Going Green in your company is not as difficult or expensive as you might think… In fact, there are many simple, free and effective ways to reduce waste that will actually increase profitability in your business at the same time! GREEN not only represents saving the ENVIRONMENT, but it’s also the colour for making and saving MONEY. Here are some great, easy-to-accomplish ideas for leading your company into greener pastures…
AIR CONDITIONER/ HEATER:
Setting your air conditioner a mere 1 degree warmer can save 6 – 8% of energy and vice versa for heaters. There’s no need to have a second ice age in the office, in fact recent studies show that it’s detrimental to worker’s productivity as well as health, not to mention that 70% of workers complain that their offices are far too cold! So why spend more money on creating tundra temperatures that slow down your workers AND kill the environment?!
View this article for some interesting facts about the negative effects of icy air conditioning within the office:
COFFEE/ LUNCH TIME:
Use mugs or glasses instead of disposable cups for office drinks – as there is no waste. Also encourage workers to bring lunch to work in a reusable lunch box where possible, rather than paper/plastic bags that just fill up the landfills daily.
Replace outdated computers with fast, efficient laptops – which use up to 80% less energy and produce less heat waste!
And trade in that old computer to be recycled; some companies will even take back your old computer and give you credits towards your new purchases. Ask the company you’re buying from if they would be interested in doing that!
You can also adjust your computers settings to save energy, i.e. standby when they haven’t been used for 10 mins or so.
Choose to buy recycled and preferably refillable office stationery, such as pens, pencils, markers, and especially paper. Use biodegradable soaps and cleaning agents that are healthier for the environment and less harmful to YOU.
- 55% of water is saved during the production of recycled paper. Recycled paper also takes 60-70 percent less energy to produce than paper from virgin pulp.
Use rechargeable batteries with solar paneled rechargers, instead of disposable batteries. You can save a lot of money by recharging batteries!
Recycling is important, but the greenest paper is no paper at all. You can reduce paper waste by just keeping conservation in mind, think about what is entirely necessary to print and use double-sided printing where manageable (it is under your printing settings).
Decide if your filing/ accounting systems can be enhanced through the use of the computer – maybe your systems can be updated and less time can be spent doing the menial tasks! Also, rather email documents and letters to be read online rather than printed – it is far less time consuming.
Have staff members take their laptops to meetings for note-taking and email them all the agenda, rather than printing each one their own copy. Flash drives can also allow you to transport information quickly and efficiently – you can carry around files and files worth of information, pictures etc. in a tiny package.
And why not get rid of that tiresome old fax machine that means paper, phone calls and time wasted! Switch to an Email 2 Fax and Fax 2 Email solution, which means you can email those documents straight to a clients’ fax machine, and your faxes come through to your computer as an email – which you can opt to print or not. It is a much more affordable solution! [We offer FREE Fax 2 Email services.]
SEE THE LIGHT:
Use energy saving light bulbs, either CFLs (compact fluorescent lamps) or LED lights, that use significantly less energy, and although they cost a little more they last A LOT longer and use less electricity than normal bulbs, thereby still saving you money.
Recycling paper, plastic, glass and tin can waste is easier than you think! We at Easy2Access, started with having an extra bin for paper, because our office has always had a lot of paperwork. It was easy because most of our waste is paper. When that became second nature, we began to have separate bins for glass and plastic too.
Another important office item that are often forgotten about are our printer and fax cartridges. Most people don’t even know that these can be recycled! Cartridges are important to recycle because…
- A typical printer cartridge will take up to 1000 years to decompose.
- More than 30 million inkjet cartridges are dumped each year in the UK alone (1800 tonnes) – the same weight as 18 Blue Whales.
- Only between 20-30% of all printer cartridges are currently recycled.
- Industry analysts estimate a spent cartridge can be reused or re-manufactured between 3 to 7 times.
Cartridge recycling enables new high quality cartridges to be produced from the empty ones. This uses up to 80% less energy and about 50% less oil. Any empty cartridges or parts that cannot be reused are broken down to their raw materials and recycled. And most companies go through many cartridges in a month!
Carpool with a colleague that lives nearby or use public transport to get to work, where possible. Even work from home when it is an option, as it can save plenty of petrol and money each year.
Why not turn your work week into a 4 day week by adding 1/ 2 hours onto the other 4 days, thereby not needing to work on the 5th day – a 3 day weekend is nothing to be sniffed at!
Turn off lights, computers, printers, kettles and the like that don’t need to stay on when not in use and especially when leaving the office, this can save countless electricity… Your electricity bill will go down drastically from this one step alone!! [Unplugging these items, if at all possible, can save even more electricity.]
- Many appliances have “standby” settings that draw power, sometimes as much as 15 or 20 watts, even when they’re turned off!
Reducing our carbon footprint can become second nature once you’ve started the process. Don’t overwhelm yourself by doing everything at once: Start with one simple but effective action (eg. recycling paper) and when that is natural, move onto other actions until they are built into your ordinary routines in the office. We started that way and continue to take steps in a green direction, wherever possible.
Going green can boost office morale and bring the office together in one united task; you’ll soon see that your effort to make the environment healthier and happier will give you a sense of purpose and achievement.
- The Easy2Access Team