More and more businesses, as well as homes and residences, are making efforts and strides to be more environmentally friendly and eco conscious. But a lot of people who want to go green, just have no idea where to start. This is especially true of business owners. It can be considerably more difficult to go green as a business owner than it is as a regular consumer. You don’t have to be an expert, and you don’t have to change overnight. In fact, going green is usually a long and continuous process.
Green offices are on the rise, and that’s a good thing. What is a green office? Simply, it’s a building that is made sustainably with eco-friendly materials, with an emphasis on being green. Using eco-friendly materials, such as recycled materials, means that your building has significantly less impact on the environment than a building with all new materials would. Adding smart home features to your building makes it easier for you to track how much energy you are consuming, so you can cut back in areas that you need to. Another easy way to incorporate more green into your office space is just that, green. Add plants, living walls, and as much living greenery into your office as possible. It improves the quality of work you receive from your employees, as well as improves the environment around you.
Most of the items that find their way into your trash bin on a daily basis can actually be recycled. A few extra seconds taken to rinse out plastic and metal containers so they can be recycled is a small amount of effort for something that will make a big impact. Make sure there are clearly marked recycling bins in key areas around the office. In the kitchen, break room, and especially by the printers. Let your employees know that there are recycling bins very accessible and that all paper products should be disposed of there, rather than their trash bins.
In a business, it’s especially to be eco-conscious if you’re involved in building projects, either for yourself, or for clients. C&D materials are some of the most readily-recycled, but the process should actually start before construction, when choosing the materials that you’ll use.
A lot of items get thrown out before their reasonable life of use is over. You can reuse so many things, and don’t necessarily have to throw them out after one simple use. If something can’t be recycled, think about ways you could reuse and repurpose it before throwing it away.
Be more conservative
When it comes to energy, you should always try to be conservative. This isn’t about just electricity, though. Although you should always strive to conserve electricity and use less, that isn’t the only way for you to conserve! Other great ways include being mindful of the longevity and lifespan of office supplies you choose, and being picky about where you purchase items for the office from. Purchasing office supplies and furniture from local businesses who make an effort to also be eco-conscious is a better use of money than shopping online. And in the long run, the chances are that these items will end up costing you less money since locally made items are often made to be sturdier and lost longer. This means you won’t have to pay to replace it for a long time, like you would for a more flimsy item you’d purchase online from a mass retailer.
Up your tech
One of the best things about going greener today is that it often becomes a win/win situation. Most of your customers want to be more earth-conscious as well, which means that if you give them the option of going paperless in their communication with you, they’ll usually gratefully opt in. When you can use digital communication instead of snail mail, it cuts back on the amount of paper waste you produce, and also increases your efficiency in communicating with clients and business liaisons.
Pick your materials carefully
The materials that you use in your office space are important to how sustainable your office is. Instead of a Keurig machine with single use pods, opt for a traditional coffee machine or reusable pods. Instead of painting your office equipment, think about powder coating instead, as it is better for the environment (it doesn’t let off harmful emissions like paint does). Get rid of paper towels, opting for reusable towels in the break room, and a hand air dryer in the bathroom. There are countless ways to opt for a more environmentally friendly option. It may not be the most convenient or least expensive option in the beginning, but these items will last longer and are so much better for the environment.