Going “green” has now become a way of life. A green home means a better environment, but since most of our day is spent at work, changes should also be made at the office. Bringing a green lifestyle into an office can help preserve the environment for future generations and save you a lot of money. Here are five cost-effective and environmentally friendly business practices that can easily be implemented throughout your workday.
1. Green Your Commute
You don’t have to be at work to go green — you can start before you even get there. Transportation is one of the leading causes of air pollution and climate change. Approximately 13 million Americans carpool to work each day which may seem like a large number, but it only makes up about 9% of all commuting workers. Out of the 143 million people traveling to work, 109 million drive alone which leaves 14% who are either walking, taking a bus or riding a bike to work. By carpooling, you and your co-workers will be saving money and gas while also promoting sustainability.
2. Go Paperless
Although most people have already hopped on the digital train, the average office worker still uses an astounding 10,000 sheets of paper every year. Additionally, 45% of printed paper ends up in the trash by the end of the workday. Needless to say, by going fully digital, you can reduce paper waste and save a lot of money. Almost anything can be done on a computer, such as filing or sharing documents, and switching to digital has never been easier. Share internal documents using Google Docs or other document sharing services, such as Dropbox, and start storing your files digitally to minimize, or perhaps eliminate, printing at work.
3. Redesign the Office
There are unlimited possibilities to revamp your workspace in order to make it more environmentally friendly. Start with purchasing recycled furniture, such as office chairs and desks, which could also save you a lot of money. Herman-Miller and Steelcase are two successful furniture companies that are built around environmental responsibility and have affordable and recycled equipment for the office. You can also conserve energy by letting in natural lighting and upgrade to energy efficient windows that keep the summer heat out. Finally, you can turn your workspace green (literally) by placing indoor plants around the office and at your desk for healthier airflow.
4. Unplug and Switch Off Devices
A computer monitor left on overnight wastes enough electricity to laser print over 500 pages. Yet over 50% of all office devices in the U.S. are left on overnight and over weekends. It takes less than five minutes to switch off your computer, unplug devices (such as scanners and printers) and turn off the lights before heading home at the end of the workday. Encourage your employees to follow suit to decrease your office’s overall energy usage.
5. Recycle, Reduce, Reuse
Out of these environmentally friendly business practices, one of the easiest (and possibly the most obvious) ways to go green is to recycle materials, reduce waste and reuse office supplies when possible. An estimated 75% of the U.S. waste stream is recyclable, however only 30% is actually recycled. Place recycle bins around the office that can be easily accessed, and share a list of materials that can be recycled, such as paper, cardboard, soda cans, plastic bags and bottles, ink cartridges and glass. Any old furniture, appliances and clothes can also be recycled or donated at your local Goodwill. Reduce the use of paper in the office by going digital (see #2) and, whenever possible, reuse office supplies such as old folders, envelopes and rechargeable batteries.
As a company whose signature color is green, you might say it’s in Appleton’s DNA to be environmentally friendly. A few practices we implement include shutting down computers before leaving the office, programming the thermostat to turn off when the office is closed, using energy-saving lightbulbs, tinting our office windows and of course, recycling. These small efforts can make an impact on the rest of the world. Simple changes can make a difference, a person who refrains from buying plastic water bottles can potentially prevent 129 bottles from ending up in landfills every year. So, what are you waiting for? Take the first step in reducing your carbon footprint today with these environmentally friendly business practices.
The grass is greener when you work with a professional marketing company. Appleton Creative is an award-winning, full-service Orlando advertising agency that works with local, national and international clients to deliver impressive ad campaigns, branding, print, web, public relations, social media and video services — all in-house. At Appleton, we want to learn about your business, empower your marketing team and be your creative resource. Your advertising goals are worth a conversation: contact us at 407-246-0092 or firstname.lastname@example.org.