As Kermit the Frog tells us, “it’s not easy being green,” but even small steps—both as individuals and as businesses—can improve not only the environment, but also office efficiency. Conscious awareness is the key to gradually greening your world and instilling healthier sustainable practices.
If you aren’t recycling already, start. Begin with the most common materials: paper, cans and bottles. If you lease an office within a larger building, contact the manager to understand what your facilities will provide. If you independently own your office space, you likely have enough flexibility to manage your own recycling program.
Use energy wisely
When employees maintain awareness of their office energy use, companies can considerably improve efficiency and conserve resources. Encourage them to turn lights off in conference rooms after meetings end, standardize thermostats and not waste water. Investigate energy efficient windows and light bulbs or speak to your facilities manager about these products—they’re not only good for the environment, they save money, too.
Print sparingly, if at all
According to the American Forest and Paper Association, the average American uses 18 cubic feet of wood and 749 pounds of paper—equal to a 100-foot tree with an 18-inch trunk—each year. Ask yourself before you print any document, “Do I really need to print this?”and if you do print, print double-sided. Yes, it can be challenging to read and edit documents online, so build processes and use tools to accommodate this disparity. For example, use the “Track Changes” tool in Word or, for even greater efficiency, implement an online community to store and share documents.
Ditch disposable beverage containers
Did you know that if you go to Starbucks with your travel mug and ask them to pour your coffee into your mug instead of their cardboard cups, they take a percentage off the cost of your order? We can all support similar practices by encouraging employees to drink water from glasses and office-brewed coffee from ceramic mugs. And by similarly serving guests, you’ll communicate a simple green practice to your own customers and clients as well.
And finally, the most important step you can take toward encouraging planet wellness is to reward progress. By implementing a few steps now, you’ll be ready for more as you learn the hundreds of ways companies can bring green practices and achieve a conscious awareness of efficient, healthier world.
What are some of the simplest ways you’ve found to encourage efficient green choices in your corporate environments?