We all want to be more environmentally conscious, but the road to a greener future isn’t always paved with wind farms and electric cars. Here are some simple, cheap ways you can make a difference at the office.
Greener Daily Choices
- Keep cups
If you’re a daily visitor to the corner coffee shop by work, consider purchasing a one-off coffee keep cup. It encourages you to bring a home-made coffee along on your commute, and if you’re a coffee addict, that could save you hundreds a year.
You don’t have to miss out on your favourite coffee shop and that morning routine you love, if you bring your keep cup to any café they’ll be happy to use that instead of their own throwaway cups.
- Eco-Friendly Commutes
It’s pretty incredible the impact that it can have on the environment when employees carpooling, biking, jogging or walking to work.
Even if you decide just once a week to take a more eco-friendly commute to work, you will be amazed at the immediate change it can have on your health, wallet, and mood.
- Is it reusable?
When the to-do list is piling up, it can be tempting to grab a takeaway lunch at your desk to catch up. But all that plastic packaging can be pretty toxic to the environment. Plus, sitting in front of your computer during your lunch break isn’t much of a break.
Why not have lunch with your colleagues or friends working nearby? When you’re treating yourself to a delicious restaurant meal, why not eat there? You can answer emails if you must, but everyone needs some time away from the desk to refuel and refresh for the afternoon’s workload. Since takeaway is usually a few dollars more expensive and in smaller portions, eating in may even get you tomorrow’s lunch too!
Make smart purchases
- Bulk-buy office supplies
Buy your office supplies in bulk: it reduces packaging and trips to the shops, and it is significantly cheaper.
- Eco-friendly lighting
LED bulbs is the eco-friendly option for office lighting – they’re cheaper, long-lasting and energy efficient. You can’t control the office layout and how much natural light you’ve got, so this is the next best way to reduce energy usage and costs
With prices ranging from $5-100 depending on the capabilities you’re after (dim ability, wattage, colour options, connection with Smart systems), there’s an LED bulb for everyone.
- The Kitchen
As well as buying in bulk, when its your turn for the communal office kitchen supplies, make ethical consumer choices. Fair trade coffee and chocolate, local dairy farmers for the fridge milk and non-toxic for the cleaning supplies.
- Try paperless
Sometimes we print and use paper more than we need to, forgetting the wonders of digital notes, documents, and organizational systems. As an experiment, try going paperless for a week and see whether you missed things you’d normally print out, or if you actually managed better without them, by having everything in one digital folder.
- Optimise technology settings
Make your computer, tablets, phones and printers energy efficient. This might be mean switching off computers when you aren’t using them and making sure power saving settings are enabled.
When you do need to print, set defaults for black and white, double sided printing. Not only will you save paper, ink and energy, but you’ll have less crumpled, yellowing pages cluttering up your desk.
- Be sociable
The impact of all these steps ripples out when you spread the word. You don’t have to become the office’s green warrior standing guard over the printer to make sure everyone prints double sided.
The most significant effects can come from the smallest changes, and sometimes people need a little reminder of the amazing good we could all do, while saving a few hundred dollars a year!
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