30 Simple Ways to Make Your Office More Sustainable
Sustainability is a hot topic that doesn’t look like it will be going away any time soon. Now, more than ever, companies are expected to be socially responsible.
Limiting your footprint and finding ways to reduce, reuse, and recycle in your office is a great way to accomplish this goal and celebrate Earth Day, every day. All businesses, from marketing firms to restaurants, have ways to reduce their environmental impact.
We have a list of 30 simple ways to make your office more sustainable; and in case you’re wondering, yes, we do a good amount of them here at Lucid!
- Buy Rechargeable Batteries: Almost all battery companies now offer a rechargeable battery option instead of a single-use type. We use the AmazonBasics rechargeable batteries at our office. Plus, you’ll ultimately save money since you will not need to replace your office batteries.
- Print Minimally: Make an office policy that printing should be reserved for special cases and should be used with care.
- Choose Double-Sided Printing: When your employees do print, make sure they’re printing on both sides of the paper. You may be able to set your printer up to automatically print double-sided.
- Use Remanufactured Ink and Toner Cartridges: They cost less, and they also lessen the impact on the environment that happens during the manufacturing process. If you’re unfamiliar with remanufactured ink and toner cartridges, this blog is helpful.
- Let the Sunshine In: In Phoenix, we get over 200 days of sunshine. Our Tempe office features big windows that line the north-facing wall. So much light spills in that it’s not uncommon for us to avoid switching the overhead lights on. In fact, as I write, the lights above me are off.
- Paint Walls White: You may be scratching your head but let me explain. With lighter-colored walls, the light that enters your office will be reflected and make more of an impact.
- Buy LED: Purchase LED over regular (incandescent) bulbs, they use at least 75% less energy and last 25 times longer.
- Install Light Motion Sensors: Why keep the light on in an area if no one is there? Install motion sensors in areas that are used in and out of your workday. We have motion sensors in our bathrooms and kitchen to save on energy consumption.
- Recycle: Offer your employees a bin for them to place recyclables and post guidelines for proper ways to prepare the items to be recycled.
- Work From Home Days: We have work-from-home Fridays at Lucid and there have been more than a few benefits. Our employees (myself included) enjoy the luxury of getting to work in our pajamas and, of course, avoid the commute. With fewer cars on the road, your business is reducing carbon emissions. And, you may even notice an increase in productivity; having a full day to work on your tasks (and out of meetings) can help employees to focus on their work. Plus the office energy use is nonexistent on Fridays.
- Provide Incentives for Public Transportation: Offer a reward program for those who take public transportation or arrive at your office on bike, foot, motorized scooter, etc.
- Choose Refillable Pens: This type of pen is usually nicer and can be a great welcome-to-the-team gift for new employees. Employees will likely be less prone to lose their pens if they are special/you only have the refillable ink available.
- Promote Electronic Notetaking Over Notepads: Not only will this type of note taking help you to jot the notes down quicker, but it will also help you with reading your notes later (no more: “is that a ‘v’ or an ‘r’?”). Plus, being able to simply search a document is a time saver compared to scanning a notepad.
- Offer Metal Utensils: If you have utensils available for employees to use they can say “no” to plastic utensils when they pick up their favorite to-go order at lunch.
- Stock Ceramic Coffee Mugs: Choose them over plastic or Styrofoam coffee cups, you’ll also save money.
- Utilize the Reusable Coffee Filter: Start using the reusable coffee filter that comes with your coffee maker instead of the paper alternative.
- Stay Away From Coffee Pods: While some companies offer recycling programs (Nespresso), many of the single-use coffee options are difficult to recycle and wasteful. Remove these machines from your office or offer them for special occasions, like for clients or when there isn’t any coffee left in the large coffee pot in the afternoon.
- Promote a Reusable Water Container: Give your employees branded water bottles on their first day or offer clean glasses in your kitchen for employees to use to eliminate plastic water bottle usage.
- Offer a Refillable Water Station: Offering a solution for employees to fill their water bottles up with chilled, filtered water will help them stay hydrated and productive.
- Dress Casual: An informal dress code at your office will provide your employees comfort and will allow them to opt for washing and drying their clothes at home instead of paying for a suit to be dry cleaned — which is also better for the environment.
- Offer a Hand Dryer: Install a hand dryer in the bathrooms instead of paper towels.
- Buy in Bulk: if you stock the employee kitchen with snacks, try buying them in bulk; it uses less packaging then if you were to buy multiple smaller packages.
- Look into Renewable Energy Sources: If you’re in Arizona, you should research the possibility of installing solar panels to your office’s roof to provide renewable energy to your office.
- Use Green Cleaning Products: Stay away from toxic ingredients when cleaning your office.
- Eliminate Screensavers: A small change that can make a big difference in energy consumption.
- Unplug: Anything plugged into the wall will still draw power, even when it’s not being used. Ask employees to unplug their electronics when not in use; like over the weekend.
- Share a Trash Can: When you remove individual trash cans, you’re not using as many plastic liners and you’re helping your employees incorporate some movement into their workday.
- Optimize Heating and Cooling: Make your heating and cooling systems efficient by only using them when needed. Work in a stop to the thermostat after each workday and before the weekend or invest in a smart thermostat that can do the work for you.
- Buy Secondhand: Search for secondhand items on Craigslist and Offerup before buying something new for the office.
- Bring Green Inside: Bringing plants into your office space will help filter the air in your office and may even make your employees happier and more productive. A great way to celebrate Earth Day is doing a planting activity with your whole team. Place the finished products throughout your office.
By making these small, simple changes in your office, you can make a big difference. And, you’ll probably save a good amount of money too. Sustainability is a core value of our marketing firm and we’re always looking for new ways to improve. Happy Earth Day from us at Lucid Agency!