Many of us want to do our respective parts to live more sustainably and help protect the planet at the same time.
While we often focus on things we can do at home to be more eco-friendly, like changing our dietary habits or what kinds of products we buy and use, there are plenty of ways you can go green in your work life as well. Today we’re going to review some of the best eco-friendly office practices you can employ that will help reduce your overall environmental impact and carbon footprint.
We’ll review things you can physically do, like trying to implement a recycling program in the office. We’ll also cover digital tips like using software to convert from PDF to Word, which can reduce your paper use and help make your workplace greener.
Implement a Robust Recycling Program
While your office may have basic recycling bins somewhere in the office for paper supplies and plastics, there’s so much more you can do to help reduce your impact. If your recycling company or municipality doesn’t offer a single-stream recycling solution, reach out to them to see if they have recycling programs for glass and metal collection as well.
Keeping these precious materials out of landfills and in circulation is a simple but highly effective way for you to save the world from the comfort of your work desk. Many waste management companies will weigh your recycling load before bringing it to a processing facility, which can be a great metric to show stakeholders how much material you’re actively diverting.
Eliminate The Use of Single-Use Plastics
Single-use plastics, like drinking cups and coffee stirrers, are not only extremely wasteful, but they also can have a detrimental environmental impact.
These plastics can last in the environment for thousands of years under the right circumstances. Furthermore, they gradually degrade and break down over time into toxic microplastics, which end up in our waterways and food chain.
Ideally, you should completely eliminate the use of anything disposable in your office. You can try ideas like implementing a bring-your-own water bottle policy for the water cooler and fountains or replacing paper towel dispensers in bathrooms with high-powered blow dryers.
If you want to start more gradually, or feel you may face a bit of resistance in the office, there are some simple starting steps you can take. Instead of eliminating drinking cups and coffee stirrers altogether, consider replacing plastic options with more environmentally friendly biodegradable ones.
Furthermore, you can also replace bleached white paper products, which use heavy, environmentally-harmful chemicals in their processing, with natural and recycled alternatives.
Implement Smarter Digital Practices
Alongside the things you can do in your physical office space that can help reduce your overall environmental impact, there are several things you can do in cyberspace that can also help make the earth a greener place for everyone.
One of the first things you can do, if it hasn’t happened naturally already, is to digitize as much of your paper-based workflow as possible. Things like memos, applications, reviews, and so much more can all be easier to work with, store, and manage by utilizing a digital alternative to more traditional pen-and-paper-based approaches.
Another interesting thing to consider is to opt for a green web hosting provider to meet your various storage and hosting needs. These web hosts use renewable energy sources to power their operations, making them far easier on the planet than your typical power-hungry web host.
Finally, consider adopting certain tools to help streamline these efforts and help you further cut down on paper waste. Tools like file converters and digitization hardware can make going green far easier.
Making The Office A Greener Place
Adopting environmentally-friendly practices in your office isn’t just a responsible thing to do; it’s a readily achievable goal that any organization can undertake.
From simpler steps like establishing robust recycling programs to more advanced approaches like adopting greener digital practices, every little thing that you do helps contribute to the greater goal of reducing your impact and helping the planet.
Don’t forget that the path toward more sustainable living doesn’t have to be a massive undertaking or lifestyle change; often, the simple, mindful choices we make each day can resonate the most. By embracing the practices outlined above you won’t just be reducing your carbon footprint; you’ll be setting a precedent for a greener way of doing business for your company.
Lead by example to help foster greater adoption, and together each of us can play our collective part in helping make the world a cleaner, more sustainable place to live and work.