We all know that we should be doing our part to keep the environment safe. But did you know that going green at your office or workplace can actually help your bottom line as well?
That’s right. Just a few changes can reduce your taxes, cut energy bills in half, save you huge sums of money in the long-run, and even make your employees more productive.
Going green doesn’t have to be an intensive and difficult project, either. Here are four easy things you can do starting today to make your workplace a more sustainable place.
Encourage car-less commuting
Carbon emissions from automobiles is a huge issue, especially in the United States. That’s why one of the most impactful changes you can make is to encourage your employees to use their cars less.
One obvious solution is carpooling. Just think… If everyone in your company carpooled with just one other person each day, that would effectively reduce the number of cars your company puts on the road by 50%. Carpooling is also a great way to foster relationships between co-workers on the same team or from different departments.
If your company is in an urban or metropolitan area, give your employees incentives to take public transit more often. After all, public transit is like a mass system of carpooling. Not only will you be reducing your company’s eco-footprint, but you’ll be contributing to the local economy as well.
When the weather is nice, encourage employees to walk, ride their bicycle, or even run to work. Active commuting keeps people healthy and happy. You might want access to shower facilities for this, however, unless you want to put up with sweaty co-workers all day!
One final thing to consider is allowing employees to telecommute or work remotely when possible. 43% of Americans already do this at least occasionally. Not only does this eliminate commutes into the office, but working from home can increase productivity and satisfaction.
Use sustainable office supplies
Okay, maybe this one is obvious, but every office has something they can improve in this area.
Instead of using disposable products that would end up in a landfill, here are some suggestions:
- Use refillable pens
- Go paperless
- Choose mugs, plates, and silverware over plastic items
- Use compostable single-serve coffee pods for the office Keurig® machine
- Get a water cooler instead of water bottles
Choosing one pen or another might not give you an immense feeling of saving the planet, but decisions like these compound and add up to massive results.
And for supplies that aren’t reusable, remember that 90% of office waste can actually be recycled.
Give everyone a gentle reminder
Most people who don’t recycle aren’t out to harm the planet. Think about the times you didn’t make the most environmentally conscious choice. Why not?
It was probably too inconvenient, you didn’t remember, or you didn’t know how. Maybe it was all three — everyone’s been there.
If you have recycling bins conveniently located around the office, it’s worth hanging up a few signs. Put infographic guides on recycling bins and garbage cans so that people know exactly what to do, and circulate a memo or put a note in the monthly newsletter reminding everyone to recycle or use the sustainable practices mentioned above.
Create a letter of demand
Sometimes, no matter how much we want to recycle or engage in other eco-friendly activities, it’s just not possible because the resources aren’t there.
Are there solutions you really want to see? Write up a short letter and ask your co-workers and people from other departments to sign a petition. Then, send it people who can help.
To be effective, demand solutions that will make the biggest environmental impact while saving the company money at the same time — things like recycling bins, energy efficient light bulbs, or even a sustainable alternative to your Keurig machine.
Going green doesn’t have to be costly or complicated. In fact, it can actually end up saving money and making everyone’s life easier. Just a few simple changes can help your company support a more sustainable working environment.
Has your office gone green? What are some sustainable practices that you would like to see? Let us know — we’d love to hear from you.
Written by: Zach Thanasilangkul