Are you going back into the workplace and ready to make it a more eco-friendly workplace environment?
Maybe you’ve already been working somewhere for a long time and you think a more green workplace will help reduce some of your work-related stress.
Or perhaps you’re working from home and think some sustainable changes will give you more motivation at work.
Since we spend so much of our days at work, it’s the ideal place to target some eco-friendly swaps and sustainable habits.
So dig in for some green workplace ideas and inspiration.
At the end of the work day, turn off your computer, monitor, and mouse at your workstation.
You will save a significant amount of energy by turning off your computer every night. And since the monitor uses about two-thirds of your computer’s total energy use, turning the monitor off when not in use saves energy too.
And lastly, remember to turn off the workplace lights at the end of the day.
Did you know…
It’s a MYTH that “you should leave the lights on because it takes more energy to turn them back on than you’ll save by turning them off”.
That is FALSE!
Back in the day this may have been true but with modern efficient lighting when you turn off the office lights at the end of the day, you are saving energy. Go you 😉
Pack Your Lunch in Reusable Containers
One simple rule of thumb for an eco-friendly habit is to make swaps from single-use disposable packaging to sustainable materials or better yet, to reusable products.
For example…instead of using a disposable plastic bag or a paper sack, bring your lunch to work in a reusable lunch bag, biodegradable reusable cutlery, and reusable containers, like tupperware or beeswax wrap bags.
Reduce Waste by Packing Your Lunch:
Eating out from restaurants through take-out, curbside, or drive-throughs wastes a large amount of disposable packaging. But packing your own lunch gives you the control over what reusable materials you use to package your food.
Know What to Recycle
You probably thought of this one already… Perhaps the most obvious way to be eco-friendly at work is to recycle! Most green offices will provide a recycling bin. But do you know what you can actually recycle?
My own workplace recently created a “recycling cheat sheet” and posted it next to the recycling bin to let employees know what they should or shouldn’t recycle.
For example, did you know that you should NOT recycle shredded paper because it does not properly filter through the paper recycling mill process? It can even cause fire threats or maintenance issues at these paper mills.
You can help create a more green workspace by doing this in your own office. Do some research by contacting the recycling department in your city to create your own recycling cheat sheet and post it by the office’s recycling bin.
Adjust Your Printing Habits
We all know there are many negative environmental impacts to using paper including the obvious deforestation. You can reduce your paper consumption by making a conscious effort to keep your files digital, like signing documents electronically. You can also scan and email files instead of printing or faxing them.
When you do need to print, print double-sided. If printing double-sided is not possible, repurpose the blank side of printed documents as notes. Keep a stash of blank printed files for scratch paper or notes.
^ my work mouse uses just one rechargeable battery
Environmentally-Friendly Office Product Swaps
This is an easy adjustment to make if you want to lessen your impact on the environment for a more green workspace.
Make simple swaps for sustainable materials or eco-friendly products such as:
- recycled printer paper
- rechargeable batteries (for your wireless mouse)
- recycled notepads
- LED lights
Drive Less to Work
There has been a huge shift in the workplace in which employers are finding ways for their employees to work from home more often.
Working from home:
- saves you money on gas
- saves you time driving to work
- uses less non-renewable resources (AKA gas)
- reduces pollution
Besides working from home (when you can), other ways to drive less are to carpool, ride your bike, or walk if possible.
Add Detoxifying Indoor Plants
Plants are great for your indoor environment and health by removing harmful indoor pollutants and gases from the air you breathe.
Just like all plants, indoor plants also absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen for your workplace wellbeing.
Besides detoxifying qualities, studies have shown that plants in the workplace reduce stress and anxiety. So try improving your motivation in the workplace and reduce your workplace stress by adding some detoxifying indoor plants!
Do you have more suggestions of ways you make your workplace more sustainable?
Tell us in the comments!