World Environment Day - article 05/06/2019

Six tips for an eco-friendly office

Celebrated on 5 June every year, World Environment Day encourages awareness and action for the protection of our environment.  To celebrate and raise awareness of the annual event, we’ve summarised six tips for an eco-friendlier office.

How many are you and your co-workers undertaking?

 

  1. Avoid driving to work

Instead of driving into work, why not cycle to work? Driving produces fumes that are harmful to the environment and pollute the air. It can also be costly in fuel and parking. Most people switch from driving to getting the train or bus which reduces emissions and is cheaper, but this alternative still affects the environment.

Cycling could be quicker than waiting for buses and trains and is also better for your health as you will be exercising; a win-win situation. Or, if you’re lucky enough to live close to work, you could even enjoy a walk to the office and have this time to yourself to unwind and relax.

Top tip

If your company operates in a way where employees don’t have to be in the office every day or aren’t in a client facing role, you could consider working from home options and flexible working to reduce commuting emissions and utility bills etc. Click here to read how flexible working can increase recruitment and retention.

bike meag bike

Here is Gemma Robinson, Operations Director and Meagan Stobart, Operations Support cycling to work

  1. Save power

If you’re not using any equipment or appliances turn the switch off to save electricity and your electrical bill, especially turning lights off when you’ve left the room. You should also turn your computer to ‘sleep’ mode or turn it off every night to save power over night, especially if you’re not in the office everyday or at least turn it off at the end of every week so it isn’t on all weekend.

Top tip

If you really want to save even more money on utility bills than you could switch to a green energy plan that uses sustainable and renewable energy sources such as solar and wind to power electricity and gas.

 

  1. Recycle

Ensure that you have recycling bins throughout the office with posters listing what items can be recycled. This will increase the knowledge of recycling within the office. Posters can consist of the following helpful information, for example:

Waste booklet chart

Source: Recycling Do’s and Don’ts

Also, look out for the below symbols on the back of items to see if you can recycle them:

arrow triangle arrowswidely

Top tip

Put recycling items into your green recycling bin loosely. Avoid putting items in a plastic bag to help the recycling process.

 

  1. Opt for metal cutlery over plastic

If you enjoy a takeout lunch, try to avoid using plastic utensils. Try to use metal cutlery instead to reduce landfill and waste.

If your workplace has a water dispenser that uses plastic cups, encourage employees to use glasses or a mug. This reduces plastic waste and costs.

 

  1. Avoid printing

Where possible be greener and go digital. Reduce paper wastage by not printing emails, documents and notes. Instead, document information on your laptop or mobile device. You can even display information using a television or overhead projection. Recording your conversation on the phone is also a great way to take notes without using paper.

 

  1. Desk plants

Bring a desk plant to work to clean the air you will be breathing in every day. This will bring a touch of nature into the office and add some colour into your working environment.

It’s proven that plants in the workplace can increase productivity, reduce stress and decrease absenteeism. You can also have fun with this – why not have a ‘plant-off’? Have a little competition within the office for who has the best plant or looks after their plant the most to add some fun and healthy competition within the office.

sam

Here is Sam Finnegan, Associate Consultant with his desk plant – a Dragon Tree

Like what you read? View the related links below on how to improve wellbeing in the workplace and more.

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