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Sep 21

Simple Ways to Create a Greener Office and Save Money

greener officeGreen offices are all the rage, yet many businesses do little more than pay lip service to the idea of reducing their carbon footprint. Smaller businesses consider such exercises a waste of time. What they fail to realize, however, is that going green does more than help the environment – it also saves money.

Reducing Paper Consumption

Ask yourself: what’s the cost of paper? It may only cost a few dollars to buy a box of inexpensive printer paper, but when you stack up all the boxes you use per year, the cost soon adds up. And it’s not just the financial cost, either. It takes one tree to make two boxes of printer paper. Much of the paper we use comes from sustainable forests, but making paper from wood pulp, packaging and transporting it, all comes at a huge cost to the environment.

Do you really need to print out documents? Probably not. In this day and age, technology makes it incredibly easy to bypass traditional methods of sending documents. Rather than printing off a report and posting it to a client, convert it to a PDF file and email or share it online. This will save you money on paper, printer consumables, and electricity.

Reducing Energy Consumption

At home, we are conscious of our energy bills because the money comes out of pocket, but at work, we don’t think about leaving lights on or turning up the air-con to max on a hot day. You can’t run a business without power, but there are ways to cut your energy consumption to save money and reduce your carbon footprint.

Create a “Green Office” strategy and encourage employers to contribute. Simple things like switching lights off when you leave the room, and not leaving electrical equipment on standby when not in use, all make a huge difference. Swap incandescent light bulbs with LED ones. You can also save money and help the environment by switching to a green energy supplier.

Encourage employees to work from home as much as possible. Thanks to technology, nobody needs to work in the office anymore. We can collaborate via Skype, Google Hangouts, and Dropbox, sharing documents, working on shared files, and swapping notes. Allowing employees to work from home one or more days a week will boost morale, make it easier for working parents to manage their home-life balance, save you money, and help the environment by cutting transport emissions.

If working from home isn’t possible, implement a car-share scheme or encourage employees to cycle to work (if practical).

Encourage Recycling and Other Tips

Ask employees to recycle paper where possible and re-use boxes and packaging. Get rid of the water cooler and fit a water filtration system to your mains water supply. Instead of providing plastic cups, suggest employees bring in their own reusable water bottles or supply some branded bottles instead.

Lastly, encourage your staff to bring plants to work. Green plants in an office filter out toxins in the atmosphere and improve productivity. They also look great!

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