W e often think about reducing, reusing, and recycling at home, but what about at work? While it seems easier to just leave and forget about your job at the end of the day, many businesses could use a little greening; it won’t eat up into overtime.
Recycle paper and plastic products.
Most offices go through an amazing amount of paper. Hopefully your employer purchases recycled paper, but re-recycling is very important. Recycle paper and cardboard instead of throwing it in the garbage. Not only will you have to take out the trash less often, but the paper products can be recycled into paper again! The same goes with plastic. Bottles and packaging can be recycled by most plants. Check with your local recycling depot to find out which plastics are accepted and post notices by recycling containers to let other staff know.
Electronics are a huge energy-sucker in many businesses. Installing automatic lights that turn off when there is no one in the room can save energy in places where lights are commonly left on all day. Remember to turn off the lights before you leave for the day. Electronics such as computers can also be monitored. If a computer is not in use, can it be turned off, or put in sleep mode? Turn off computers overnight. Unplug unused appliances such as coffeemakers in the staff room when they’re not in use. Every little thing counts!
Encourage cycling, walking, and taking the stairs.
Numerous studies show the expanding waistlines of North Americans, so initiating a walk, bike, or even carpool to work can save a lot of emissions overtime caused by cars. If you work for a larger company talk to your Human Resources department about offering incentives for people who opt for environmentally healthy ways to get to work, or try to negotiate a deal on staff bus passes. When staff are on-site, encourage walking and taking the stairs instead of the elevator. It takes about the same amount of time, gets the quadriceps and glutes involved, and saves energy used by the elevator. Try a pedometer contest to see who can walk the most steps in a month.
These are simple ways to introduce greening to any business. Hopefully these actions will snowball into creating a place that is more environmentally-friendly. It gives people a sense of satisfaction and can be a great team-building opportunity.