Whether you work remotely from home or you go into the office, your workspace can probably be greener. Developing an eco-friendly office protects the planet and saves money at the same time.
Just a few modifications to lighting, office supplies, and business practices can dramatically reduce the impact your office has on the environment. If it’s so easy and it saves money, what’s the benefit of not doing it?
Here are a few ways to build a workspace that’s easy on you and the environment.
Maximize Natural Light
Introducing natural light into your office significantly reduces the need for additional lighting. If most of your work is done during the day, this quick fix cuts back on excess energy usage and markedly reduces your electric bill. Additionally, using light colors in the office reflects more light and allows the natural light to go further.
Natural light is great for employees too! A World Green Building Council report reveals that people who work near sunlit windows are about 15% more productive. This means that while you save money on electricity, you’re also making more money from productive employees — it’s a win-win!
Use Sustainable Lighting Where Necessary
Whether you work at night or in a windowless building, sometimes natural light just isn’t ideal. If this is the case, then several sustainable lighting options are available for your eco-friendly office. The most prominent of which is the LED light.
LEDs boast high energy efficiency, more longevity, and less heat production. Using LEDs conserves energy which, similar to using natural light, cuts your energy bill and saves money. Since LED lights produce less heat, your office will stay cooler when it’s hot outside.
Opt for Eco-Friendly Office Supplies
Oftentimes the most negatively impactful items are the ones we use every day. Pens, pencils, binders, staplers, and more. Opting for eco-friendly alternatives to these common office supplies can dramatically reduce the waste you produce.
When a refillable pen runs dry, you don’t throw it away. You only need to replace the ink. Avoid disposable pens and spring for refillable ones to cut back on waste. You can even splurge and try out this refillable bamboo pen!
Furthermore, staple-free staplers make attaching sheets of paper easy and waste-free. Without the constant need to stock up on staples, you can work more efficiently and spend less on bulk staple orders.
A nice desk plant is probably the most eco-friendly office supply of all. Not only can certain plants cleanse the air, but they can boost your mood and spruce up your desk!
Ditch the Paper Products
Going paperless is likely the most well-known eco-friendly office strategy. Reducing or eliminating the need for physical documents in favor of digital ones cuts back on ink, paper, and electricity. This involves trading a cluttered desk for a cluttered desktop — fortunately, you can do a quick keyword search with your desktop.
If you absolutely have to use paper, choose recycled or tree-free products.
Sticky notes are also a huge source of paper waste. Using the sticky notes application on the computer gives you access to notes that are searchable, organized, and won’t fall victim to spilled coffee.
Don’t forget to swap out the paper goods in your office bathrooms and kitchen too. Swap out the generic paper towels in the kitchen with recycled paper towels, and stock up the bathroom with bamboo toilet paper for a simple yet effective way to cut down on paper and plastic waste in the office.
Opt for Reusable Bottles Over Disposable Cups
Water coolers are a hallmark of the American workplace, but the disposable cups that come with them are incredibly wasteful. If you prefer the nostalgia that comes with tiny cups, find tree-free, compostable ones that help — not harm — the planet.
The more sustainable option, though, is to use refillable water bottles. The water cooler can stay, or it could be replaced by a refill station. Either way, there’s still a spot for intra-office small talk.
Be Sure to Recycle & Compost
Recycling and composting aren’t just activities to do at home. It’s also important to follow these principles in the office. Not only will you cut back on unnecessary waste, but you can actually get some money back too!
For example, several office supply chains offer store credit when you bring in ink cartridges for them to recycle. When your credit adds up, you can use it to buy more eco-friendly office supplies.
Your Eco-Friendly Office Space
Putting together a workspace that saves money, boosts productivity, and protects the planet isn’t as hard as it looks. All it takes is a bit of advanced planning and effort to implement. In the long run, though, it’s a no-lose situation.
Share this post with your friends and family to spread the word about creating sustainable workspaces!