There has been a big push the past few decades for individuals as well as big businesses to become more environmentally aware with their daily practices. Changing habits that have been engrained in every day life can be difficult for many, but is also incredibly necessary in protecting our planet and everyone who lives on it. While you might be making all the eco-friendly changes that you can at home, your office might not be so quick to follow suit. Seeing that many people spend more time at work than at home, transforming your office into an environmentally conscious space is just as important. Below are a few easy ways that you and your colleagues can help make the necessary difference at work.
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The abundance of paper products isn’t as prevalent as they were just a few decades ago, but the use of them can still be reduced significantly to make a meaningful impact on the environment. Computers have made this switch much easier and allow for the complete eradication of physical documents in the office with digital storage methods such as hard drives or virtual data rooms. A VDR allows a company or individual to store their data securely and for as long as necessary so as to avoid unwanted damage or disclosure common with paper documents. While some documents still need to be printed, there are many that don’t and can be locked away on a cloud-based platform that can be accessed by only those that need to. Not only will using a virtual data room reduce paper, but it will also allow a company to branch out and work with clients or employees all around the world.
Promote New Practices
The best way to instill new practices is by sharing them and promoting them around the office as much as possible. This can be as simple as sending out a weekly email on the best ways to reuse supplies or by mentioning it before a weekly meeting. By keeping others aware of these efforts they too will quickly follow suit and recognize which of their current practices are helping or hindering the office initiative to become eco-friendlier. Providing the appropriate methods for recycling will initiate the new habits of behaviour that employees may not have been conscious of before. Even kindly notifying a colleague when their practices aren’t right can help shift their perspective and inspire them go green.
Be More Mindful
It’s easy to let your bad habits take over when you aren’t paying attention, so staying mindful of the way you dispose of waste or how much water and electricity you use throughout the day can make a big difference. Perhaps opening all the office curtains is a better alternative to artificial lighting, both for your health and that of the environment. Rather than always bringing in a hot lunch and using the office microwave, opt for a cold dish in the warmer months. These small changes can make an enormous difference, but recognizing them on a daily basis is what will inspire you to change your habits. Be open to change and take the time to research the best methods for incorporating eco-friendly habits into your life.
Paint Office Walls White
It’s amazing how much of an environmental impact lighting can have, and yet, simple alternatives aren’t always considered. The easiest way to save on your energy bill and help the planet is by painting office walls white so that they reflect the natural light coming in through the windows. Not only does this décor choice make the space look bigger, but it also makes a noticeable difference when there is only a limited amount of light that reaches that side of the building. Rather than a harsh fluorescent light above your head all day you can work more comfortably with the morning sun illuminating your desk.
Opt To Work Remotely
Who wouldn’t want to work from home, especially in the middle of winter. Ask your manager if working remotely is an option that way you can reduce the pollutants caused by your car or other methods of public transportation. Furthermore, working from home allows you to control your environment and make it as eco-friendly as you like. Whereas some coworkers need air conditioning on all year, you can instead open all the windows to stay comfortable throughout the day. Making an impact doesn’t require a significant change of how you live your life. It can simply start at home and branch its way out to your work or even your encounters with friends. If everyone made a small shift in their daily routines to include awareness of the environment, then it can produce a massive reevaluation of how all of society is run and the affects common office practices have on a global scale.
Infographic created by FIRST