Businesses often discuss plans to “go green” by consuming fewer resources and producing less waste. Being environmentally conscious is definitely a good thing to do, as a business and as an individual. However, it can be easy to get caught up in the mere idea of going green and not think too deeply about practical changes you can actually make. How can you get started developing a more sustainable office?
Reducing your office’s environmental impact doesn’t have to mean getting rid of all electronic devices or taking another equally drastic measure. A few inexpensive changes will help you run an environmentally friendly office while also benefitting your employees. Let’s look at a few ways you can run a green business.
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Recycle What You Can
Reduce the amount of waste your office produces by focusing on recycling rather than simply throwing out trash. Keep recycling bins prominently displayed near garbage cans. Of course, there are plenty of things you can recycle besides such staples as plastic, glass, or aluminum. Certain types of office waste, like ink cartridges, require special attention but can still be recycled. Check around your office to see where you can begin cutting down on trash.
Install Energy-Efficient Appliances
Offices can consume surprisingly large amounts of electricity every day. From computers to air conditioners and much more, your office is full of electric equipment. The most obvious way to reduce electricity consumption is to simply turn off your devices when they aren’t in use. However, powering down certain devices completely can reset important functions, and no one likes to wait around for a machine to boot up all the way.
Rather than going through the trouble of turning your equipment off all the time, invest in energy-efficient office machinery. Energy Star-certified products consume reduced amounts of power without sacrificing functionality, for example. Other types of machinery, like certain printers, come with energy-saving features such as sensors that only turn the machine on when someone approaches to use it. Motion-activated lights can sense when the office is empty and turn themselves off for the night. There’s no shortage of environmentally friendly products to help you run a sustainable business!
Pro Tip: LED light bulbs consume less electricity than incandescent bulbs, last longer, and can even provide better lighting for your office! Save money and energy by switching today.
While it’s not generally possible for businesses to go completely paper-free, you can certainly reduce the amount of paper you do use. Rather than printing every important bulletin or set of notes, store them as digital documents instead. Use interactive hardware like the Sharp AQUOS Board instead of printing dozens of handouts for large presentations. Relying on computers to store and share your files consumes far less electricity than repeatedly booting up the printer to make physical copies. And when you do need to print something, make sure to use printer paper made from recycled materials!
Making a few small changes to your business setup costs very little, but can make a big difference in your expenses and long-term environmental impact. What can your office do? What are you already doing? Try to find other ways to run an environmentally friendly office.
Join the conversation to see how other business owners are reducing their environmental impact.