Top tips for a more sustainable officePublished 06.06.19
In an age where drastic measures need to be taken against climate change, we are seeing the reduction of plastic usage, with people being encouraged to buy re-usable bags and cups. As a nation, we are slowly, but surely, attempting to reverse the damage that’s been created by years of littering and carbon emissions, and one of the best ways that we can contribute to this is by making changes in the place where we spend the majority of our time: the office.
The average office is filled with electronic devices that are needed to get the job done – but as these are so commonly left running for a long period of time, it’s no wonder CO2 levels are on the increase. Luckily, there are actions that employees across the country can take to live more sustainably.
Instil flexible working patterns
If you’re an employee, speak to your employer about whether flexible working might be an option. It’s not always necessary for employees to commute to work every day – and you’ll be reducing your carbon footprint simply by working from home just once or twice a week. Alternatively, if you drive to work but live near public transport services, or even within walking distance from the office, try changing how you travel.
Find energy-conserving appliances
If you’re looking to refurbish your office, try sourcing energy-saving appliances wherever you can. This can include energy-saving lightbulbs with motion sensors, or the installation of eco kettles, which can help to ensure that you’re only using the amount of energy that you need.
Whilst indoor plants add a burst of colour to an otherwise neutral room, they are also appreciated widely for their ability to improve health and air quality. Distributing a few desk plants around the room can make a huge difference to the air, working to reduce levels of harmful toxins that can be produced from electronic equipment by absorbing them.
Emphasise the importance of recycling
Whilst much more emphasis has been placed on the benefits of recycling, there is still a lack of knowledge in this area, with many people not knowing how to correctly recycle their waste. Employers should, therefore, aim to educate their employees on how to recycle properly, and perhaps install a prominent recycling point in the office that encourages employees to get on board.
Use recycled materials
If you’re in the process of a refurbishment, try installing furniture made from recycled materials. This helps to reduce waste, and prevents unnecessary energy and pollution being produced. Chairs made from recycled plastic and fabrics are popular choices, in addition to tables created with recycled wood.
Make the most of your online storage
Storing documents on your computer and using online collaborative methods can significantly help reduce the amount of paper used. Try to only print documents when necessary, and look to using online methods.
Use light colours
When you decide to re-decorate your workspace, try incorporating bright colours – particularly on the walls. Using white, glossy paint can really help to maximise natural lighting, reducing the need for artificial overhead lightbulbs.
However small your contribution to the environment, any eco-friendly changes you make that serve to improve the conditions of the surroundings will, no doubt, be beneficial to the future of our planet.