6 Low-Cost Ways to be an Eco-Friendly Office

When we come together at work, we can change the world. And National Recycling Week is all about doing our bit to be more environmentally friendly. Although many businesses believe that ‘green’ is just another way to say ‘more expensive’, there are small changes you can make within your company to have an eco-friendly office, AND save money. Here are six affordable ways you can get “green”.

Shine a (Natural) Light on it
Let the natural sunlight in. Make use of it! Get an interior decorator, or look for some hacks online that are going to help you maximize how the sunlight can light up your workspace. Not only will it save on your lighting and heating bill, but exposure to natural light during the day will set your staff’s circadian rhythms (that’s our biological clock, friends) which ultimately helps your people get an extra 43 minutes of good quality sleep. More productive staff and less bills…yes please!

Trust Us, Size Matters
The size of your rubbish bins, that is. This one is all about goal setting. Have a big recycling bin, and a small waste bin, and aim to keep this as your ratio. More recycling than waste. Once you start this, you’ll be amazed at exactly how much you can actually recycle. Empty coffee pods, printer ink cartridges…make it your mission to find wacky things to recycle, and then actually do it.

Flip the Switch
“Turn it off”. Sounds simple right? Well, be honest, how often do you come into the office to find a light left on? Or how often do you actually turn off your computer when you leave? Is the toaster still plugged in from the morning before? And the coffee machine? Turning these things off will save you money and reduce your environmental impact ten-fold. Make it your staff’s responsibility to turn off their electronic items when they’ve finished using them…and yes this means turning them off at the switch.

Turn your lights and other electrical appliances off at the end of every day for a more eco-friendly office.

Carpool not Deadpool: Reduce Carbon
Do some of your staff live in the same area? Are you close to train stations or bus stops? Carpooling and public transport are cheaper travel alternatives for your staff, and come with less of a carbon footprint than driving to work solo every day. So encourage your employees to make their commute more environmentally friendly. Whether its shouting a coffee once a week from a café near the bus stop, or filling up your employees’ tank once a month if they participate.

Coffee? Tea?
If your office has a coffee machine or buys freeze-dried coffee or tea, it’s best to opt for free-trade and organic. Making coffee and tea involves plenty of steps that are damaging to the environment, but Fair Trade products are made with respect for both people and the planet. These certified products come from places with higher workplace standards, sustainable farming practices and less chemicals, making your morning cup of Joe taste a little bit sweeter.

Join the Digital Age
Do it! In another year or two, paperless offices will be the norm. Be ahead of that trend (and save the environment) by upgrading to a computer system that allows your staff to have access to all the documents they could possibly need on their screens. And when you do need to print? Black and white, double sided on recycled paper. Thank you very much.

This list is in no way exhaustive, but it’s a great place to start as we move towards a more sustainable way of working. It’s up to all of us to take the opportunity to look around the office and ask how we can be kinder to the planet. It’s national recycling week folks, let’s see how we can have an eco-friendly office!

What are your sustainability short-cuts? We’d love to know!


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