10 Easy Ways to Make Your Office Greener

We’re heading back to the office, and we’ve never been happier to say that! One of the impacts of COVID-19 has been pandemic plastic (and for good reason, to protect our health).

However, now we all need to step up our game, and make sure we reduce our impact as much as possible. And that means in the office too. Which of these ideas can you take onboard tomake your office greener?

The basics

1. Go paperless

Going paperless doesn’t just save trees. It also saves use of precious resources, especially water. Opt for file-sharing and note-taking apps instead.

2. Reduce Energy

Avoid energy vampires: turn appliances off at the power source when not in use.

Once your laptop is charged, unplug it, otherwise it will continue to use energy unnecessarily.

Turn off lights when not in use or better still consider adding motion-activated sensor lights in offices and meeting rooms.

3. Refuse single-use

Reusables are likely back in favour in your local café post-lockdown, so remember to bring your reusable coffee cup everyday.

And if you forget, bring an office mug or drink-in. It’s also great to have a lunchbox, cutlery, reusable bag and water bottle.

Think of your 262 workdays in a year, and how many disposables your breakfast and lunch could add up to.

A sobering thought.

Bonus – Most cafés will offer a discount on your coffee if you bring a reusable.

Ten Ways To Make Your Office Greener

Intermediate tips

4. Talk to building management

A lot of what we experience in the office is out of our direct control. Speaking with building management is a great way to have an impact.

Report any dripping taps, loos or faulty sensor taps to Building Management. Ask them to reduce the temperature for air-conditioning or heating and reduce hours for lighting.

Have they switched to renewable energy yet?

5. Recycle right

Recycling is no longer the silver bullet for all our wasteproblems, so we are far better to reduce and reuse, and only recycle as a last resort.

If you do recycle, make sure it is clean, so it doesn’t contaminate other items (meaning it all ends up in landfill).

Wishcycling” doesn’t work, so check the plastic codes and know what your local council collects.

Ten Ways To Make Your Office Greener

6. Greenify your commute

Public transport is of course the way to go. Unless you can use no transport of course.

Cycling or walking to work, if you are able to, will not only make your commute zero-carbon, it’s also great for your health.

You’ll enter the office recharged and raring to go, I guarantee it.

7. Check your carbon footprint

Reducing our carbon footprint as individuals is an important step in slowing the effects of climate change.

GIKI stands for Get Informed and Know your Impact, and this is a great tool for learning what affects your carbon footprint.

You might be surprised!

Ten Ways To Make Your Office Greener

Expert level

8. Reduce food wastage

Food wastage might sound harmless, but it’s a huge environmental concern. When food is left to rot, it creates methane, a greenhouse gas more potent than carbon dioxide, which contributes to climate change.

The best thing we can do is buy just enough food and eat our leftovers! (Think how much money you could save too!)

Try apps like ‘Too Good To Go‘ to check out discounted restaurant quality food in your area.

9. Know your internet impact

Did you know that downloading 1GB of data creates around 3kg of carbon emissions?

To put this into perspective, the average tree can reduce around 10-20kg of carbon per year. An internet search accounts for around 7g of carbon emission.

When you consider how many searches you do per day/week/month, it all adds up.

Try Ecosia, a search engine that plants trees for every search.

10. Educating yourself and others

If the above points have got you thinking, the best way to make an impactful change is to continue to educate yourself and those around you.

Think about how you can make sustainability a key focus within your business. Add it to team meetings as a standing agenda item.

Gain executive sponsorship and start a green team.

So, which step will you tackle first?!

Elly Both is Founder of Bright Green, helping businesses reduce their carbon footprint by implementing green office initiatives.