Working Lean, Mean and Green

While environmentalism sounds like a big responsibility, it all boils down to small changes that lead to a bigger impact. Every day from 9 to 5, there are thousands of people going to work to contribute to the economy. However, this contribution can lead to a significant impact on the environment that may not necessarily be good. What humans can do is make changes either on a grand scale, or on a smaller scale, that could reverse this damage caused.

Below are some steps that can make the workplace more environment-friendly:

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

The main problem with offices nowadays is that this simple rule of recycling is not followed. Offices don’t always need to use a single side of the paper and throw it away. Encouraging employees to use glassware instead of providing them with disposable paper cups is a simple way to make them reuse and hence, reduce the amount of plastic.

 

Investments

The office should invest in technology that is environmentally friendly. Although this seems like a no-brainer, it’s not just about using eco-friendly air conditioners. It is also about using ‘smart’ power strips that can sense when electrical lines are not in use, and can reduce energy consumption by switching off. Motion-activated switches that turn the lights and air-conditioners on and off can also be a good alternative to relying on the employees to save energy.

 

Carpooling

Establishing a carpooling system will not only reduce the cost of transport per employee, it would also decrease the amount of fuel used per person to travel back and forth from work.

 

Meatless Mondays

Introducing one meatless work day per week actually creates a large impact throughout the year. Encourage employees to take up a meatless lifestyle for at least one day, as producing one kilogram of beef consumes more than 9 times more water than one kilogram of another vegetable.

 

Hand-me-downs

Using secondhand products could actually be a better idea than you think. Appliances such as coffee makers or even printers can be found at a cheaper price that work well enough to be used at an office. This not only saves money but also reduces the amount of plastic used per office as the company would not have to opt for the production of another appliance altogether.

 

Taking Digitalization Seriously

Using more electronic medium such as PDFs sent via emails rather than agendas printed for each and every person attending the meeting can be one way to begin. There are too many manuals and rules and regulations that are printed onto paper that can simply be uploaded online for employee reference. Furthermore, there are some jobs that can be carried out through telecommuting, which means one can simply do the job from home and save themselves the time and energy as well.

 

Buy in Bulk

Purchasing office supplies that are frequently required in bulk saves money, and it also saves a lot of packaging as well. Most packaging is made out of plastic, which does not decompose and harms the environment instead.

 

Literally Go Green

Including plants within the office makes the air cleaner and studies have shown that being closer to nature helps aid the performance of employees as well. There is nothing better than reversing the process of deforestation caused by humanity by planting more greenery.

 

Encouragement

Applaud employees who prefer walking or biking to work. Holding employees with a greener lifestyle as a standard encourages others to try to be better as well. Taking completely paper-free offices as a benchmark could also help the companies in understanding how to effectively go digital and save the environment.

At the end of the day, it is the small changes that count. Entire offices moving to greener technology would create an impact that planet earth needs, and that could be the reason behind there being a change altogether.

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