Sustainable Offices are a significant trend to embrace for multiple reasons, at its core, it promotes efficiency, reflection and most importantly - responsibility, an awareness of how our actions affect the planet we live on. It is an ingenious way to decorate your office such that it reflects your sense of foresight and values.
Research shows that employees like working in such offices and for companies that promote these initiatives, so do consumers. Sustainable offices help create an office culture that embraces solidarity and community where everyone is working towards a common ethical goal. Here are ten tips to help you start creating your very own sustainable office-
Simply Go Green
The textbook answer on how to begin approaching sustainability. Use, plants for decoration, as statement pieces; the all-time classic ferns and potted plants, vines to create an aesthetic vibe. Does using artificial plants count as cheating? Weirdly enough, no. They tend to be safer in a few respects, like decreased fire hazard and the huge maintenance costs that come with owning such plants, the best option is artificial ones for some. Nowadays, one can even custom design artificial grass, trees, and fake plants made of varied materials from plastic to silk if necessary.
Local food has merits too
Provide fair trade coffee, tea, and locally catered snacks. The closer the better since they reduce transportation and thus, its carbon footprint. Offering locally produced organic fruits is also a great start since you are also supporting the local economy and farmers. Healthier food results in a more robust employee. Try developing a habit of donating food and leftover at instances where you buy large quantities. Donate it to local food banks or similar organizations.
Supplies and Utensils make a big difference
Purchase post-consumer content (products remade from previous products, for example, recycled paper, paperclips, staplers, etc.) and try shifting to greener alternatives of in-use office supplies like refillable pens. Use reusable dishware and cups. They make up the majority of the trash and waste excluding paper in most offices. Real cups, mugs, cutlery, and dishes, as opposed to disposables, make a massive difference in the quantity of waste your office produces.
Reduce the produce
Encourage digital documentation and signatures to save paper. Not only are your digital copies more durable than paper and efficient, but they also take up no space. This will hopefully also reduce the need for excessive printing and wastage of document. Print on both sides of a sheet and keep a tray available where one-sided paper can be reused.
Reuse and save
Start encouraging your employees to bring their own water bottles to reduce wastage. Also, start shifting to recycled paper products. Reuse notebooks with space and folders instead of immediately disposing of them. Stopping the use of disposable cups and plates also reduces costs
Recycle, Recycle, Recycle
Provide the office with three different waste bins, one for organic waste, one for inorganic waste and one for recyclable waste products. They should be labeled clearly and placed strategically. It encourages an office culture where your employees are actively taking part in this eco-friendly initiative and ask for suggestions. You can also recycle old furniture or donate it.
One can use space as a way to convey sustainability. Try to make your office feel open and less claustrophobic, its a guaranteed way of evaluating what items you need in your office and setting the tone for your office atmosphere. This means choosing your furniture with a lot of thought and care since at the same time you do not want your office to come off as bland and empty, its a thin line to walk. If done well, minimalism promotes simplicity, calmness, class, relationships, and counters consumerism. The best way to start is, have a clear picture of what you want in your office and what you want for your office, the aim is only to keep what is completely necessary and to avoid clutter.
Lighting, illusions, and impact
Energy-efficient light bulbs despite initially costing more tend to save up a lot of money over time. LED lights and Compact Fluorescent bulbs area more eco-friendly lighting options, they use 75 percent less energy than the standard light bulbs while providing the same output. Strategically using natural lighting can also help propagate the idea of a certain amount of space and reduce the use of artificial lighting.
No Excess Energy
Aim to limit excessive energy consumption. Switch off artificial lights when not needed. Try installing energy-efficient walls and heat efficient flooring, ask employees to dress appropriately for the season, etc., which pay off huge dividends in the long run. Also, make sure all electronic devices in the office like computers, printers, air conditioners, thermostats are all switched off before leaving. Embrace renewable energy if possible, rooftop solar panels can be a great start; they are guaranteed energy security for your office and are, of course, very cost-effective.
What is in our Cleaning Products is important
Make informed choices, find out if your cleaning company uses eco-friendly, biodegradable cleaning products, and if not, ask them if they can do so. There are newer green products available that do not make use of the harsh chemicals that harm the environment and indirectly us. Toxic chemicals in these products eventually land up polluting water bodies and killing aquatic lifeforms. As consumers, we should be aware and consciously ask for such alternatives whenever possible.
So why is this important? Sustainable Offices require low upkeep and maintenance than their counterparts. In time the initial costs are negated by the long term savings, and it is a massive commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility, which is appreciated by more environmentally conscious customers. They also help craft an ethical image of you or your company, a brand, and a valued reputation. It also helps that you and your employees will happier, more satisfied, and productive. Sustainable Offices are no more the future, and they are the now, they are the present.