Creating an Environmentally Conscious Workplace
We all have a responsibility to care for the planet we live on. The issues of pollution, exploiting natural resources, and overdevelopment are evident all around us. The good news is there are conscious steps we can implement in our daily lives to lower our environmental footprints. With awareness and actions, we can all help protect our Earth.
How can you make your workplace more environmentally friendly?
There are many options to use environmentally friendly products and lower the amount of waste we produce. Here are some ways to improve different spaces in your workplace:
Shipping and Warehouse
- Ask yourself how much packaging materials you are using and if it necessary to use that amount – can you reduce the size of boxes or the amount of wrap?
- Can you re-use any shipping materials or pallets? See if you can get materials returned to your business after shipping and ask vendors if you can return their packaging to them. Not only will you reduce waste but also save money by not having to buy as many supplies.
- Look for biodegradable or recyclable materials. Dispose or recycle materials correctly and safely, this includes batteries, oil, and chemicals.
- Send documents digitally rather than printing them. Have employees ‘clock in’ using an online program instead of printing timesheets.
- Install energy efficient light bulbs, printers, and computers. Turn off lights and computers when not in use.
- Look for recycled printer paper and ink cartridges. Set up your own recycling program for paper, bottles and cans, ink cartridges, etc. Have designated areas for each type of recycling.
- If you require new office furniture or equipment consider buying used, this can support local business and reduces the amount of new products being made. Donate any good quality furniture or equipment you want to replace instead of throwing it away.
Kitchen and Bathroom
- Look for a coffee machine that can use recyclable filters – k-cups style is often nonreusable, nonrecyclable plastic pods and creates unnecessary waste. Encourage employees to use reusable mugs instead of single use paper or plastic.
- Consider implementing a compost bin – coffee grounds and tea leaves can both be composted.
- Buy environmentally friendly cleaning products where possible.
- Can you install low-flow toilets or air hand dryers instead of single use paper towels? If installing dryers is not optional, look for paper hand towels made from recycled material and that are compostable.
Think about the future you want and the future you want to leave for future generations, everyone’s future will be better if we look after our home. Even making a few changes to lower the amounts of waste you produce or the energy you consume can make a difference.