Whether you work in a corner office, cubicle or home office, having a green mindset saves the planet, your health and lots and lots of money. It is relatively easy to create a green, healthy work environment through carefully considered choices. With modern day technology at our fingertips, creating a green and healthy office environment is an easily achievable goal that all companies big and small should set for themselves. Check out these 5 tips to help you make your office environment a little greener and healthier!
1. Use Online Project Management Programs
Don’t print out every e-mail and document you handle. Only print what’s crucial to have as a hard copy. The environmental benefits of operating a digital office are worth it in dollars and cents - think about all the paper and printer ink saved! Google is constantly coming out with new products to help simplify your work flow, so check out Google New to stay up-to-date on what they have to offer.
2. Improve Indoor Air Quality
Working in an environment with poor air quality can lead to harmful side effects that range from eye and throat irritation to long-term effects like respiratory disease and cancer. Green your office cleaning supplies with natural products, found in such lines as Method and Seventh Generation, and ban aerosol air fresheners that contain hazardous chemicals. Use a natural spray, such as a homemade mix of water and lemon or tangerine essential oil.
3. Add Greenery to Your Work Environment
While plants can help you improve your indoor air quality, they can also impact office inhabitants psychologically as well. Studies show that plants can also help to prevent "Sick Building Syndrome", a condition where off-gassing office decor, carpeting and furniture can cause ills such as eye infections, upper-respiratory colds, allergies, or viruses.
You don't need a green thumb to add some greenery to your office. The Tri-Pot - a self watering planter - lets plants take care of themselves for up to 8-weeks, and uses less water than conventional methods.
4. Maximize Energy-Efficient Lighting
Whenever possible, natural daylighting is always the greenest way to go. There's also evidence to suggest that workers in buildings with high levels of natural light are happier and more productive than those more reliant on artificial light.
LED lights are the single best option for artificial energy-efficient lighting. They use 1/10th of the electricity of incandescent bulbs and last about 20 times longer, so they can save you a lot of money on energy bills and constant bulb purchases as well.
Turn off any equipment that doesn’t need to be on when you’re not in the office, and -- if possible -- unplug them too. Every computer left turned on overnight and every coffee pot left plugged in eats up electricity and costs your company money. Otherwise, Energy monitoring is a super efficient way to lower your office's environmental footprint and its electric bill. There are plenty of apps and devices out there to help you make this part of your daily routine. For example Google's PowerMeter allows you to check your power usage and can help reduce your annual energy bill by 5-15%.