One of the most overlooked holidays is Arbor Day, the day when we’re all encouraged to plant trees and do something to help the environment. But at Lighthouse Translations, we know that doing our part for the environment can’t be a one-time-a-year activity. There’s so much more we can all do, both at home and at work. This Arbor Day, here are five things you can do to make your office more eco-friendly.
Turn Off the Lights
This sounds simple enough, but offices waste so much electricity by keeping the lights and various electronic devices on when they’re not being used. Installing motion-sensing lights will help, but just remembering to turn the lights off in rooms when they’re not being used can make a difference, and so can using the light that shines in through the windows. It’s also important to turn off computers, printers, and similar devices unless they’re being used. This will not only lead to a more environmentally friendly office, but it may also save a few bucks on the power bill.
Telecommute When Possible
So many businesses have become far too accustomed to the 9 to 5 workday that they don’t realize that many of their workers can be just as productive, if not more productive, telecommuting, at least part of the time. From an environmental standpoint, telecommuting puts fewer cars on the road and lowers greenhouse gas emissions. There’s also fewer computers plugged in and lights on in the office (see above). Even if telecommuting isn’t always an option, encourage any employee who lives close to the office to walk, bike, or find alternative methods of traveling to work everyday to cut down on car emissions.
Create A Paperless Office
This is something that nearly every office can do better. With a digital filing system and better online organization, you won’t have to print out so many papers, which will help save a lot of trees. It also helps to discriminate more with regards to what actually needs to be on paper. Do memos need to be handed out around the office, or can they be shared in an email or Google Doc? It shouldn’t be that difficult for every office to find ways to cut down on the amount of paper they use.
Dress for the Weather
Stop being so strict on the dress code; instead, encourage employees to be practical in their dress. If everyone comes to work in a sport coat on a hot summer day, you’re just going to have to crank up the air conditioning, which is going to waste both energy and money. Tell employees to dress more casual and wear short sleeves when it’s hot so the office doesn’t have to needlessly waste energy keeping everyone cool. The same can apply in the winter; tell everyone to bring a sweater to work and you won’t have to run the heater all day long. Once again, being practical about these matters can save both resources and money.
Decorate with Plants
No one wants to work in a bland office, so bring in some plant life to spruce things up a bit. Give every employee a small plant to put on their desk and place a few bigger plants around the office. This is a simple and easy idea that can do great things for the environment. The plants will help purify the air and help everybody breathe a little better. Some studies even show plants can boost morale, which can help increase productivity in addition to literally creating a green workspace.