I don’t know about you but I seem to have this constant feeling of eco-guilt. My two teenagers remind me constantly that my generation have a lot to answer for. It’s not a great feeling at all, but they are right. However, instead of panicking, I have committed to new and more eco-friendly habits.
Here’s the most office related ones. I am sure you are doing most of this already, but I reckon we can all do with a little reminder every now and again...
How to make your office more sustainable.
Get on your bike.
A lot of us have been working at home since the pandemic but if you are back to commuting and if at all possible, especially now in the summer with less heavy rain, try cycling. Not only is it good for the environment, it is great exercise as well.
Rethink your printing habits.
Print as little as possible! If printing is unavoidable, set photocopiers and printers to single copies and print double-sided. Use recycled eco-paper and eco-conscious ink cartridges.
I have been using a search engine called Ecosia for several years and with each click I make I help them to plant trees. Another one I just heard about is called Panda Search and they are all about protecting the rainforest. Google receives billions of search queries every single day so they can do without your business.
Go for the All-in-one.
Choose multi-functional devices, such as all-in-one printers that can print, copy and scan documents. Such devices use much less energy than individual machines and if it has an energy saving setting, make sure it’s active. Look for energy-saving certifications when purchasing new equipment.
Re-consider how you buy stuff.
Minimise the number of small, inefficient orders you place. This cuts back on excess packaging and transport emissions and it also saves you time. Buy eco-conscious products or even better: Buy second-hand. Most refurbished electronics comes with at least a one-year warranty after purchase. As for furniture, your office would look funky with a pre-loved chair, desk or both.
Drink tap water.
I think we all know at this stage that plastic bottles is a total no-no. But if you are not a fan of water straight from the tap, despite the fact that it is tested for more harmful substances than fancy mineral and spring water, invest in a filter jug or a soda stream.
Try to use natural daylight as much as possible. My computer automatically goes to sleep when I’m away from my desk which helps a bit. However, because computers left on standby still consume more power as when in use, it should ideally be shut down properly when you’re done for the day. And don’t forget to turn off the lights. All of them.
Refill and Recycle.
If you use refills you will dramatically reduce your office’s carbon footprint. Refillable pens, refillable inks, refillable soap.... Rethink what you can reuse. And when you need to dispose of stuff, of course you’ll recycle as much as possible. Whatever we can do to ease the strain on landfills, let’s do it!