If your organization takes environmental sustainability seriously, you’re going to have to build green initiatives into everything you do. That means the events you run, the marketing materials you put out there, and the way you organize your office. It’s a tall task, but one that’s incredibly important. The evidence of climate change is all around us, and individuals can only do so much. If you’re in a position of management at an organization, your ability to make a difference is amplified. You have more resources, more people involved, and more reach. It’s all going to start with your business practices, and how the employees and volunteers interact with the general public. Here are five great tips to help your eco friendly organization get started.
First off, think carefully about the building materials you use at the office, and how you choose to furnish it. If you have the ability to construct an office from the floor up, you’ll have a wide variety of green options at your disposal. You can use eco friendly materials in the building construction, incorporate alternative energy sources in the design, and include energy star rated appliances across the board. Avoid building materials that are made from toxic chemicals or processed elements. When it comes to the furnishings, use natural fibers whenever possible, and even buy gently used or antique pieces to cut down on your environmental footprint while increasing the appeal of your space.
The way your organization uses energy may make the largest impact on the environment. Many organizations are incredibly wasteful, but the eco friendly organization manager can set a reasonable standard that makes a real difference. Make sure you take advantage of alternative energy, and use heating and cooling systems that minimize waste. Take advantage of sunlight and wind whenever possible, and plug all electronics into power strips that shut down when not in use so you’re not wasting energy. Finally, switch over all standard lightbulbs for new CFLs and you’ll save both money and electrical output.
Many organizations waste a ton of paper, and it’s just simply not necessary. Mobile technology means most things no longer need to be printed, as tablets and smartphones can be used to share files and data the vast majority of the time. When you do need to print, make sure you’re using recycled paper, and reusing leftovers whenever you can.
Modern organizations also have an over-reliance on plastic products. You put on events and also have a busy office kitchen, and those thousands of plastic cups, plates and utensils add up in a hurry each year. Try to use reusable alternatives whenever possible. And instead of stocking the fridge with plastic bottles of water, put in a water fountain and provide your staff with reusable bottles. Limiting all that plastic waste will save room in landfills, and cut down on the dangerous chemicals seeping into our water supply.
Finally, make sure you have a strong and consistent recycling initiative. Even if you conserve paper and plastic, you’ll have a consistent amount of waste. Make sure your organization is well equipped with recycling bins, and that each type of recycling is properly separated, with clear labels provided by SeaReach or another professional company. Organize regular drop-offs at the recycling center, and even consider having recycling drives in your organization’s neighborhood.