Even if you’re not in a managerial position, you can introduce your eco-friendly lifestyle into the workplace. When you lead by example, you’ll be able to influence how others conduct themselves in the workplace. You can start by following these suggestions for becoming a greener employee.
Consider How You Get to Work
Other than driving your car to work, there are many alternatives for transportation. While riding a city bus is one option, you’re still riding a vehicle that’s contributing to air pollution. If your place of employment is just a few blocks away, you can walk to work.
Alternatively, electric bikes provide a faster means of getting to work, while giving you a brief morning workout. When your co-workers see you arriving to work on foot or on a bike, they may ask to join you a few days a week.
Reuse Plastic Containers
The waste every business generates is significantly increased by single-use containers, plastic wrappers, and paper bags that employees discard throughout the day. You can reduce the amount of waste your company sends to the city landfill by packing your lunch in reusable plastic containers. This will also help you save a few bucks by keeping you from buying afternoon meals at a local restaurant.
Bring a mug from home or a reusable water bottle for beverages rather than using plastic or Styrofoam cups. If you’re looking for a cheap holiday gift for your co-workers, giving them personalized mugs and bottles will help them make this change with you.
Recycle Paper Products
Whenever feasible, your company should be using technology to keep data digital as much as possible. When it does become necessary to print documents, see if you can print on both sides of each page to limit the amount of paper used in the workplace. When both sides aren’t used, those pages can later be used for scrap paper rather than wasting more paper for that purpose.
Another option is to set up a paper recycling bin in a corner of the workplace with your supervisor’s permission. You can ask your co-workers to only deposit paper in that bin. When it’s full, you can take it to a recycling center yourself.
Create a More Natural Atmosphere
If your boss is open to creating a more eco-friendly environment, you can discuss bringing in a few natural plants to liven up the office atmosphere. You should explain to him that the trade-off of oxygen for carbon dioxide that plants provide will help improve health for everyone in the office. Additionally, the presence of live plants will boost mood and positively impact productivity. You can also push for your company to switch from fluorescent lighting to LED bulbs. While LED bulbs are a little more expensive, they last from three to five years and won’t burn as hot. This means the ambient temperature in the office will be cooler.
Additionally, fluorescent lights increase the likelihood of tension headaches, eye strain, and fatigue. The combination of softer light and the improved respiration that live plants provide will help everyone work more efficiently and help reduce afternoon fatigue, early departures, and reduced workflow.
Reduce Office Energy Usage
Aside from managers who must meet a monthly budget, most workers don’t think about how much energy they use each workday. By taking an initiative to conserve more energy, you’ll be helping your managers save on their budget. That won’t go unnoticed, so it can benefit your career down the road. More immediately, it will help you reduce your office’s carbon footprint. You can start by making sure lights and equipment are turned off when they’re not needed.
Also, look for ways that treated air is escaping the office. Simply closing a door can save on heating and cooling costs. If there’s plenty of sunlight reaching your desk, shut the lights off in your area untying they’re needed. As you look around your office, you may find more ways to use less energy.
When you start taking eco-friendly practices to work with you, each workday will feel a little better. You’ll know that you’re doing as much as you can to help the environment and local wildlife. That will give you a sense of pride and help you feel as though you’re doing something rewarding each day of the week.