• How to make an office more sustainable (for the environment)

    May 5, 2022 • GUIDES, LIFE

    officeMaking an office more sustainable can be done in a number of ways, some of which are discussed below. Incorporating renewable energy sources into the building’s infrastructure can help reduce reliance on fossil fuels and cut down on environmental impact. Making sure office materials are sourced responsibly can help preserve natural resources and limit waste output. Supporting green building practices can help keep the office environmentally healthy, and reducing the use of harmful chemicals can help improve air quality.

    But let’s look at more specific examples. The only way to action these office sustainability ideas is to understand the details and steps involved in executing each task.

    Let’s dive into ‘How to make an office more sustainable’.

    Reducing Energy Consumption

    It’s not only beneficial to your company’s pocketbook; implementing energy-saving measures in the workplace also helps make it more environmentally friendly.

    According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, business spending on electricity in Australia was $20.2 billion in 2011-2012. While we are learning how to conserve energy at home, we spend the bulk of our time at work, so it’s time to start thinking about practical workplace modifications.

    It’s not just up to business owners to effect change; everyone should consider how they can make a difference. Getting everyone on board is the key to lowering energy usage.

    Ways to Conserve Energy:

    • Switch it off after usage
    • Invest in automatic lights
    • Turn it off at the wall
    • Purchase appliances with a good energy rating
    • Use laptops instead of desktops as they consume 30 % less energy
    • Do an energy audit to understand where you can save

    Don’t forget your recycling habits now you’re in the office

    We often forget about the great recycling habits that we have at home when we’re at work. As a result of this (absent) habit, it is therefore important to take action against it. Make sure you have numerous and clearly defined recycling bins and that your employees are aware of the regulations in their municipality as an employer.

    You can also stimulate recycling by setting up a system of rewards or incentives. For example, If employees reach their recycling targets in a certain period they receive a reward.

    When we think about recycling, we often only think about dumping our paper and plastic waste in the right bin. However, there are many more ways to recycle in the office than just that.

    Here are some tips:

    • Set up recycling bins for paper, plastic, metal and glass. Make sure they are clearly labelled and placed in prominent locations.
    • Encourage employees to bring their own reusable coffee cups, water bottles and lunch containers from home.
    • Send electronic communications instead of paper.

    Reduce Single-Use Plastics

    Reduce Single-Use Plastics

    Not all plastic is bad. Plastic can be beneficial since it is lightweight, portable, and flexible. However, it has an environmental cost and may harm ecosystems (like our seas). We’ve become culprits of convenient disposables, but we can reverse this trend! Consider how many disposable items your company sells or stocks.

    Many of these items, like straws and coffee stirrers, are used for just a few minutes but take hundreds of years to decompose.

    While some plastics can be recycled, many types end up in landfills where they sit for centuries without breaking down. Plastic debris harms or kills marine life in the ocean, including turtles, fish, seals, and seabirds who mistake it for food.

    The good news is that there are many things businesses can do to reduce their reliance on disposables and help the environment. See more on this product.

    Here are a few office sustainability ideas for reducing single-use plastics:

    • Encourage employees to bring in reusable water bottles, cups, and utensils from home. Offer incentives for doing so.
    • Switch to reusable coffee cups and mugs in the office. Make sure they are washed and available for employees to use.
    • Eliminate single-use plastic items like straws, utensils, and condiment packets in the office. If straws are necessary, purchase ones made from paper.
    • Encourage employees to recycle. Work with your local recycling centre to make sure all recyclable materials are properly sorted.

    Going Jungle Around the Office

    Going Jungle Around the OfficeAccording to research conducted by the New University of Technology Sydney (UTS), plant-based employees had 30-60% lower stress levels after three months. According to the study, even adding just one plant to the workplace had a big impact on staff mood and stress levels.

    The researchers also found that participants in the study experienced a decrease in anger, anxiety, and depression, as well as other destructive emotions such as guilt.

    Why, then, do plants have such a beneficial influence on our mental well-being? The presence of greenery and nature makes us feel calm. According to scientists, all humans possess biophilia – an instinctive connection with nature.

    Cities and people who spend most of their day indoors may be stressed out simply because they don’t have as much contact with plants and the environment. However, a single desk plant can provide that inbuilt need to connect with nature, which will promote positive feelings while lowering stress hormones.

    This connection to the plant life around the office will help inspire employees to be more environmentally conscious.

    Stainless Steel Straw Bundle with Cleaner & Bonus Pouch 4pk - Rose Gold 6mm

    Stainless Steel Straw Bundle with Cleaner & Bonus Pouch 4pk – Rose Gold 6mm

    Go Paper-Free

    Some businesses have already eliminated paper entirely, but for others, eliminating it completely is not an option. If this is the case, be sure to recycle all paper and reset your network’s settings so that information is printed on both sides. Look for a shredding firm that provides a service where the paper is recycled after the data has been destroyed.

    Digital documents are easier to store and retrieve. They reduce clutter in the workplace and, if your company is in the cloud, the papers may be accessed from anywhere. It’s also a more secure method of conducting business if catastrophe strikes. If you need to print on paper, consider buying recycled paper from ecologically responsible suppliers.

    Composting in the Office

    In Australia, approximately 5 million tonnes of food are thrown away each year. Every year, half of all fruits and vegetables get wasted. Even better, your own garden may be re-invigorated, ensuring that nothing is wasted.

    Maybe you’ve had it with co-workers leaving food scraps in the fridge or maybe you’ve calculated how much sandwich crusts pile up each week. Whatever your reason, there’s a composting option for every workplace that may help reduce food waste.

    Turn this office sustainability idea into action!

    Urban Composter Bokashi Compost Starter Kit – 16L Chilli

    Urban Composter Bokashi Compost Starter Kit - 16L Chilli

    Urban Composter Bokashi Compost Starter Kit – 16L Chilli. Australian designed and made Bokashi composting system in a generous 16L capacity. This bucket is made from recycled plastic to further your commitment to the war on waste! It comes with a convenient liquid EM spray and refill bottle (also packaged in recycled plastic), an easy-clip lid and an internal tap design. Complete with instructions.

    Get the Stats!

    Get the Stats!

    We tend to lose track of the waste we create at the workplace since it is neither a place under our control nor really under our responsibility. However, among printed papers, coffee pods, water bottles, single-use cups, business supplies, or paper napkins used excessively to dry our hands: we are responsible for generating a lot of garbage.

    To get a better sense of how much waste you’re producing and to encourage yourself to act, record your waste effect. You may take into account the amount of trash generated by your open space or staff in a week. You could even hire a service provider to perform it for you. It’s easier to create objectives after obtaining this specific data.

    Use Sustainable Office Supplies

    Look for more sustainable alternatives when it comes to spending your yearly office budget. You can get bulk and affordable plastic supplies but at the end of the year, you find they need to be replaced, a quality option that didn’t negatively impact the environment would have been the better option. Wondering how to make your office more sustainable? See a list of supplies below.

    TerraCycle Zero Waste Recycle Bin – Office Separation

    TerraCycle Zero Waste Recycle Bin - Office Separation

    TerraCycle Zero Waste Recycle Bin – Office Separation. Use this box to recycle any brand of art supplies, books and magazines, eyewear, cleaning accessories, fabrics and clothing, media storage, office supplies, plastic cards, and shipping materials. Reduce your waste by recycling “unrecyclable” products. Small and medium sizes are available.

    Urthly Organics Soap Bar – Patchouli & Lavender

    Urthly Organics Soap Bar - Patchouli & Lavender

    Urthly Organics Soap Bar – Patchouli & Lavender. Lavender, Patchouli essential oils and Cedarwood dust round out this palm oil-free bar soap made in Central Victoria, Australia. Free from SLS, SLES, parabens, fluoride, titanium dioxide, glycols, fragrance and mineral oils.

    Notely A6 Notebook 2pk Lined – Anna Manolatos

    Notely A6 Notebook 2pk Lined - Anna Manolatos

    Notely A6 Notebook 2pk Lined – Anna Manolatos This stunning bright coloured graphic notebook is the most stylish way to keep all of your ideas together in one place! Plus, you can feel good about it as these notebooks are made using post-consumer waste paper and are 100% carbon neutral, being designed using a chlorine-free process!

    The Ecopaper Executive Bamboo Pen & Pencil

    The Ecopaper Executive Bamboo Pen & Pencil

    Ecopaper Executive Bamboo Pen & Pencil. A duo set of an executive-style bamboo pen and mechanical pencil, packaged in a recycled paper gift box. Made from the fastest growing, renewable resource on the planet, bamboo is grown without the need for pesticides and fertilisers. Making a small change to bamboo can have a large impact over time.

    Swedish Dish Sponge Cloth – Hens

    Swedish Dish Sponge Cloth - Hens

    Swedish Dish Sponge Cloth – Hens. A super-absorbent plant fibre sponge cloth with a funky chicken print, designed to replace disposable wipes and paper towels around the home. Mop up spills, wipe down kitchen surfaces or freshen the bathroom with this reusable and compostable sponge cloth – Made in Sweden.

    How to Make an Office More Sustainable – Every Step Counts

    We hope you’ve enjoyed our guide on how to make an office more sustainable. And the truth is, there are many ways to make an office sustainable. By following some or all of the steps mentioned above, your office can become more environmentally friendly and cost-effective.

    We hope you will consider making these changes and join the growing number of businesses that are committed to sustainability; it feels incredible to know you’re doing your bit!