By being a bit more carbon-conscious you can help make your office more eco-friendly.
Climate change and environmental damage are some of the biggest issues the world is facing today. Every day, due to carbon emissions and various other greenhouse gases, we come closer and closer to creating a world not fit to inhabit. Whether the blame is on the individual, or on corporations big and small, the focus should be on implementing actions that can help reduce carbon emissions. But for a problem with so many facets, where is a good place to start?
The average person spends 35 hours of their week in the workplace, which is just over 20% of their time. If you are able to introduce energy-saving practices into the workplace (or maybe even become carbon-neutral), then it means that the average person may be able to reduce their carbon footprint by 20%. This is a significant amount of energy that can be saved, just by being more conscious about the energy you use.
Reducing workplace carbon emissions certainly feels like something everyone should try to incorporate into their life. For many though, it may be difficult to find ways you can go about doing this. We have compiled a list of some of our personal favourite, and easy, methods that can help your workplace use less energy, produce less waste and begin a journey to becoming more eco-friendly.
1. A good reason to sleep in work?
The first eco-friendly tactic on our list is to shut down your computers as opposed to putting them in sleep mode. In order to keep open software, tabs, and documents, the computer must use energy to maintain those things in sleep mode. The constant use of energy for 16 hours a day you aren’t using the computer means over 4000 hours of energy a year is wasted. If everyone in the office does the same thing, it’s not just the planet that will be hurting, it will be your wallet too!
The plan of getting an entire office to change a small part of their routine, while not necessarily difficult, requires the guarantee that everyone will remember to do so. While this isn’t as difficult with smaller work environments and teams, larger companies may need to find ways they can guarantee energy is wasted. One way we recommend to reliably help you do this is by making use of devices such as plug-in timers. With these, you are able to set anything plugged in to turn off at a specified time. This can guarantee a reduction in energy for two main reasons. The first is that no matter what, all computers (and various other devices that waste energy) will be turned off outside of office hours. It will also make those used to using sleep mode more likely to opt for shutting down their computer, in fear their open tabs and documents may be closed without saving if the timer cuts their power.
One way you could offset your carbon emissions is through the use of eco-friendly office supplies. Certain products are used in abundance in offices across the world and are often disposed of in massive amounts. If you change the products you use to environmentally friendly versions, you can help to reduce the amount of waste created by your workplace. Whether you opt for products that are recycled or recyclable, both will have a positive impact.
Paper is probably the biggest culprit when it comes to waste in an office. How many times have you printed things multiple times because it didn’t happen correctly the first time? We bet that the answer is a lot, and we know that the paper most likely went straight into the bin. It may help you feel less guilty if that paper was used before. Fortunately, recycled and recyclable paper is available and perfect for offices looking to reduce their carbon footprint. Being able to throw the waste paper out with a clean conscience is great. You are able to buy it in any size your office may need, meaning you can stay environmentally aware through every use.
While computers may have taken over as the popular office choice for writing down work and saving notes, many people still prefer the art of the written word. Pens and pencils are small and cheap, making them the perfect candidate to be thrown away without a second thought. Pens especially, commonly made from plastic, are an unnecessary waste product that people may not think about. Instead opting for pens and pencils made from recycled materials reduces the demand for new plastic and wood. You can find cardboard pens and recycled plastic pencils for cheap prices, making them a worthy endeavour for your newly green workspace.
Moving away from stationary and into the break room, disposable coffee pods have become a massively popular addition to the office lifestyle. Little metal capsules with ground coffee inside, that can be popped into a machine to make a tasty cup of joe.
Many brands of these pods however are made from different materials, mainly three: plastic, aluminium, and compostable materials. We suggest avoiding plastic pods due to them often not being recyclable, and various health concerns associated with them. Aluminium pods can be recycled, however, you may need to separate parts and clean out any waste coffee on the inside. While this might be easy to do at home, separating and cleaning out coffee pods isn’t something someone is likely to partake in on their lunch break. That leaves us with the best choice, compostable pods. With these, you don’t have to worry about the waste created from office brew brakes, and having a negative impact on the environment. You still receive good quality coffee with this option but gain the knowledge that you aren’t creating more waste.
3. Calm and Collected
Incorporating a waste recycling system and collection service in your workplace can reap many benefits. It could help you gain the attention of potential environmentally friendly customers, it can keep the health of employees due to a cleaner work environment and it can do so much more. Check out why it’s important for your office to go green.
4. Clean, green energy
While it may be a larger (and initially more expensive) jump to take, embracing the benefits that can be created by renewable energy is a great way to make your office eco-friendly. Being able to generate energy that doesn’t create carbon emissions and other greenhouse gases is great. Solar energy panels and small wind turbines are great options for utilising renewable energy, or maybe depending on your location, hydroelectricity may be a better option.
Not having to rely on the power grid for your energy not only reduces your workplace carbon emission but can help save you money by avoiding energy providers bumping up costs during the current cost of living crisis.
5. WEEE love being eco-friendly
The printers that never seem to work, keyboards with dead keys and broken disc drives. Sometimes, technology just never seems to work, maybe it even makes you want to smash it against a wall. Hey we aren’t gonna judge, we get it. If this is the case however, make sure you get in touch with Fresh Start Waste, as we can provide tailored WEEE (waste electric and electronic equipment) waste collection to businesses all across the North-West of England. When it comes to waste electronics, you need to make sure that you are following the latest regulations. Relying on Fresh Start to do just that can be a huge weight from off your shoulders, so get in touch today for more information, or see our WEEE waste information.
6. Lightbulb moment
Depending on the size of your company, lighting may be a big contributor to energy bills. The simple switch of changing to lower energy light bulbs within the workplace is just another example of how making the switch to more environmentally friendly means around the office doesn’t just benefit the environment, but your bank account too.
Making a lighting change for a more eco-friendly office doesn’t even need to be an office overhaul; however, it can be as simple as making certain hours of the day “daylight hours”, where you rely on sunlight coming through the window as opposed to artificial light.
Companies must take GDPR compliance seriously to maintain customer trust. Taking proactive steps to ensure data is secure. An example of this is through paper shredding. Paper shredding is an important part of GDPR compliance as it ensures that any physical customer data is destroyed securely. This prevents confidential information from falling into the wrong hands and protects customer privacy. This also creates another way for your workplace to reduce its carbon footprint.
Fresh Start Waste offers secure shredding as one of our services, which allows for the safe destruction and recycling of paper documents. After shredding, the paper is baled and sent to a paper based mill so it can be 100% recycled.
This is just the tip of the melting iceberg when it comes to making your work environment or eco-friendly office to the world’s environment.