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How To Make Your Office More Sustainable
As Earth Week is nearing the end, we must continue to practice sustainable efforts all year round. The pandemic was a blessing in disguise for sustainability because corporations came to a halt, causing a decrease in greenhouse emissions. Now that over 200 million Americans will be vaccinated by the end of next week, there is a likeability that greenhouse emissions will continue to soar, and it is our responsibility to take action. Whether it is lifestyle decisions we make day to day or small efforts made around the office, education and taking action is a step in the right direction. Here is a list of things you can implement in your office to make it more sustainable and more eco-friendly.
Living in the 21st century, we have transitioned from pen and paper to laptops and phones. One of the easiest switches with the most beneficial impacts is to switch from paper to digital documents. Most companies have implemented this change, but for those that haven’t, this is your sign.
There are dozens of platforms your company can use to make this transition. Some of the most popular digital file platforms are Google Drive, One Drive, and DropBox. Each of these platforms has its benefits over one another, but each one will help you reduce your physical trail of papers and files.
Encourage green commutes
One of the most influential ways you can encourage your employees to choose green commutable options is to offer subsidies for more sustainable forms of transportation. In 2019, 29% of all greenhouse gas emissions came from transportation, the largest portion of greenhouse pollution in the United States. Transportation includes all forms of transportation, both personal and industry-related, using cars, trucks, ships, trains, and planes.
If your office is in a city, buy weekly or monthly metro passes to take the subway or train. You would be surprised with the number of people that would switch from using their car or taking an Uber to work to using public transportation.
Maximize natural lighting
As the pandemic turned bustling office spaces into spaces available for rent, it is common for offices to be currently absent or ready for relocation. If you are looking to rent a new office, you should look for options with a lot of natural lighting. The more natural lighting you have in your office, the less energy you will need to use for lighting and heating.
In 2019, the second largest portion of greenhouse gas emissions came from electricity. If your office has a minimal amount of natural lighting, initiate half days or full days once a week where the lights are off. Turning off the lights will encourage your employees to think about small, green efforts they can make and save energy during work hours.
Become a plant-friendly office
Plants are not only a fun use of décor in an office, but they provide a lot more to the environment than you would think. Adding plants to the office will naturally purify the air and atmosphere of the office. Plants produce more oxygen, releasing chemicals into the air that will naturally clean the space and make it a healthier work environment both physically and mentally.
In a study conducted in 2014 by researchers in Australia, the UK, and the Netherlands, they found that plants in a work environment increase employee satisfaction and higher levels of concentration. In this study, they found a 15% increase in productivity when plants were in an office environment. Not only do plants increase productivity, but they provide feelings of calmness and tranquility. Plants make the office environment seem more relaxing, reducing stress up to 58%.
Overall, we need to accept as a society that action needs to be taken if want to preserve our habitat. Taking these smalls steps and implementing green actions at your office will save energy, lessen greenhouse gas emissions and encourage your employees to make green decisions.