Office sustainability can be a challenge, especially if the building is not designed with sustainable features in mind. If you want to do your part to reduce long-term costs while also beautifying and optimizing the workplace, consider these five ways to make your office more sustainable.
Bring in Plants
Plants not only add a touch of nature to your office, but they also help purify the air. Indoor plants have been shown to remove the majority of VOCs, or volatile organic compounds, from the air in 24 hours. They can also help reduce noise levels and improve humidity levels. Plants are also a great way to boost mood and provide a pop of color. Consider gifting employees with a plant for their office space.
Implement a Recycling Program
One of the easiest ways to make your office more sustainable is to start recycling. If your building does not have a recycling program, you can start one yourself. Collect paper, plastic, and metal in separate bins and send them off to be recycled properly. You can even recycle used printer cartridges and toner cartridges for cash or store credit through some companies. Consider speaking to representatives from companies such as Mid America Paper Recycling Co. They can give you more information about the best programs and recycling options.
Encourage Carpooling or Public Transportation Use
If your employees live close enough to each other, encourage them to carpool or take public transportation instead of driving alone. This will not only reduce emissions but will also save everyone money on gas and parking fees. If your company offers employee parking, try designating some spaces for carpoolers or public transportation users. You could even offer incentives such as free parking or gift cards for employees who choose eco-friendly commuting options.
Use Sustainable Office Supplies
Many office supplies, such as printer paper and toner cartridges, can be made from recycled materials. When you need to restock your office supplies, look for products with the recycled content label. You can also look for products made from sustainable materials such as bamboo or other certified sustainable wood products. Over time, this will not only significantly support sustainable organizations, but allow for your company to boast in its environmental efforts.
Educate Your Employees about Sustainability
The best way to make your office more sustainable is to educate your employees about sustainability. Show them how their daily actions impact the environment and what they can do to help reduce their ecological footprint. Lead by example and encourage everyone in the office to do their part in making the workplace a more eco-friendly place. Consider showing informative videos, up-to-date articles, and encouraging out of office practices such as recycling at home. You could even start a point system where employees can earn prizes for completing a certain number of environmentally friendly tasks.
Not every workplace will be the same. Planning ahead and being prepared for contingencies can be your greatest strengths. Consult with your employees to learn more about their preferences and work together to create a sustainability plan that will be right for your business.
Lizzie Weakley is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and walks in the park with her husky, Snowball.