We often talk about (brag about!) being earth-friendly, going green and recycling in our home. But most of us spend a good portion of our lives in another environment, one that generates its own share of waste: the workplace. Whether you work for a large company or a small business, you likely have an office in which you spend five or more days a week. That office requires heating and cooling; it uses paper, appliances, and other materials; and it creates waste just as prolifically as does the home – if not more so.
If you are a business manager or simply an outspoken person in your office, you can take concerted steps toward reducing, reusing and recycling in the workplace. Here’s how:
Technology has made it increasingly easy to reduce in the workplace. By using cloud computing, electronic billing, and email communication a business can go paperless and save troves of trash (and money) the process. You can also reduce on your electricity consumption by installing intelligent thermostats and energy-efficient lighting. The possibilities are truly endless and the potential for savings are considerable. As a successful energy-reducer can tell you, you don’t need solar power to save on utilities in the workplace.
Changing workplace trends dictate that companies are always creating waste. Every technological and management change likely yields discarded furniture, printers, and various other office items. All of these materials can be donated to agencies that will help reuse them in some capacity. An office truly committed to being environmentally-friendly is not one that will leave generations of printers sitting in a landfill.
Most people find it far easier to recycle in the home than in the workplace. The reason? At home, many of us have a dedicated bin for trash and another one dedicated for recycling. Every time we empty the trash or take the bins to the curb we are reminded to sort the recyclables out from the items that are not. We often don’t get this kind of reminder in the office, where trash receptacles are abundant but recycling bins are a far rarer find. There’s an easy solution to this, however: next to every trash can add a well-marked recycling bin. Certainly make sure there is one in the kitchen or wherever employees tend to eat their lunch.
Hopefully these tips can help your business better reduce, reuse and recycle. Doing so not only helps the environment, but can also translate favorably towards the company’s bottom line. As far as the workplace is concerned, there’s really no reason not to go green.
Top-20 Ways to Make your Business Greener: http://blog.ecycler.com/2010/11/13/top-20-ways-to-make-your-business-greener/
When not writing she loves spending her time walking her dog Leona and shopping at local San Diego farmers markets.