5 Tips for Going Green in the Office
In Australia it is estimated that the total cost of waste services to the business sector is around $2.2 billion per year, and $1.4 of this is dedicated to landfill waste.
A lot of businesses are now aspiring to be environmentally friendly, in fact a recent study found that over 90% of consumers and businesses in Australia are concerned about their environmental sustainability.
This concept however raises a lot of questions like, where do I start? How much will it cost? Is it really going to make a difference? Will it affect time and efficiency?
Most people want to reduce their environmental footprint and to do their bit to help the planet but in reality, a lot of people are misinformed and don’t know where to start.
When you embark on change there are often concerns. Initially, it can be a challenge to transform an entire business to take a more environmental approach.
To help you out, we've created a list of 5 things you and your team can do to begin minimising your environmental footprint in the workplace.
- Go paperless:
Although for bigger offices this may seem unrealistic, this is often made possible by the use of digital sharing platforms such as One Drive, Dropbox and Google Drive. You can also cut down on the temptation to print unnecessarily by reducing the number of printers located around the office, as well as creating signs that encourage people to think twice before printing.
Placing a recycling station in a prominent location in the office with clearly marked sections makes it an easy process to recycle whenever possible. It’s also a good time to take notice of which bins fill up first and how much plastic waste is being created by the office as a collective.
3. Reuse or donate old electronics:
Where possible, donate your old devices. These can sometimes be used for spare parts or repairs and is a great way ensure your office isn’t adding to unnecessary waste. This act also encourages people within your workplace to think before they throw out old or broken electronics outside of the workplace.
4. Reduce and encourage reusing (or where financially possible provide reusable products):
Use collapsible straws when you decide to pop out for a mid-week smoothie, or even a reusable cup or bottle for when lunch comes around. Cutting back on single use plastic and coffee cups.
5. Use environmentally friendly office products:
A Study by HP Australia and Planet Ark found that “50% of Australian consumers and 44% of businesses do not recycle ink and toner cartridges". Changing over to recycled paper, refillable or recyclable ink cartridges for printers, reusable pen cartridges, or non-toxic highlighters are all a simple but effective way you can make a difference. Extend this effort by also transitioning to environmentally friendly cleaning products within the workplace.
Finally, it’s always helpful having an open conversation with the rest of your team to share and discuss other ways you can make a difference.
As with most things, going green takes a team to create a difference. Having a team of mindful and enthusiastic people (a green team) can help the rest of the office join in. As we all know, it doesn’t take one person to make a revolution, and every person counts.