For those who work 40 plus hours in an office, it becomes more than just a workspace — it’s our main social environment and our home away from home. With so much time spent at the office, it makes sense that we want to bring our sustainable lifestyle to our professional life. Here, we have gathered 11 easy ways to green up your office space.
11 Easy Ways To Green Up Your Office Space
1.Recycle Your Office Goods. If you take the time to sort through your office junk, you’ll find a lot can be recycled. Recycling paper, paperboard, and cardboard alone will reduce more than 40% of office waste! To get started, set up separate bins for paper, plastic, and landfill. Then at the end of each month, take them to a recycling center and recycle your goods.
Tip: Petition to ban the usage of plastic water bottles from your office. We love communal water stations such as a Brita filter or a filter that can attach to the kitchen faucet.
2. Choose Reusable Utensils. The next time you have lunch, think twice before you grab a plastic fork from the office cubby. At most, disposable plastic utensils will only be used once before they are thrown away. Talk about wasteful! Commit to using a reusable utensil that can be washed and used again, and again.
3. Green Up Your Stationery. It’s hard to believe how much waste we produce from a day at the office. Ink cartridges, pens, paper, post-its, and paper clips — among other things — don’t have to contribute negatively to the environment. Below is a short list of websites of items you can either refill, reuse, or recycle:
- Eco-Friendly Stationery
- Sustainable Shipping Materials
- Eco-Friendly Pilot Pens
- Pens Made From Sustainable Bamboo, Cardboard or Recycled Water Bottles
- Cards and Pens That Can Be Planted After One Usage
- Refillable Dry Erase Markers
- Biodegradable Highlighter Pencils
- Eco-Friendly/Refillable Correction Tape (here and here)
- Water-activated Tape
- Biodegradable Tape
- Compostable and Sustainable Packaging Solution Made From Mushrooms
- Eco-friendly Toners and Ink Cartridges
- Reusable, Biodegradable, and Compostable Packaging Filler Materials (here and here)
- Paper Fiber Padded Envelopes
4. Reduce Your Carbon Footprint. Get this: according to Climate Central, in September 2016, the global carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere surpassed 400ppm, never to lower again in our lifetimes (on average a safe level is 350ppm). The last time it was this high, humans did not exist! As living inhabitants on Earth, we have polluted the atmosphere so significantly that it’s becoming unsafe to live here (read more about climate change). The only way to reverse this is to switch to renewable energy, energy efficiency, and sustainable farming practices. You can help on another scale by making small changes in your everyday work life:
- Take public transportation
- Walk, carpool, or bike to work
- Carpool with your coworkers to lunch
- Opt to eat at a local eatery that is within walking distance
- Bring your own lunch
5. Switch from Paper Towels to Cloth Towels. Coffee spillages at the office are a common thing. Get more mileage out of cleaning supplies with reusable cloth towels. These absorb more liquid, reduce the use of paper, and last a whole lot longer. Triple win!
6. Clean with Green Products. In addition to switching to cleaning with a cloth towel, clean your desk using eco-friendly products too. It’s good for the environment and better for your health. Who wants to inhale or absorb toxic chemicals anyway? Use websites such as EWG’s Guide to Healthy Cleaning, GoodGuide, and EPA Safer Choice to find green products.
7. Go Digital. In an age when technology dominates our lives, some people are going back to the simpler times when the paper was mostly used. Unfortunately, it’s the lesser eco-friendly option. When you can opt to reduce paper in a given workday by typing and transferring files through online mediums. Reduce your company’s delivery of paper junk mail with Catalog Choice or Direct Mail. If you do need to print, make sure to print double-sided on recycled paper.
8. Turn the Power Down. There’s no escaping it, we all need electricity to power our computers, phones, tablets, printers, and more. You can save power by:
- Using ENERGY STAR or EPEAT Certified appliances
- Switching light bulbs to LEDs
- Turning off appliances and lights when not in use
- Using smart, power-saving outlets
- Putting a screensaver on your computer
- Adjusting the thermostat to 78 degrees in the summer and 68 degrees in the winter
9. Green Up Your Food. Need a new way to bond with your coworkers? Share your goods. Buy office snacks in bulk to reduce plastic packaging that eventually ends up in our landfills and oceans. Opt for fair trade coffee or tea for the office break room.
10. Circulate Air Flow With Natural Plants. Natural plants help purify the air, liven up the office space, boost your productivity (happiness too!), and create a serene decor for your office cubicle. Some great indoor plants that don’t require spraying, synthetic fertilizer, and little to no supplemental watering are: spider plant, snake plant, succulent, cactus, lemon balm, water lettuce, philodendron, and peace lily.
11. Compost Your Kitchen Scraps. Why throw your leftovers, apple cores, orange peels, or coffee grinds in the trash bin when you can throw them in a compost bin instead? Composting is a sustainable way to reduce food waste and once decomposed, becomes a great fertilizer for your indoor plants. Get started with composting here.
Your office home can be as comfortable and eco-friendly as your house back home. If we each contributed to any of these tips on a daily basis, we will be able to make a huge impact in reversing the throwaway society we live in. Let us know how you decide to green up your office space. Snap a photo of your new space and tag us @tinycaravan on Instagram.