If you’re the type to reduce, reuse and recycle at home, why not do the same in the office? A greener workplace can mean a lighter carbon footprint as well as a healthier place to work. In fact, research has shown that employees who work for a green office are generally more productive and happier.
Plus, it doesn’t take up too much effort or time. You can even start a go-green initiative at work, which your boss will notice, especially your attention to detail, team-work effort and leadership potential. Earth wins, you win.
Here are some ideas for a green workplace.
#1 Reduce paper waste
The amount of paper that gets used and thrown out in an office! While it may be impossible to go entirely paperless, you can still work towards using as little as possible at work. Ask yourself twice if you really need to print something, for example the emails you get. Reuse paper whenever possible for note taking.
#2 Carpool to work or take public transportation
If your office is accessible via public transportation, try doing that. Maybe two days out of the week or whenever you don’t need your car for work. That will help you reduce your contribution to pollution as well as save some money and time. Got a colleague or two who live nearby? Think of carpooling! Again, it doesn’t have to be every day but once or twice a week will still make a difference. And if you are going to the same meeting with your colleagues, share the ride!
#3 Shut it down
Did you know that even if you’re not using your computer, it still uses energy? In fact, 75 percent of electricity consumed is when your electronics like your laptop is on standby mode. So at the end of the day, make sure you completely shut down your computer to reduce its C02 emission.
#4 Bring a container for lunch
You can use it to tapau your lunch if you need to eat in. Get yourself a flask too for your morning coffees and your own set of cutleries to avoid using the plastic stuff.
#5 Switch it off
Finished your discussion in the meeting room? Make sure you switch off the lights. Last to go home? Don’t leave the office lights on till the next morning. It may sound like things that don’t need reminding but you’d be surprised at how many lights are left turned on in offices! Like your computer, turning off unused lights will help reduce energy consumption. You can also get your office admin to print out reminders and paste them on the walls.
#6 Set up your own “recycling area”
Take three boxes and use it to collect paper, aluminium and other recyclable material from the office. Then at the end of the week, you can bring it to a recycling centre for processing. Even if you don’t do this, sorting out your rubbish will help make life easier for the collectors.
#7 Set up a sustainable team
Want to take your go-green efforts further? Talk to your boss about setting up a go-green committee that comes up with green ideas and activities, and offer to lead it. You can then organise workshops or casual talks with relevant authorities to educate your colleagues on the importance of sustainability. Or organise inter-department go-green competitions to get everyone involved.