5 Ways to Make Your Office More Sustainable

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

We can all do more to ensure we are living a sustainable lifestyle. Here at Greenwood we have recently appointed an environmental officer, who got us thinking about how we can reduce our impact and become more sustainable.

Here are 5 actions we found that can help reduce your impact on the environment:

1. Education

A vital first step towards creating a sustainable environment is ensuring everyone is on the same page. Unfortunately, one of the biggest hurdles we face as we work towards a sustainable future is that people often don’t understand the severity of their impact or simply don’t care enough.

Educating your co-workers about the importance and urgency of changing our lifestyles will make the transition much smoother. Passionate people create change, don’t just fill their heads with generalised stats, show them the positive impact they could have by making small changes and support them in their journey. 

2. Unplug

This one is so simple, even though you shut down your devices before leaving power is still being consumed whilst it’s plugged in. This can also be a huge unnecessary expense for your company if left unaddressed.

Remind everyone to unplug their workstation before leaving the office for the day, this will soon become habit. 

3. Encourage the use of reusable coffee cups and bottles

Did you know that most takeaway coffee cups are not recyclable? To some this may be obvious, however, many people believe because they are made from paper they can easily be recycled.

The problem is that most coffee cups are lined with a waterproof plastic called polyethylene, making them not only non-recyclable but also a contaminant. Throwing your takeaway cup in the recycling bin actually causes great logistical issues for material recovery facilities, often meaning the entire load has to be sent to landfill. 

Establishing a BYORB (bring your own reusable bottle) policy, or even better providing them to remove the financial burden, will drastically cut down on your office’s environmental impact. 

4. Waste reduction

It has become apparent over recent years that recycling is not a drastic enough solution to solve the enormous environmental issues we are facing. ‘Wish-cycling’ is a new phenomenon that sees more people throwing everything that could possibly, maybe, be recyclable into recycling bins. This trend ultimately leads to perfectly good recyclables ending up in landfill. 

A more sustainable solution is to not create the waste in the first place. This can be an overwhelming task, especially in an office environment where a lot of paper and plastic is being used regularly. 

Here are a few small changes you can make to reduce your waste: 

  • Try to purchase products that have less packaging or no packaging at all 
  • Alternatively, request that your office supplies be shipped in returnable containers or ask the suppliers to take the packaging back so they can reuse it
  • Provide reusable silverware, plates and glasses for your employees to use and encourage them to bring their food to work in reusable containers
  • Purchase a compost bin for food waste to divert more waste from landfill
  • If like us you have employees who keep chickens, shredded paper makes a great choice for chicken coop bedding

5. Set-up a bike rack for employees

Making small investments such as installing a bike rack can have a huge impact on how your employees commute to work. It will not only encourage your employees to be more active, but also get them to consider the environmental impact of driving to work each day.

Want to go a step further? Why not speak to a local bike retailer and establish a deal for your employees when they buy a bike from them. 

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