We spend roughly one-third of our time at work. That is why everyone serious about leading a sustainable lifestyle should also think about practicing it at the office, or at least those aspects which can be effortlessly incorporated into their workspace. Here are some useful tips on how to create an eco-friendly office environment that is not only sustainable but also stimulating.
In general, there are numerous easy steps towards establishing eco-friendly office conditions, such as adjusting the lighting system or using more sustainably oriented office supplies. Here are some pieces of advice that you can pass on to your superiors or even implement yourself.
Easy steps towards an eco-friendly office
One of the most manageable steps which make quite a big difference is encouraging employees to use mugs, glasses, dishes, and cutlery rather than disposables. You can even go a step further and introduce tableware from sustainable material, such as the popular Viva 2 line.
It takes just a few seconds to wash your coffee mug and there really is no need to use disposables. If the workspace is big enough, you might even consider getting a dishwasher, which is proven to save water compared to hand-washing.
There is no such thing as an eco-friendly office without plants. Make sure to place a few live plants into your workspace, which will not only make it look cozier but will also provide you with some much-needed oxygen. Furthermore, according to 2014 research by the University of Exeter, productivity rises by 15 % when work environments are filled with just a handful of houseplants,
Another way to make office space greener is by reducing the amount of paper you use. This one should be easier to achieve since - let's be frank - most of the inter-office communications can be done electronically.
What can be done in the washroom to make it eco-friendlier?
Washrooms are giant consumers of water and paper towels. There is a lot we can do to minimize the negative effects on the environment if we use cloth towels or hand dryers instead of paper towels.
Another tip every eco-friendly office should consider is installing toilets that consume much less water than normal ones. Nowadays, there are even no-water urinal systems that proved to work great and effectively contribute to close-to-zero water usage.
If there are no motion sensor taps installed in the washroom, always make sure to turn them off. And we mean turn them off completely. Did you know that a tap leaking at a rate of only one drop per second can waste more than 20 liters of water per day? That said, can you imagine how much water is wasted by continually running toilets? If you notice such a problem with a toilet, report it to the janitor, since this issue is usually very easy to fix.
If you are in charge of getting cleaning products supplies, make sure to order more sustainable cleaners. They are not just better for the environment but also healthier for everyone around.
Save energy by adjusting lighting
These ones might be a bit harder to achieve since a lot depends on the building lightening system. However, there are still ways to participate. For example, members of an eco-friendly office should defiantly be attentive when it comes to turning the lights off if they're not in use, for instance, in the washroom or staff kitchen. Furthermore, whoever leaves the office last, needs to make sure the lights don't stay on overnight.
Another thing every proper eco-friendly office should do is ask your janitor to replace all standard incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) or LED bulbs. They use around 75 % less energy than standard ones.