. This will save you money and you can create a unique office space.
Also try to buy used or refurbished electric appliances, because for the production of new electric appliances important resources from conflict areas are used and the disposal of them is very problematic.
Bulbs & Light switches
Install energy-efficient light bulbs, like CFL, LED light bulbs, and halogens for significant long-term energy savings. CFL and other energy-efficient bulbs use up to 75% less energy.
You can also use motion-activated light switches in less frequently used areas like the hallway, restrooms, eating areas.
Switch to electricity providers who use renewable energy sources like solar, wind or water.
Printing & Paper
Purchase (second hand if possible) a multifunction printer rather than separate machines for different functions if you need to be able to print, copy and scan. Be sure the printer you purchase has duplexing (the ability to print on both sides of a piece of paper) and energy-saving features.
Buy and use recycled paper. Save paper by not printing everything and if you do print – print on both sides of a sheet of paper.Use one-side prints, when not needed anymore as scrap paper. Put a waste paper recycling box near the printers.
Use coffee filters that are made of recycled paper or, even better, get a coffee maker that doesn’t require paper filters. Compost coffee grounds if possible. Also put up recycling bins for glass and plastic if there is space. Empty the recycling bins regularly and organize bottle and can returns. For cleaning use green products that are not damaging to the environment.
Remote & Video
Allowing employees to work from home and away from the office can save costs in many ways. You can also experiment with allowing staff to work longer hours in fewer days at the office. Whenever possible, consider arranging videoconferences instead of having in-person meetings. It saves you time and travel costs.
Volunteer & Workshops
Volunteering can be one of the most powerful and meaningful thing you can do as a team building exercise, because it helps your team connect and really make a difference in the lives of others.
(For USA: https://www.volunteermatch.org/ )
Here are a few ideas:
Help the homeless in your community, donate blood, collect & donate pet food, join a public space/beach cleanup, assemble care packages. Another option is to visit workshops or seminars on how to lead a more sustainable life, so people can learn and bring awareness into their own lives and families.
Which means an efficient and purposeful use of your print materials like brochures, flyers or business cards. This translates into a suitable amount of prints, and trying to use the smallest size possible. By bringing the information to a point and avoiding „watered down“ information that people are more likely to forget or not read at all.
As always, this blog post is a collection of tips and information for eco-friendly office practices that I gathered from many different articles. There is a lot more that you can do, but I thought these are some easy steps you can start taking to make a positive impact with your business.
So get started and have fun!