An Eco Friendly Office Space
So what does “eco friendly” really mean and how does it affect us? Being eco-friendly in essence means “caring for the environment”. There has been a greater push in the last couple years to evaluate how the products we use, and what you do with them, affect the environment. Let’s explore some of the ways to keep our office space eco friendly:
What about using LED lighting to become more energy efficient? LED is a rising trend, and though the up-front cost may be a bit steep compared to traditional lighting, the bulbs last significantly longer and are more energy efficient – saving you money in the long run. This article discusses the science behind LED and may help you determine whether you’d like to adopt them now, or make plans for a transition in the future. Lastly, switching off or powering down electronic devices and turning off all lights in the building at the end of the day will also help with energy efficiency.
What about recycling? This is another biggie that gets missed in the office.
It seems that we think differently in the office than we do in our own homes, however it is just as important and due to the higher number of people in the building it’s essential that we have a recycling program in place. There are many opportunities for shifting our mindset, and becoming happy recyclers. Here are a few things we can do:
- Get recycling bins in convenient and high use areas of the office, such as the cafeteria and copy rooms
- Promote recycling all used paper rather than just throwing it away
- Recycle all plastic to cut down on plastic pollution
In fact, that is this year’s focus from World Environment Day, to beat plastic pollution. Additionally, a good practice is using recycled paper in our copiers and then recycling it ourselves. Try to cut down on printouts in the office internally, and if there is a way to send the information electronically definitely go that route.
Indoor Air Quality
Also, let’s think about the indoor air quality. Yes! This is definitely the time to buy a couple of indoor palm trees! However that won’t do everything you need. There are three key components to air quality:
- Your building’s HVAC system
- Moisture and humidity levels
The HVAC ductwork and air filters affect and play a role in removing the pollutants from the air. Pollutants come from both indoor and outdoor sources: dust, carbon monoxide, and pollen just to name a few. Moisture and humidity levels are extremely important: if the moisture level is too high it creates the perfect environment for bacteria and mold to thrive. If the humidity is too low it can cause discomfort to the workers in the facility. In these 3 articles: Improving Indoor Air Quality in your Facility part 1, part 2, and part 3 it will explore the positive aspects that come from improving your air quality in the building.
Reducing your Carbon Footprint
If your business is in a big city, think about carpooling to help reduce your carbon footprint. Encourage workers to bike, walk or take public transport where they can.
Another option that has been discussed recently is that if your office has too much unused space you can think about downsizing and that will also help reduce your carbon footprint. A lot more employees are choosing flex schedules and working remotely, so in some situations the large office space is no longer needed.
Using green cleaning products is also a fantastic idea. Make sure that your janitor or weekly cleaner has these green cleaning products available to them to clean your office space. In using eco friendly cleaning products, you will cut down on adding to the allergies of your employees as well as reduce the amount of harmful chemicals.
The main part of this is education, if you can educate and encourage your employees to work towards the main goal of reducing waste, becoming more environmentally friendly, you will be well on your way to getting your office in order! Additionally, making changes to the way you go about the office recycling, lighting and air quality is a fantastic way of getting more out of your space.