Even in 2019, when one viral post can either make or completely break a business, many offices are still heavily lacking in their efforts to become more eco-friendly. It can seem overwhelming, changing not just the habits of a few but an entire staff. But in reality, it’s not that intense! And your business will benefit in the long run financially, so it’s really a total win/win.
Using smarter products and being a bit more conscious is a great start to working in a more environmentally-friendly office. Here are just a few simple ways you can green your business:
1. Swap your incandescent bulbs for CFL and LED lights. Upfront, they’ll cost you a little bit more than your usual bulbs, but they last up to 25 times longer and use way less energy. In short, these babies pay for themselves anduse less energy. Just replacing 100 bulbs with LED lights can save you $1,000 a year or more depending on your daily usage.
2. While we’re in the mood to make some swaps, let’s go ahead and replace all those window cleaners, dish and hand soaps, and bathroom cleaners with green brands. We all love the smell of a clean office, sure. But that smell comes from toxic chemicals. Like the LED bulbs, these cleaners may have a higher price point, but many are concentrated and last longer than their chemical-filled counterparts, meaning they save you money in the long run.
3. Change your printing habits! A fourth of all landfill waste is comprised of paper products. Encourage your office to rely more on electronic files and to opt to print on both sides of each sheet. Additionally, have your office manager purchase 100% post-consumer waste paper instead of virgin wood pulp paper. It’s 50% more efficient to make and costs about the same.
4. Stock your kitchen with reusable cups, silverware, plates, and Tupperware. It may take a little extra effort from everyone to ensure these items are cleaned daily and not left in the sink for someone else to wash, but you’ll save cash on waste removal while being far more friendly to the planet.
5. Recycle your electronics responsibly. There are a few ways you can do this, but your best bet is to look up your local options as every area is different. Place a bin somewhere your employees can easily access where they can leave their broken or old electronics to be responsibly recycled, and let them know that busted keyboards and monitors do notbelong in the trash.
6. Eliminate plastic bottles by installing a water filtration system. Much like with the LED bulbs and greener cleaners, this move will save you money in the long run. You’ll also save time and money by ditching the plastic bottle habit while keeping thousands of plastic bottles out of landfills each year.
7. Lastly, in the spirit of ditching single-use products in the kitchen, consider using a large coffee maker insteadof a Keurig (if that’s not an option, you can buy a few reusable K-cups employees can pack with whatever coffee grounds they desire) and swapping individual snack bags for bulk items. Both of these changes will — you guessed it! — save you money over time while keeping your trash bins more clear and your employees’ caffeine-and-pringles dependencies satisfied.