Believe it or not — most pollution is produced by large companies and corporations. But it’s not just oil companies, either! It could even include your office.
There are many resources that go into keeping a physical workspace up-and-running. There’s electricity, paper and other office supplies, and even water/gas consumption. Imagine what impact a large office building has on the environment!
But you shouldn’t worry. There are many different ways your office can lessen their carbon footprint. (And it may even make your space neater in the meantime!)
Reassess Your Office Supplies!
You’ve been told some version of “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle!” throughout your entire life. But these changes would be much more impactful on a larger scale. Plus, there are even more creative ways to follow this advice in the workplace. For example:
- Reduce: An incredible amount of electricity is wasted by leaving technology plugged into the outlet. “Phantom power” is when a machine is turned off but still taking in electricity. Can you imagine how much energy this wastes overnight? By using programs like Verdiem, you can optimize your energy consumption by intercepting phantom power.
- Reuse: Besides paper, what’s one of the most wasteful office supplies? If you guessed pens, you’d be correct! Yearly, the U.S.A. throws out about 1.6 billion pens. But this one is a simple fix: reusable pens. Essentially, these are pens with refillable ink. You can fill the supply cabinet with the refills — which are cheaper than buying disposable pens in bulk!
- Recycle: Nowadays, you can buy almost anything recycled. Fortunately, you can even buy remanufactured ink/toner cartridges. Not only are they cost effective (15% cheaper), but it saves nearly 2.5 pounds of metal/plastic and roughly a half a gallon of oil per cartridge! It’s a simple yet effective switch to start your journey to a greener office.
Redesign Your Lighting!
Artificial lighting accounts for about one-quarter of the U.S.A.’s electricity consumption. So, it would be logical to assume your office could cut down utilization.
- Reduce: Compact fluorescent bulbs are a more durable and sustainable alternative to incandescent bulbs. Not only do they reduce energy consumption by 75%, but they last ten times as long. So, you’ll spend less money replacing the lights around your office, reduce energy costs, and lower your carbon footprint.
- Reuse: Why use so much artificial light when you have the sun? Lighting takes up about 40% of the electricity consumption in office buildings. Plus, natural light is good for everybody! It improves your mood and your energy levels!
- Recycle: Solar energy isn’t a practical solution for everyone, but if your company has the money, it’s an investment that pays. Some states even offer incentives that could help you get some money back quickly. But it also produces long-term savings if utilized properly.
There are plenty of different creative solutions to promoting sustainability in your office. Many of the changes need to be implemented by higher-ups. Be sure to talk to your supervisor about initiatives you’re interested in trying.
If they can’t get the approval for any large projects, perhaps you try smaller initiatives like office plants or sustainable paper alternatives.
Go out there and make the world a better place!
Written By: Emily Hyser
August 13th, 2021