Earth Day has been celebrated for 51 years though there are always things we can do to be more environmentally friendly every day of the year, especially in the office where we may spend so much of our time. To honor Earth Day all year long, we’ve compiled 10 ideas that are easy to implement whether you own your own office building, rent space, or even do most of your work at home. Added together, these small steps can have a big impact if we do them consistently.
1. Reduce the amount of trash
Take a look in your trash cans and recycling bins at the end of the week. Do you seen piles and piles of barely used paper or loads of empty plastic water bottles? Identify where your company could do better and then come up with a plan. It could be as simple as printing your documents on both sides of the paper or reusing paper for scrap whenever possible. Or it could mean encouraging employees to bring in their own reusable water bottles by installing a high-quality filter for drinking water.
2. Recycle (properly)
Did you know that black plastic take out containers cannot be recycled but greasy pizza boxes can? That caps should be reattached to bottles before being tossed into the recycling bin? Take a look at the Recycle Smart guidelines for the most frequently recycled products in your office to make sure you are putting the right things in your recycling bin.
3. Limit your paper trail
Find ways to reduce the amount of paper coming into your office, as well as the amount going out, by switching your newspaper subscriptions to digital, paying bills online, doing more communication via email instead of direct mail, and sharing meeting agendas or minutes online. Going totally “paperless” may not be possible for most companies, but every step to use less paper is a step in the right direction.
4. Tune up your heating and cooling systems
If you have control over the heating and cooling systems in your building, annual tune ups to check their efficiency and possibly change filters can ensure everything is operating at peek efficiency.
5. Plug in some fans
On hot days, use a few fans to move the air around versus cranking up the AC to all corners of the office. Bonus? You won’t freeze out that one person who is always cold.
6. Install a programmable thermostat
Instead of heating or cooling the office to optimal temperatures even when no one is there, a programmable thermostat that can be controlled remotely will let you lower your energy usage—and bills—with a swipe.
7. Turn out the lights
Anyone over the age of the average teen is probably pretty good about turning off the lights, though installing energy-efficient bulbs or occupancy sensors will do even more to bring down your electricity bill.
8. Consider your computers
Switching to laptops over desktops can bring about big savings in power usage over time as laptops use a lot less electricity than their bulkier office mates. Another way to lower your energy usage is to turn off computers when not in use by installing a simple power strip to flick over to the “off” position at the end of the day.
9. Encourage casual dress in the office, especially in the summer
Dressing casually, especially during hot summer months, can also reduce your energy output as employees have more flexibility to dress for the weather versus being limited to suit jackets or dress clothes every day. With so many options, your office can still maintain a professional look while in casual clothes.
10. Encourage WFH even post pandemic
So many employees have gotten used to working from home over the past year, and continuing this practice even just a day or two a week can have a positive impact on your office’s energy usage. By instating a “work-from-home” day or two each week for the majority of your employees, you could see a big decrease in your energy usage year over year. Bonus? They’ll even save gas by not commuting to the office on those days.
Have you been wasting too much energy looking for great new employees for your office? Reach out to us, and we’ll tell you how we can help!