From recycle bins to solar panels, it’s clear you have gone the extra mile around your house to make environmentally friendly changes. But what about around your office? There are probably a few minor changes you can make to help lessen the impact your business’s actions have on the earth. So, for tips and tricks on how to have a greener office keep reading!
Outlaw Styrofoam Cups
A quick and easy way to instantly cut back on your impact on the environment is to ditch the antiquated Styrofoam cups that were once a staple around the water cooler and coffee pot. The materials used in these cups are especially harmful as they do not biodegrade, thus forever scarring our planet. If that’s not enough to make you ditch the disposable cups it might also interest you to know that they could be doing direct harm to our bodies.
Studies have shown that traces of the chemicals used to make these convenient cups have been found in people’s bodies after using them. Talk about scary. So, in the name of sustainability and wellness, your office should make the move to be Styrofoam free. I mean, campuses everywhere declare that thet are “gun-free” or “drug-free” work zones, because these objects are harmful and counterproductive, yet Styrofoam, a toxic product, is allowed a free pass because of its convenience—talk about ridiculous.
Additionally, replacements for Styrofoam are not hard to come by either. All it takes is a quick purchase with the company credit card for reusable mugs and canteens for all employees and viola, problem solved. One might worry about the expense this will cause, but in the long run it will actually be cheaper than restocking the Styrofoam cups every week or so.
The next step you can take toward a greener office is to abolish plastic ware from the kitchen. With a less than expedient biodegradable rate, these disposable utensils are almost as harmful to the earth as Styrofoam. After leaving the confines of your breakroom, they travel to landfills where they will undoubtedly sit for years on end, ever so slowly breaking down.
Just as with the Styrofoam cups, replacing these is an easy fix and you actually have a few options here. You can invest in some REUSABLE stainless steel silverware that can be used and washed as needed or you can even opt to invest in disposable WOODEN utensils. That’s right, wood’s not just for chopsticks anymore. It can be used to make everything from forks and knives to sporks! Talk about a great sustainable option.
Invest in Energy Efficient Appliances
A final suggestion I offer to have a greener office is for your company to invest in energy efficient appliances made by companies such as Energy Star. While they might seem like a bit of a pricey purchase now, over time these will help cut your expenses in half as they will help decrease your electric bill since they require less energy than traditional appliances. Investing in energy efficient appliances is a win-win situation as your business not only gets to enjoy a new device, they will also save money while helping the environment.
In addition to these changes there are still more things you can do to increase the sustainability of your office. Encouraging your colleagues to bike to work or utilize public transportation is a great way to extend the office’s sustainable efforts. Also, many companies include plants throughout their floors to provide cleaner air and also add a touch of the outdoors. Surrounding employees with positive elements of nature is a great way to encourage them to make environmentally friendly choices, plus it adds a nice touch of warmth and personality.
Implementing some or all of these changes around the office will help you and your company decrease the overall negative impact of your actions on the planet. Mother nature will thank you.
Eliza Morgan is a full time freelance writer and blogger. She specializes in writing about business credit cards and other business related topics. If you have any questions email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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