As a proud advocate at my firm to have greener operations, I really enjoy learning about different ways to make the office more friendly to the environment, and it’s an area where some relatively small changes can go a long way. It’s important to generate interest and enthusiasm in the office about green issues. People usually want to help the environment, but the trick is to find strategies that compliment your business. Having a green workplace is part of our firm culture and we all take pride in doing our part for the environment.
Here are my top tips to getting your office to a greener place:
- Buy recycled content office supplies (we purchase 100% post-consumer paper). We have a near-paperless office, but our copier still gets a fair amount of work. Using recycled products such as paper, pens, and notepads is a quick and easy technique any office can use. According to Boston College, “Making new paper from recycled materials uses less energy than producing paper from virgin tree products and leaves more trees to absorb carbon dioxide in the forest.”
- Use 100% renewable energy. We have all of our power come from renewable energy sources.
- Install motion detector lights to decrease electricity consumption when offices are empty. We also installed efficient LED lights in place of older fixtures. Saves energy and lowers the power bill. Win – win!
- Encourage public transportation through reduced fare bus and light rail passes, and accommodate those who bike to work. Traffic is a problem almost everywhere, and we want to make it as easy as possible for our employees to explore other ways to get to work.
- Have re-useable containers on hand for people to use for lunches. If you have a dishwasher in the office, this might work for you. We have coffee cups with lids as well, for those mornings when you need that extra boost!
Once you spark an interest in your co-workers and tap into their knowledge and creativity, you will be surprised what other solutions you will find.