With the average person spending 90,000 hours in the office during their lifetime, it is safe to assume that a decent-sized chunk of the pollution we produce as a species comes during the working day. While it is admittedly easy for environmental considerations to slip your mind in the midst of pressing meetings and deadlines, it is more important than ever not to abandon the planet - especially as temperatures continue to climb and extreme weather becomes a regularity rather than a rarity. To transform your office into an environmentally-friendly one that requires very little effort to upkeep on a daily basis, here are a number of the most effective changes you can possibly make.
It may seem counter-intuitive to reduce the number of bins in an office if you want to encourage recycling, but that is exactly what the consensus is in the environmental community. By getting rid of personal bins, employees are forced to move around in search of a bin and are more likely to make a more conscious decision about whether the waste they are carrying can be recycled or not.
Going one step further and eliminating the presence of bins in the office altogether is another option; one that is being explored successfully by the Macquarie Bank office in Sydney. The thinking behind it is that, without bins, employees have no choice but to complete their work without generating any paper waste.
Before you even start thinking about how you can reclaim value from things you have already used, you should first consider how you can eliminate their use in the first place. Implementing software that can automatically improve the efficiency of any document you are printing - both in terms of ink usage and paper usage - can cut down on your office’s contributions to global warming. Brands like Green Print and E Print claim that their software can save up to 17% on printing materials.
From the computers that allow you to send emails and store documents, to the kettles that provide you with boiling water, offices are full of electricity-guzzling equipment. Any opportunity to trim your electricity usage should be seized upon.
Especially in larger offices, motion-activated lights can remove the human element that inevitably results in lights being left on when they simply don’t need to be. If you aren’t willing to take this step, you should at least consider installing LED lights, which use a fraction of the energy that their incandescent counterparts do. Similarly, energy-saving plugs will automatically switch off monitors and computers that are almost always left on standby after hours. These changes are simple yet effective.
In any UK office, people are constantly shuttling back and forth from the kitchen carrying cups of tea and coffee. For that reason, office kitchens are guilty of using copious amounts of water - not to mention the huge amounts of energy it takes to boil this water. The most straightforward and effective method of reducing this amount of energy is to install a hot water pump. As well as providing your office with an instant supply of hot water, it does so extremely efficiently.