Do you work in an office? Millions of Americans go to work in offices five or more days a week. Many people recycle when they are at home and do other things to create a cleaner environment so why do more people not make ecofriendly decisions at work? You do not have to own a company or manufacture a green product to create a more environmentally friendly work place. No matter what your job is at work, here are a few initiatives you can encourage your company to act on that will go a long way toward making the company you work for more ecofriendly. Work place initiatives can start small and it should be easy to get the management of your company on board because many of these ideas not only save the environment, they also save money!
One of the easiest initiatives to put in place is an energy saving plan. If your company uses less energy you are consuming less so it will cost you less. If you work in an office with computers and other electronics, send out a memo encouraging all employees to turn off their computers, copy machines and other non-essential appliances at the end of every day. After you have done that for a few months and the accountants are starting to see a decrease in the companies energy bills you can present a plan to have your company invest in new more energy efficient items for your office. Everything from small purchases like light bulbs, to larger investments like energy star rated copy machines and other electronics can be part of a plan to reduce energy costs. Some companies even decide to invest in sustainable construction and change the location of their offices.
Once you have your management convinced that green is the way to go. Do a little research and find companies who are green businesses to buy all your office supplies from. Business cards printed on recycled paper, or reusable or recyclable cups in the break room are an easy way to go green. Break rooms are a major source of waste in offices across America. Instead of bottled water, see if your company will invest in a water filtration system. Do not forget to take advantage of technology whenever possible. Instead of wasting money on ink and paper that will end up in the trash by the end of the day, switch all your interoffice memos to emails. Emails are easier to track and many programs allow you to easily track who has read the memo you sent, no paper can do that!
Commuting to and from work, and business travel are also sources of major energy consumption that can be reduced with a little creativity. Limit out of town business meetings by using online face conferencing and other technology. Encourage your employees to use public transportation, car pool, or other more ecofriendly ways to get to work. Many big cities offer tax write offs to people who utilize public transit for their daily commutes. Establish changing and storage areas for employees who want to walk, bike, or run to work. This is good for the environment and your employees’ health and studies have shown that healthy employees miss less days of work and are more productive.
Written by L. Reaves for Beacon Hill Associates, Inc., found at http://www.b-h-a.com – an environmental insurance broker and program administrator focusing on specialty insurance related to the environment and pollution.