Introducing sustainable improvements to the office space reduces the energy cost but also improves staff wellbeing and overall productivity.
Sustainable offices are more enjoyable to work in, offer a better quality of air and consume less energy than non-sustainable ones.
There are many ways to transform the office into a more eco-friendly space. Take a look at several simple ideas that can make your workspace more sustainable.
Reduce Heating and Cooling
Although maintaining a balanced temperature that would keep everyone happy can be complicated, there is still room for small changes that can help the environment by reducing energy waste.
For example, try to limit the heating and cooling of the office thermostat, and to turn it off overnight.
Also, make sure you have your heating/cooling system checked regularly so it will remain in great condition, using only as little energy as possible.
Recycle & Reuse
Many people are interested in recycling, but they are less likely to do so if the process was not made easy for them. Add recycling bins with clear labels and simple instructions to the office, and encourage your coworkers to start using them.
Also, talk to your colleagues about reusing, or maximizing the use of items that would otherwise be thrown away such as used notebooks and folders.
Stop Using Disposable Cups
Most office spaces also have separate break rooms or cafeterias where the staff can get coffee and water.
Although taking a break with a hot cup of coffee feels good, it causes damage to the environment if you and your coworkers use disposable cups made of plastic or styrofoam. Such single-use cups are not biodegradable and they end up polluting oceans, rivers and landfills after they’re thrown away.
Instead of using plastic cups, stack your office with ceramic cups, or make a habit of carrying a reusable bottle or a thermos.
Use Less Paper
Although we are part of a digital era, many offices still use large quantities of paper on a daily basis.
Not only that the excess use of paper is damaging to the environment, but it is also not a very secure way to store information. Instead, try to digitise information whenever you can.
Of course, there is a certain amount of documents that have to be printed, and when that happens, make sure you use duplex printing. Printing on both sides of the paper will cut your paper use in half.
Unplug the Unused Devices
At the end of the day, make sure you turn off all the electronic devices such as computers, printers and copiers that do not have to be left on.
Since the computers are sometimes used periodically, it is a good idea to set them to the energy-efficient mode and let the monitors shut off after some idle time.
Turn to Eco-Friendly Cleaning Products
Most of the commonly used cleaning products contain chemicals that can be harmful to the environment.
Suggesting your cleaning agency to start using eco-friendly products, or turning to a company that already does is another great step towards a sustainable office.
Switch to Energy-Efficient Devices
Replacing computers, air conditioners, lunchroom appliances and other devices with more energy-efficient alternatives can make a long-term difference in energy consumption. Before making a purchase, always check the energy use ratings.
Additionally, you can check the lighting options, too. Depending on the light bulbs that you currently use, you may be able to switch to more energy-efficient ones.
Buying several new appliances at once may be a bit costly, but it will save you money in future.
Bring Plants to the Office
Indoor plants will bring multiple benefits to your office space. They improve the air quality, which has a positive effect on the health of the entire office staff.
Greenery also makes the office interior more attractive and lightens the overall mood.
When you decide to add plants to the office, choose less demanding ones that do not require constant care. There will be days when there is no one to water them, weekends for example, and you will want your plants to last for a long time.
Use More Natural Light
If your office is exposed to natural light, turn off the light bulbs and make use of it whenever you can. This step will reduce energy usage and help you save money on electricity.
If the office space has very little natural light, you can still make a change with small tweaks such as lighter wall colours and mirrors strategically placed around the office to increase the amount of light.
In case there is no natural light in the office, you can choose to switch to LED lighting and still make a difference.
There are many ways to make your office space more sustainable. Start with simple steps and build your way up to an eco-friendly work environment.
Going green will benefit you and your coworkers, as well as the health of our planet.