Don’t limit going green and being environmentally conscious to your personal life. The concepts of sustainability are applicable in all aspects of your life, including the workplace. Where you work and what kind of work you do are irrelevant because green initiatives will work in any setting. Getting your coworkers or employees to join in isn’t impossible with some fun activities and motivation. Try these ways to encourage employees to go green. These simple and fun ways will encourage everyone to get involved and do their part around the office.
Buy Remanufactured Ink
The paperless trend is gathering momentum in the business world, but many still use paper in the office out of necessity. When the time comes to purchase more toner cartridges, buy recycled and refurbished ones. Recycled cartridges do not add more trash to the landfill, and they are cheaper.
Use Nontoxic Cleaning Products
Numerous cleaning products are made from natural ingredients and eschew hazardous materials that can damage the environment. These cleansers do not contain ingredients that are damaging to the user, furniture, and environment when going down the drain.
Opt for Natural Light
Vitamin D is great for mood and overall well-being, and the best source of it is natural sunlight. Whenever possible, let the light pour into the office. Take the opportunity to turn off office lights and bask in the warm sunshine. Plus filtered or shaded sunlight is easier on the eyes than overhead fluorescent lighting.
It is possible to go entirely paperless in the modern world. New companies with a limited start-up budget are doing it every day. The combination of email, text messaging, tablets, and digital forms render paper unnecessary. Technology already exists to eliminate paper in the modern office. Start eliminating paper by getting rid of the copier and fax machines. That alone will start to change habits.
Repurpose With Arts and Crafts
Upcycling is a fun way to reuse things without tossing them in the trash. Have a team-building arts and crafts event and let everyone tap their creative sides. Leading up to the event, encourage employees to snag things from the office they want to reuse. Pinterest has a million ideas on how to recycle just about everything.
Instead of having paper towels in the restrooms, install air dryers. Air dryers use a minimum of energy and shut off automatically. Plenty of handwashing goes on in the workplace, which leads to roll after roll of paper towels ending up in the trash. If air dryers aren’t an option, then place a recycling bin next to the dispenser.
Most offices buy boxes of pens every month. Pens get lost like socks in the dryer, and no one ever seems to have one. Buy refillable pens for the office and stop buying the disposable ones no one can keep track of. Think of the level of class associated with a fountain pen. People will be more responsible with something more expensive—at least, they should be.
Install Motion Sensors
Office lights are on a lot, 24/7 in some cases, even when they aren’t needed. Installing motion sensors in offices will cut down on energy consumption and lower the electric bill drastically. Walking out of a room and leaving the lights on is a nasty habit, and sensors will end that quick.
Take the Stairs
This way to encourage employees to go green is a double-whammy. First, they will get some much-needed exercise every day. Taking the stairs is good for the body and soul. Second, the elevator needs a lot of energy to travel up and down. Cut down on energy consumption and give the elevator a break.
Recycle Old Furniture
Recycling old furniture and office equipment is a great way to reduce and reuse. When offices are remodeled, the latest and greatest comes in, and the old is booted. Instead of sending it to the dump, sell that furniture or donate it. Many companies will take or buy old office furniture and refurbish it for resale.
No More Disposable Utensils
Office kitchens and breakrooms are notorious for waste. They are filled with paper plates, plastic spoons, and Styrofoam cups. Instead of having to refill those supplies, stock the kitchen with reusable silverware, plates, and coffee cups. Include a sign near the sink telling everyone to wash their stuff after use and head that problem off from the get-go.
Buy Recycled Furniture
When the next office remodel comes around, don’t buy new anything. Instead buy gently used desks, chairs, filing cabinets, and tables. Every day, companies across the country go out of business. That furniture was barely used and is in good shape and in need of a new home. Check out furniture resellers first and find what you need. An office can be fully furnished for a fraction of the cost.
This shouldn’t be a hard sell to employees. Whenever possible, let employees work from home. This will save on countless resources. No gas is burned commuting to the office, no energy is used to power the computer, no water or paper is used in the office, and so on. Both the office and personal carbon footprint is reduced drastically by staying home.
Turn Everything Off
Leaving computers on at the end of the day is a nasty habit in most offices. It’s easier to switch to standby mode at the end of the day and walk out. No waiting for everything to shut down and no waiting to boot up in the morning. In reality, those two functions take about a minute combined. Computers that aren’t being used don’t need to be on overnight.
Stop Sending Memos
Sending physical memos on paper is going the way of the dodo, but it still happens. Utilize online communications instead of wasting time and paper writing things down. Dozens of online platforms offer direct messaging options. And of course, email and the telephone are always available. Reduce the amount of paper the office is using wherever possible.
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