International Earth Day: 5 Things You Can Do in the Office to Help Save the Environment
What are things you can do in the office to help save the environment for International Earth Day?
- Green office policies
- Power down
- Turn off the lights, now
- Keep tabs on your supplies
- Overhaul the office equipment
International Earth Day once again reminds us to be mindful of our environment. Whether you work onsite or in a virtual office in the Philippines, getting your co-workers and colleagues involved with acting sustainably can result in a happy and more environmentally conscious workplace.
Going green in the workplace has its own rewards, especially if you’re renting a Manila office space. Reduced costs, productive workers, and satisfied clients are just some of the benefits you may enjoy when you turn your office or small business eco-friendly. Here are our top 5 things you can do in the workplace to help save the environment:
1. Initiating Green Office Policies
You can initiate some policies in the workplace that promotes being more environmentally conscious. Some of these policies include:
- Going casual
Businesses require their employees to wear the traditional business attire. However, more progressive companies are now seeing the benefits of going away with this requirement and embracing the casual attire.
If possible, set a business-casual attire policy for the office or your business. Not wearing suits and other cumbersome articles of clothing can actually save a lot of money on dry-cleaning and laundry, as well as being better for the environment
It has been observed that employees are just as, if not more productive working from home as opposed to the workplace. In countries like the Philippines, virtual offices are becoming an option for workers.
Not only is the environmental impact of commuting reduced, employees also enjoy savings in money as well as time. Air quality can also be improved as well as road maintenance.
2. Powering Down
Believe it or not, the majority of power consumption is consumed by machines that are turned off but still plugged into a live outlet. Standby or phantom power is a huge and unnecessary expense and an environmental culprit. You can help reduce these kinds of unnecessary power consumptions by installing automated systems that power down company computers at night.
Using screensavers in company computers should also be avoided at all costs. Screensavers use almost the same amount of power as a monitor in use. You can instead set your monitors to power off after a period of time which is as easy to do as setting up a screensaver.
Finally, companies should also consider using solar power. While solar energy systems can be expensive and may not always be practical depending on the location, you can reap long-term savings from this initial investment.
3. Turning Off the Lights
A good chunk of an office’s electricity consumption can be attributed to artificial lighting. Turn the lights off when few or no people are left in the office. You can also open the blinds and draw the curtains to let in daylight whenever possible.
Take a look around your office and see how many rooms and offices have lights on without somebody using the space. Instead of leaving it to the staff to turn the lights off as they leave, you can install motion-activated light switches. Some office spaces for rent in Manila even have this system that turns the lights on for a period of time whenever it detects movement in the room.
You can also make the switch to compact fluorescent bulbs that use less energy than incandescent bulbs. These bulbs can last longer, reduce waste, and will also save on energy and replacement costs.
4. Keeping Tabs on Your Supplies
There is value in keeping the office supply cabinet under the direct supervision of one or two people. By keeping tabs on the office supplies, employees won’t be as wasteful of supplies as they may otherwise be.
Educate your employees on how it can not only save on cost but also a way to go green in the office. You can even set up a program that uses the money saved in keeping office supplies to throw office lunches or parties for everybody.
Consider stocking reusable instead of disposable pens in the office instead, creating an incentive for employees to keep track of and use their pens wisely. Besides being much nicer to use, it can also be cheaper in the long run.
5. Overhauling the Office Equipment
Every piece of equipment you buy for the office produces a large amount of toxic waste both in the manufacturing and disposal stages. The fewer machines you purchase, the smaller your carbon-footprint will be.
Consider using multi-purpose machines that can handle various tasks like copying, faxing, scanning, and printing.
Speaking of printing, you can also opt to buy remanufactured ink and toner cartridges. Remanufactured ink cartridges cost less than brand new ones and each reused cartridge can save about 2 ½ pounds of plastic and metal material and about ½ gallon of oil. All of which is used and wasted in the manufacturing process.
Sitting down and typing away at the computer impacts the environment much more than you think. Everything you do in and even out of the workplace has an equivalent cost in materials wasted.
Take the effort, especially if you are a business owner, to implement green initiatives. Not only will it save you a lot in the long run, it can also preserve the environment for future generations to come.