It’s (almost) as easy as one, two, tree
Working for, or operating an environmentally friendly business is a powerful way to improve on our collective environmental impact; by finding cohesion with nature in our personal and professional lives, we can move mountains in the fight to preserve the world we live in. So much can be gained from transitioning over to a sustainable way of working, on both an economic and personal level.
Environmental responsibility and economic gain most often work in tandem with each other. Many companies are now bounding down the eco-friendly route, because it’s the right thing to do, and because it can be more profitable. Are you part of a business that has taken this conscientious step yet?
Need more incentive to read on? Happy employees = better work. It’s reported that an eco-friendly office space helps to boost team morale, for a whole host of reasons. Below are just a few ways in which your business can make conscious steps to being more eco-friendly.
Do people in your office use notepads and paper flip charts? Make a plan and set a date to go paperless, as a team. Lists can be made on any number of computer applications, and portable whiteboards make a great, reusable alternative to their disposable paper equivalents. If you can’t quite let go of the printer then endeavour to shop responsibly from earth-friendly suppliers.
If you want to take your environmental responsibility one step further then why not set up systems to make it easy for employees to work remotely? By reducing the number of commuters coming to and from your workplace you’ll be vastly reducing your company’s carbon footprint. Google hangouts make dialing into meetings simple, and tools like Slack keep employee communication channels strong from wherever people are stationed; think of it as Whatsapp for the workplace.
Light Up the Room
Strip down dimming blinds and allow those rays to flood in. Welcome as much natural light into the room as possible. You can accentuate the impact of this by decorating your space with light colours. It’s amazing what stronger daylight can do for clarity of thinking as it illuminates the mind, as well as saving on electricity costs.
Keep it casual
Would you feel more comfortable and productive by wearing your casual clothes to work? If you’re in an industry where wearing suits is the norm, your business is actually, indirectly racking up a sizeable carbon footprint. How? Dry cleaning! Most people love the occasional opportunity to wear what they’re most comfortable in, they’ll likely work more efficiently too. Why not kick start ‘casual Fridays’? Everybody wins!
Towel your colleagues
This one is super simple — just replace your paper towels with soft ones. Although you’ll still have to use energy and water to clean them, they’re reusable, and therefore more sustainable.
Pop a plastic milk container filled with sand or rocks in all of your company’s toilet cisterns; you’ll use around half a gallon less water with every flush. The pressure will remain pretty much the same, but you’ll use an immense amount less water over time.
Check Your Sources
Have someone in your office create an inventory of stationery and supplies; task them with sourcing affordable, zero waste suppliers of each so that this area of your business is now, also, eco-friendly. TerraCycle Zero Waste Boxes allow you to recycle almost every type of office item, once you’re finished with it.
Clean Up Your Act
It’s easy to find environmentally-friendlier cleaning products these days. It’s kindest to the earth to make your own, but if that’s not feasible then you can buy them commercially, straight from companies like Ecover and Ethical Superstore.
Embrace ‘It’s a Jungle Out There’
Make your office plush, with plants! These natural little miracle workers absorb airborne pollutants that will inevitably make it into the office, and emit brain-boosting negative ions and oxygen into the air. Humans are naturally drawn to, and pacified by greenery; plants are a fantastic, natural way to bring this feeling into the workspace. Studies show that something as simple as having plants in the office increases productivity by 10–15%.
“Testing has regularly shown that subjects exposed to high levels of negative ions perform better in mentally challenging tasks than those breathing normal positive ion dense air.” — Pierce J. Howard PhD at the Center for Applied Cognitive Sciences says in the Owners Manual for the Brain
Steal Your Sunshine
Embrace solar power! Oil prices are ever-growing, and our use of it can be truly devastating to the environment. Solar is an incredible asset, because as long as the sun is in the sky it can provide us with the energy we need. Harnessing the power of solar panels will reduce, if not eliminate your electricity bill.
Governments are increasingly willing to help businesses transition over to solar power, and equipment is getting cheaper too! Once set-up, it’s low maintenance, lasts up to 40 years and, of course, reduces the future impact of global warming, which is in all of our best interests.
“Having a solar power system installed is the equivalent to prepaying for almost 40 years of energy, but at just a fraction of what you are currently paying for electricity.” — Alexis Writing
Find Kinder Furnishings
Buying, or making eco-friendly furniture is good for you, your finances and, of course, the environment. A vast amount of commercial office furniture contains flame retardant, which can have detrimental impacts on health over time. By buying natural or reused furniture you’re minimising the chances of getting ill from your work environment*.
So, That’s The Rundown…
There are a plethora of other ways in which you can make your workspace eco-friendly; I’ve merely touched on some techniques for doing so here! If you’re interested in learning more, I’d recommend throwing yourself into some research for more learnings and inspiration.
Finally, do you work in an environmentally-conscious business? Whichever side of the spectrum you’ve experienced (earth-friendly or not), I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!
*Feeling rough? It could be any number of things, including effects from the toxins in the atmosphere around you. It’s always best to see your doctor or naturopath if you’re feeling poorly, for an informed diagnosis.