Making your business greener (or starting one from scratch) might seem like something time-consuming. However, if you just build these following few green essential items and practices into your space, you’ll experience a smooth transition to sustainability. Here’s what your eco-friendly and sustainable office needs.
Try going paperless
This is the most important tip you can get today. While no office can be fully paperless, many modern businesses can greatly reduce the amount of paper they waste during the daily grind. The key is in making your employees aware of the problem, so try doing this experiment: Everyone who goes to throw paper in the trash needs to put it onto a pile with their department’s name on it. At the end of the week, people will get to see just how much paper they waste. Only then you can start to fix your paper waste issue and move towards a paperless office.
Set up recycling stations
In order to encourage people to recycle, you need to make it easy. So, equip your office with paper recycling stations at all strategic locations (next to copiers and mailboxes and in break rooms and meeting rooms). Everywhere where there used to be a trash can, now you can install a recycling bin. If you have a restaurant, a cafeteria or break room in your office, you can also add a composting bin for leftover food. Employees with a garden will love free plant food from time to time (or you can use it to feed your office plants).
Invest in smart gadgets
Summer months often see offices being literally freezing yet they are boiling in the winter. Instead of overheating and overcooling, it’s better to grab a few smart thermostats for your space that will reduce energy waste yet keep your office more comfortable all year round. These smart gadgets learn your work hours and your habits and can always keep your space optimal. You can also check out some smart outlets that can be controlled with your smartphone. Every time your employees leave the office, smart plugs can turn off and reduce energy waste. How? Well, even if you turn off certain appliances, electronics and gadgets, they can still drain energy and create waste.
Buy supplies from smaller suppliers
When it comes to decorating your office, think ethical and small. Cooperating with smaller businesses is a great way to support fair-trade and ethical processes and fill your space with items that are beautiful yet made completely ethically. So, breathe new life into your office with handmade art, artisan furniture and reclaimed or upcycled pieces. Want to add some flair to your break room or your offices? Top things off with hand-made decor that will definitely brighten up any space for many years! Smaller suppliers and manufacturers are always a better choice than big companies since they allow you to support the economy in a more transparent way and provide you with more quality products.
Go green with bigger elements
If you want to go bigger than throw pillows, consider a full office remodel that will allow you to go green from top to bottom. Adding skylights to your roofs is a great idea that will fill your space with natural light while eco-friendly flooring can help you stay green at your toes. Today you can find flooring made of recycled, reclaimed or renewable materials. Even floor coverings can be greener, especially if you pick a natural appeal jute rug, that will add warmth to your space without creating unnecessary pollution. Add some stylish bamboo decor pieces to it to create a calming and welcoming atmosphere for your visitors to enjoy while they wait for their appointment.
Get some plants inside
If you want to green up your office, why not literally get some greenery inside? Every desk and every office needs a plant that will not only add color to the space, but also improve indoor air quality by taking in toxins and releasing oxygen. Plus, workers report better productivity when surrounded by plants—it’s a win-win situation.
Boost natural light
Employees who work in spaces showered with natural light thanks to sunlit windows and skylights often report higher production rate and better job satisfaction. Natural light regulates our circadian rhythm that controls energy levels, focus, alertness, vitamin D production and digestion. On the other hand, blue light from screens and other artificial light is a major disruption to the circadian rhythm. So, if you can, make sure that all workstations have a window near. Natural light will allow you to have a healthier, happier and more cost-effective office because sunlight is free. If you need to use artificial light, make sure to switch to LEDs that have a much longer lifespan, waste less energy yet provide people with pleasant illumination.
These few eco-friendly essentials will make every office greener. However, there’s always more you can do in order to push the sustainability of your business. Make sure to keep up with environmental news and green innovations so you can update your office regularly.