Easy Ways to Go Green: Try Some Eco-Friendly Office Supplies & Habits

Easy Ways to Go Green: Try Some Eco-Friendly Office Supplies & Habits

Developing a Green Office Environment

Employers and employees should start thinking about how they can be more environmentally-friendly at the office. Certain choices made at the office can increase the potency of pollution, which can have an adverse effect on different parts of our ecosystem. To give an example, the increased amount of carbon dioxide humans produce allowed the planet’s temperature to go up 1.62 degrees Fahrenheit

Going green helps the planet and lets you lead a healthier lifestyle, so continue reading to see how you can start making greener choices at work. 

Encourage Recycling 

A mass of plastic bottles with caps.

One of the easiest ways to go green at work is put more emphasis on recycling. According to the University of South Indiana, every ton of paper that is recycled saves 17 trees. It may be a simple act, but it makes a big difference. If your employees are not recycling enough there are a few strategic ways you motivate them into doing so. 

To begin, place a recycling bin in locations where they would be most necessary. For example, you should put one in the breakroom for recycling plastic, and one near printers for recycling paper. Make sure you properly communicate with your employees so they know exactly what should and should not be recycled.  

Be sure no one tosses trash into recycling bins, because the garbage man will not take the time to take the trash out, and will likely send everything to the dump instead. Recycling is important, and a little motivation towards doing so can go a long way. 

Opt for Reusable & Green Office Supplies 

Any unrenewable products you toss in the trash eventually end up in landfills across the country. When they decompose they release harmful toxins that destroy the ozone layer, and harm different ecosystems.  

Shifting your shopping habits towards green office products that are produced with renewable materials can help to stop this problem and reduce your carbon footprint. Certain office supplies, like pencils, have been produced from recycled paper and other sustainable resources. This means they can be recycled instead of being thrown out.  

Besides renewable office products, you should also opt for products you can reuse and refill. Several ink-based pens can be refilled, so you will not have to toss them into the trash each time they run out. By opting for reusable and sustainable office products, you can help keep trash from piling up in landfills. 

Lower Your Energy Consumption 

The sun shining above trees between two power lines.

While the use of electricity does not harm to our environment, the creation of it does. 64% of the electricity produced in 2017 came from fossil fuels and similar substances, and when they were burned they released harmful chemicals, like carbon dioxide and nitrogen oxide. These all harm the environment in one way or another, so we should all be reducing our consumption of energy to ease up on the amount of electricity that is produced in power plants across the country. 

One way you can do this is to swap out printers and other devices in your office with ones that consume less energy. You can also replace your existing lightbulbs with more energy efficient models. 

Finally, any devices that are not in use should be unplugged, since they can still sap electricity while they are plugged in. Remember to turn all your devices off at the end of the day to reduce the amount of electricity your office produces at night. 

Embrace Telecommuting 

Woman at a table with a notebook, pen, Macbook and cup of coffee.

Cars produce harmful chemicals, including carbon monoxide, and the overuse of them in recent years has created a lot of air pollution. Airborne pollutants damage the ozone layer, and play a key role in creating the climate change issues our planet has been facing. To lessen the reliance on vehicles, you should let your workers telecommute on certain days of the week. 

Most office employees work on computers anyway, so it is possible for them to continue with their projects at home. Set up a system so workers can work from home at least one day during the week to reduce the amount of time they are on the road. With less cars on the road, less pollutants are released into the air, reducing the impact of air pollution on the atmosphere. 

Decorate Your Office with Plants 

Two antique style, modern, leather chairs, a table and a dozen hanging potted plants on a wire frame.

Did you know that indoor air can hold more pollutants than outside air? These pollutants can be produced by appliances in the breakroom and paint used to freshen up the office walls, among other things. Since offices remain tightly closed during the workday, it is difficult for airborne chemicals and toxins to escape. A great way to combat this problem is to introduce some plants into your workspace if you do not have some already.  

Plants enhance the look of an office, and they also work to clean the pollutants floating in the air. They absorb the pollutants through their roots and leaves through the natural process of photosynthesis, cleaning the air of impurities. 

The Sansevieria trifasciata, or snake plant, is a great option for the office, since it can grow to a substantial height, allowing it to cover a lot of ground. Peace lilies are also effective, because they can grow in low-lighted areas. 

Did you know that shopping from a local vendor can also help the environment?