Managing and operating an eco-friendly workplace is ideal. It creates a healthier atmosphere, cuts excessive purchasing, and reduces office carbon footprint – which in effect increases employee morale, productivity, and efficiency. Given the benefits, top management of many businesses aspire to turn their offices into a greener workspace.
While the aspiration is commendable, transforming an office into a more environment-friendly workplace takes time. Top management and supervisors cannot expect their personnel to adjust to the changes curtly since not all implementation will be apt for the operations. Expect hits and misses along the way before an effective change is realized.
The easiest way to come up with eco-friendly office practices is to focus on the 3 R’s of the environment – Reuse, Reduce, and Recycle. Below is a list of ideas that can be implemented in the office.
- Tips to Reuse, Reduce, and Recycle in the Office
To Reuse Reduce Recycle in the office is a very conscientious and environmentally friendly practice worth implementing. It may push the entire workplace to go out of the norm, but doing so will significantly benefit the office and the environment.
- Reuse envelopes to keep receipts, money, small office supplies, and unimportant mail.
- Use both sides of paper. If one side is printed, then use the other side as scrap paper.
- Shred fully expended paper and reuse as loose-fill packaging and cushioning material.
- Do not throw away packaging boxes and bags. Save it for future need or use it as storage container.
- Repair rather than replace office furniture and equipment. If it is beyond repair though, forward to institutions that concentrate on salvaging worn and unwanted items.
- Go for rechargeable batteries for office devices rather than single-use batteries.
- Purchase supplies, furniture, and equipment that will last long.
- Buy in bulk to save on packaging boxes and containers. But buy only what is needed.
- Limit office printing. Assess overall printing in the office. Encourage office employees to moderate printing and choose to store files electronically.
- Discourage “one-time use” items such as paper cups and plastic utensils. Request employees to bring mugs, tumblers, plates, and silverware instead.
- Provide filtered water rather than bottled ones.
- Cut paper towel use by providing air dryers and reusable towels.
- Reduce power consumption. Turn off of lights when not in use. Switch off computers and related devices during long breaks and at the end of the day. And substitute traditional bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs.
- Setup a recycling system at work.
- Strictly implement proper waste disposal. Provide different containers for non-biodegradable supplies like pens, plastic folders, staplers, and scissors. And contact institutions that will salvage and turn these items into other useful pieces.
- Choose supplies with recycled content such as paper. Ask your supplier for a list of other items too.
- Buy and use eco-friendly printing replacements such as third party remanufactured ink cartridges.
- One person’s trash is another person’s treasure. Set a box or container in the office purposely for depositing and procuring used items.
- Donate worn furniture and equipment to facilities that can still benefit from it.
The list should help start transform the office into an eco-friendly workplace. Add other ways as seem fit from time to time. But do not make drastic changes on the onset since it can disrupt office operations. Gradually, apply new practices and allow personnel to adjust to it.