Environment-Friendly Practices You Can Do in Your Workplace

Going green can benefit your business in many ways. It can help reduce your carbon footprint, cut back your overhead expenses, and increase your productivity at workplace. Moreover, an increase in profit is also possible as a Nielsen study revealed that 55 percent of online consumers worldwide preferred environmentally responsible companies.

As such, it makes perfect sense for businesses to go green in the office. Here are some tips that will help you get started on being environment-friendly at your own workplace today.

Use sustainable office supplies at your workplace

When producing paper sheets, manufacturers bleach the pulp to give it a pure white appearance. But the bleaching process uses chlorine and produces other chemical byproducts, which can be harmful to the environment. Look for alternatives like chlorine-free paper instead. You can also opt for other sustainable paper products, like those produced from farmed trees and those manufactured from post-consumer recycled fiber

If office workers need paper, then they most certainly need printer ink and toner. However, old printer cartridges greatly contribute to the amount of e-waste that is already in landfills, and their plastic and metal components take many decades to decompose.

You can help address this situation by purchasing recycled office supplies like remanufactured ink and toner cartridges. These high-quality recycled printer cartridges are more sustainable because they are reprocessed from old, empty cartridges.
Instead of sitting in landfills, these used cartridges are salvaged, disassembled,
thoroughly cleaned, and refilled with ink.

Because remanufactured printer cartridges offer considerable savings and work just as well as products made by original equipment manufacturers (OEM), even the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency endorses their use. Variants for well-known brands like Canon, Hewlett-Packard, and Brother are also available.

Go digital

The average office worker in the U.S. uses about 10,000 sheets of copy paper every year, and about 45% of those sheets just end up in the trash bin. This amounts to more than 25% of municipal solid waste.  This staggering amount of wasted paper can be reduced by going digital. While using up paper for printing out documents cannot be avoided, you should do so only when it’s necessary. Consider utilizing email to distribute documents or setting up a centralized information-sharing system online.

Reuse

Avoid disposable items such as plastic cutlery and paper cups in the office pantry. Encourage your staff to use their own mugs or to bring their own washable eating utensils instead.

You can also reuse paper sheets that have only one side printed on, or repurpose other office supplies. Purchasing refillable markers and pens is also a good way to save money while being more environment-friendly.  Through this, you will only be spending on refills rather than restocking new items to replace those that people lose or throw away.

Choose upcycled furnishings and fixtures

One good way businesses can help in the reduction of resource wastage is by opting for furniture and architectural elements that are made from reclaimed materials. These days, you can obtain flooring, desks, chairs, lighting fixtures, and many other essentials from manufacturers that specialize in upcycling old wood, metal, and glass. These products are typically incorporated by designers to give office environments an industrial or rustic look, thus imbuing them with a warm and comfortable atmosphere.

An important factor to consider when choosing furniture is the substances it can release into the air through off-gassing. Almost all furniture types, no matter the material, off-gasses. Some of these substances aren’t necessarily harmful, but furnishings made from synthetic materials can release indoor pollutants into the air. Upholstered furniture, for example, is likely to contain volatile organic compounds.

Place plants in your office

Adding a few touches of green in your office can make the air cleaner. Plants can absorb carbon dioxide and many other indoor air pollutants. It can also provide positive psychological benefits by helping lower stress and anxiety among employees.

If you decide on introducing plants into your working environment, opt for low-maintenance but resilient variants that require little care and can survive without much sunlight.

When it comes to being environment-friendly in the office, everyone can do their own share. Whether it’s reducing the amount of waste one produces or consciously making choices in favor of more sustainable alternatives to traditional workplace necessities, every little thing counts. Encourage your work colleagues to go green today.

Dragan Sutevski

Posted by Dragan Sutevski

Dragan Sutevski is a founder and CEO of Sutevski Consulting, creating business excellence through innovative thinking. Get more from Dragan on Twitter. Contact Dragan