We’re all really committed to making our homes as green and energy-efficient as we can, in order to save money and carbon, but we often overlook our workplaces. You don’t need an expensive overhaul to reduce your workplace carbon footprint – here’s nine easy ways to green-up your office.
Turn off all non-essential electrical equipment when you leave
You almost certainly turn off your PC or laptop at home-time, but how about the printer, the scanner, the coffee machine and the office TV? It’s surprising how much money can be saved over a year – not to mention energy.
How was your journey?
Do you live near a colleague? Can you car-share some days? If not, think about catching the bus or the train occasionally, or even cycle or walk. These last two are the ultimate in zero-emission transport (those working in the office space Heathrow Airport has around it will appreciate this tip) and they’re also good for your health and your wallet.
Let the sunshine in
Everyone needs good light to work productively, and if you can increase the amount of light that you’re getting for free, you’re onto a winner. If you have big windows, keep the blinds open as much as possible and make sure the windows are cleaned regularly. Opt for energy-saving bulbs, as these last for years and use significantly less energy.
Do you need to print?
Of course, sometimes, we do. However, most of us print more pages than we need to. Can you view a document onscreen, use an electronic signature or just print the relevant pages of a document instead? If you find a few printed pages that aren’t necessary, use the blank side for taking notes. You could also buy in refillable ink cartridges.
Cultivate some plants
Nice plants make an office look better and they also help to remove common pollutants from the air. They’re also believed to improve mood and productivity. If you’re busy, get some low-maintenance varieties in.
Bring in packed lunches when you can, and if you can afford it, buy Fairtrade or farmers’ market-sourced produce to make your food. Use your own plates and cups, as this prevents you using disposables.
You should already be doing this, but if your office is a bit behind the times, drag it into the 21st century! Offices use loads of paper and it can all be recycled. Similarly, get everyone recycling tins and plastics in the kitchen.To read more about recycling, click here.
Switch up to greener stationery
Don’t just recycle, start buying in environmentally-friendly notepads, A4 paper, pens and pencils. Try to bulk-buy as well, as this saves you money and saves the delivery company’s carbon emissions.
Have casual days
It’s not always comfortable wearing a suit – in summer it’s too hot and in winter it’s too cold. This means you have to turn up the air-con or the heating. Have a few days each month when employees can dress for the weather – shorts and t-shirt or comedy Christmas jumpers.