The office or workplace is where most people spend the majority of their time, particularly those who work for a living. For the same amount of time, the lights are on and the energy is running to ensure all tasks and routines are running smoothly. While there isn’t much we can do about the computers, printers, and phones that are company property, there are alternatives when it comes to office decor and furniture, lighting, and the choices made for heating and cooling. Below are some surefire ways to make your office space more eco-friendly.
Office Decor and Furniture
Everything from the floor to the desks can be chosen with the environment in mind. Starting with the floor, if your office is in need of a carpeted floor or an area rug, go natural. Natural fibers include wool, seagrass, jute, bamboo, sisal, hemp, cotton, and chenille. These fibers are renewable, biodegradable, and sustainable. Most rugs created from natural fibers are durable and easily maintained. Because of this, the replacement rate is low, making it a great choice for saving money and material. Consider your specific needs and the location the rug is going to be placed in when choosing the right fiber for the space.
Did you know you can find office furniture that was made from recycled items? An example is a chair made out of recycled seat belts.
Tip: To clean any office furniture, look for cleaners that are eco-friendly and chemical-free. This furthers your green office efforts and gets you closer to your goal of a green workplace.
All offices need quality lighting in order to remain productive and efficient, and luckily, there are lighting options available that are high in quality and have environmentally friendly properties. LED lighting requires less energy and less upkeep, resulting in less cost as well. When LED lighting was introduced, many businesses made the switch for these reasons. While making your decision, get to know your bulb options and educate yourself on the benefits they provide, like its safety.
Did you know emergency exit signs are built with LED bulbs and that LED bulbs are a beneficial choice for dark stairwells because they are bright and long lasting?
Tip: Be sure to turn the lights off when they’re no longer being used. Don’t be that office that leaves its lights on overnight. During the day, don’t forget to take advantage of natural lighting.
Heating and Cooling
When it comes to heating and cooling, there are a few different ways to save energy. First, hire a company that specializes in environmentally friendly upgrades to make office spaces more energy efficient. During research, you’re sure to come across a company that uses specific products or has a specific initiative for energy efficiency purposes. It’s also important to educate yourself on the makeup of a building and learn which elements have the most impact on a building’s energy usage. The insulation of the building is a prime example. According to Legacy Insulation, “insulation is a proven means for saving energy, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and increasing efficiency to provide unrivaled ROI’s.”
Did you know that keeping up with regular HVAC maintenance results in lower energy consumption?
Tip: Invest in a programmable thermostat to ensure the energy is only being used when it’s needed. Lower the setting when there is nobody present.
When it comes down to it, there are options for offices looking to become more environmentally friendly. Whatever route is chosen, educate your staff along the way. Explain why you’re doing so and encourage them to do their part in any way possible.
This first step can ultimately be tied into a corporate social responsibility plan, and since this isn’t a goal that can be achieved in a week, a plan is what you’ll need. Keep a log to document what has already been done and ideas of what can be next.
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