It’s unlikely that there’s a person alive today that doesn’t know the importance of trying to reduce our carbon footprint and make choices that are better for the environment. Many people are making changes in their personal lives to try and be more eco-conscious, like investing in a hybrid or electric car, taking public transportation when possible and investing in a better insulation to help cut the use of fossil fuels and electricity to heat the home. But what about the in the workplace?
Each day, people on their way to and from work and right in the office do things that can negatively attribute to the environment without even realising it or thinking about it. From takeaway lunches in one-time-use plastic packaging to the millions of plastic water bottles that get purchased daily, there are many ways you can do your part and be more eco-friendly in the workplace. Read on to get our eco-friendly tips for the workplace.
1. Invest in Reusable Items
Hydration is important, as is our morning caffeine. It is estimated that each day, in the UK alone, 7 million disposable coffee cups are used. While many of the cups are made from recyclable paper products, what of the plastic lids? And what about plastic water bottles? Believe it a not, a million plastic bottles are bought a minute across the world.
If more people were to invest in a reusable water bottle and insulated travel mug, think how these numbers could be affected? By making sure you take your water bottle and mug with you each day, you can still stay hydrated and enjoy your coffee to go while helping to make a difference. Some reusable companies are doing amazing work, too. For instance, S’well partners with UNICEF to help bring clean water to countries in desperate need of it.
Employers can offer new starters a welcome pack with reusable water bottles and mugs to promote the use of this, and it’ll help get the whole team on board.
2. Be Prepared for Lunch
We’re all busy in the mornings and sometimes it’s just easier to pop out at lunch for a quick bite than it is to prepare ourselves a lunch to take with us to work. But be wary of where you buy your lunch – think about things like plastic takeaway packaging and plastic cutlery. Buying these even just a few times a week can add up.
Instead, prepping your own lunch and packing it in a reusable container is a much healthier, more affordable and more eco-friendly choice. Employers can also help in this instance, by offering lunch options
3. Invest in Sustainable Office Furniture
Furniture design and manufacturing companies are doing some amazing things in terms of sustainability these days. Companies like Humanscale, for example, are working to create innovative office furniture products that are made from a sustainable source. Their Smart Ocean Chair is partially made from recycled fishing nets. You can also opt for furniture made from glass and metal where possible so as to avoid plastics.
4. Encourage Car Sharing and Cycle to Work Schemes
Workplaces that encourage their employees to car share or offer a cycle to work schemes can also help make a difference and urge the team to get involved for a common purpose. Incentivising these efforts can bolster employee interest as well. Turning a cycle to work scheme into a challenge and rewarding the person who cycles to work most frequently or covers the most miles can create fun and healthy workplace competition that is good for the environment.
5. Be as Digital as Possible
Cutting down the use of paper in the workplace is another way to make the office a bit more eco-friendly. Emailing a client slides after a presentation rather than printing off a hard copy, posting meeting agendas on a digital screen rather than providing everyone with a paper agenda or limiting printing allowances can all cut down on paper waste in the office.
Many businesses today are investing more in their technology, which can help reduce the amount of paper used in the workplace. Tablets, laptops and smart technology can all help to cut down on the pages of paper being used each day.
By: Richard Edwards
Published: 13th December 2019