Every workplace is striving to be more environmentally friendly. Many businesses have implemented recycling programs and have started to purchase recycled products. Offices often have several seemingly small areas that can be made more green. There are six ways beyond trash recycling to create a greener office.
Turn Off the Lights.
The lights in an office sometimes go unnoticed during the day. One way to reduce the energy usage in an office is to turn the lights off whenever they are not in use. Installing motion detectors in large buildings will keep lights turned off when no one is in an area. Additionally, any smaller lamps and fixtures should use only compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) that consume less electricity and last for a longer time.
Any containers that come into the office holding supplies or other items should be reused whenever possible. Cardboard boxes near printers or in lunchrooms can be turned into trash containers or temporary holders for sorting mail. Offices with a large amount of these normally disposable containers can reduce the environmental footprint of the company by repurposing packaging on a regular basis.
Electronic communications should be used as often as possible. This means reading reports on computers or mobile devices. It also means avoiding creating hard copies of documents. This will help to establish a paperless office that uses very little paper and printer ink. Relying on electronic communications and teleconferencing will also cut down on unnecessary travel to other locations.
Reducing the amount of water that is used throughout an office or other facility will help the environment by preserving natural reserves in the area. Offices can reduce the amount of water each employee uses in a sink by installing effective aerators. Similar water savings are possible by installing special flushing mechanisms inside of toilets.
Use Green Products.
All offices have a number of cleaning supplies available for employees and for maintenance staff. The environmental footprint of the office can be reduced by switching to green cleaning products that do not contain harmful chemicals or volatile organic compounds (VOCs). These will protect the environment because they are easily disposed of and will not affect ground water or trigger the growth of algae. They will also improve the air quality inside of the office.
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An active step that will make a workplace greener is to maintain and grow plants in the area. This means keeping houseplants inside of the office as well as planting trees, shrubs and other greenery in the spaces just outside of the building. Plants help to reduce the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. They will also offset some of the carbon dioxide produced by the office.