When most people begin thinking about how to reduce their carbon footprints, they typically don’t associate their place of employment with the environment.
However, if you were to take a little bit of time to do some research, you’d discover that there are a tremendous number of opportunities to make your workplace more eco-friendly.
Since you spend the majority of your time at work, doesn’t it make sense to create an environmentally-friendly office space?
We all create more of a carbon footprint at work than we do at home.
Ironically, most of us are creating greener homes and doing nothing to improve the work environment.
This is because we’re not aware of the thought that hasn’t crossed our minds.
Of course, when you’re working for someone else or a company, you’re limited on what you’re allowed to do.
Nonetheless, it’s better to do something than nothing at all, because every effort to reduce your carbon footprint helps out the environment.
Here are five ways to make your workplace more eco-friendly…
1)) Proper Lighting
Office buildings use hundreds if not thousands of light bulbs, depending on their size to illuminate the premises.
This form of artificial lighting consumes an enormous amount of electricity produced by fossil fuels, which creates tons of pollution.
If possible, you should use a natural light source, such as a window.
I know that not everyone has their own office with windows or may work in a building with no windows at all.
But, if you’re fortunate, you should take advantage of this natural light by turning off the artificial lighting.
Another thing that you could do is replace your current lights with energy-efficient light bulbs and other fixtures.
You could also use desktop lamps and install energy-efficient light bulbs in them.
If you don’t have access to windows, get your employer to consider installing motion-sensor lights that automatically shut off if movement isn’t detected for a certain amount of time.
The point is to turn off the artificial lighting and use the natural lighting to see what you’re doing or utilize desktop lamps as this will save on energy use and lower the electric bill.
Discuss this with your employer before making any changes to avoid any rule violations, and if you’re the boss, then there should be no problem with implementation.
2)) Paperless Work
Every year companies waste countless amounts of money on paper products.
Just think of how many trees have to be destroyed in order to supply printer paper, envelopes, folders, sticky notes, etc. to the millions of businesses around the world.
Some employees are conditioned to print out everything, even when not needed.
A lot of times this same paperwork ends up being shredded or thrown in the garbage.
If this describes you, before you print out any document, stop and ask yourself, “Do I Really Need To Print This?”
If not, store it in a folder on your computer or the company’s server for safekeeping just in case you need to refer back to it.
This alone can reduce tons of wasted paper and help to save our forests from being wiped out.
We need trees because they absorb extreme amounts of carbon dioxide.
Just think of the Rain Forests and the role they play in stabilizing the climate and producing much-needed rainfall used for freshwater.
Encourage your employer to convert paper manuals and other documents into digital formats that can be accessed online to avoid wasting paper.
This could save the company thousands of dollars per year because paper products aren’t cheap.
Another benefit to going paperless is that it’ll be a lot easier to keep important documents updated.
3)) Computer Efficiency
Upgrade to a new energy-efficient computer, especially if you’re using one of those old large desktops that weighs as much as a boat anchor.
Not to mention, slow as a turtle.
Those old oversized machines suck up a lot of electricity and make it take forever to get your work done.
Technology has become so advanced, that a lot of businesses are replacing those outdated dinosaurs with high-powered laptops.
Since good laptops aren’t cheap, you may have a harder time selling your employer on replacing your old computer.
When you approach your employer, make them aware of all the benefits associated with investing in new computers such as saving money on the electric bill and you being able to get more work done.
With millions of people taking to the roadways every single day to make their way to work, you can imagine how much carbon is being spewed into the air.
Fortunately, there are many options to reduce your carbon footprint related to driving to work.
Common Commuting Options:
- Commute with Co-Workers
- Public Transportation (e.g. buses, trains, ferries, etc.)
Of course, some of those options may not work for you.
For instance, some people live in areas where public transportation is almost non-existent or was poorly planned.
While others may have conflicting schedules with their co-workers, which would make commuting together impossible.
Out of all the commuting options, telecommuting is the most eco-friendly, and for obvious reasons.
Only you can choose the best option for your unique situation.
5)) Indoor Plants
Earlier, I mentioned how trees absorb carbon dioxide, which happens to be the gas that we expel from our bodies as we breathe because it’s a waste product.
You should be happy to know that plants also absorb carbon dioxide and other toxins.
This makes for cleaner air quality right in the workplace.
Isn’t that great?
Plants not only clean the air but can also improve your mood by making you feel calm and relaxed.
If allowed, you should purchase a few plants for your office space.
As you’ve discovered, there are simple ways to make your work environment more eco-friendly.
I barely even scratched the surface of what’s possible.
Oftentimes, when we think of living green things that we could do to make our homes more eco-friendly comes to mind, not our workplaces where we spend the majority of our days contributing to the destruction of our environment.
Not being aware of this fact, doesn’t make anyone a bad person.
We all must contribute to taking action, no matter how small, on saving our planet if we wish for future generations to have a healthy place to call home.
None of us have to be scientists to know that the earth cannot indefinitely endure environmental abuse and remain intact.
If a person continues to eat junk food and not exercise, their body will eventually break down and become plagued with diseases.
This same concept applies to Mother Earth.
Become a Green Living Ambassador at your workplace and encourage your co-workers to get in on the eco-friendly bandwagon.
Heck, you can even make the process fun by creating monthly green challenges by seeing who can implement the most environmentally-friendly habits.
Don’t complicate this, adopt one or two of the ways you learned about today and add more as you go.
Before you know it, all of your co-workers will follow your lead.
Have fun making your workplace more eco-friendly!