Sustainability is a big topic in today’s social climate and more companies than ever are taking strides to better our environment. While start-up companies have a bit more wiggle room on how they can change their work spaces to fit new environmental strategies, older buildings may not be as fortunate seeing as they have to deal with antiquated infrastructure and design that doesn’t lend itself to sustainability. However, these companies aren’t a lost cause and can still change certain habits and behaviours among their employees that can make even a small change to positively impact our environment.
Be More Energy Efficient
During the winter months many buildings rely heavily on good lighting to provide the best space for employees to work successfully. Without enough brightness an office can feel small and stifling, making it even harder for employees to focus or have enough energy to complete necessary tasks. Rather than pumping up the lights, a better option would be to invest in a building with enough windows to provide natural light all year round. If moving offices isn’t an option, then consider painting the space all white so that any natural light there is can easily bounce off the walls and illuminate the room without having to install more artificial lights. If artificial lights are absolutely necessary for the office space, then finding the most energy efficient light bulbs is still a substantial change a building can make toward sustainability.
Ditch The Paper
The impact of paper documents on the environment is undeniable, which is why there has been an enormous shift to digital files in recent years. While some companies are still holding on to old ways, there’s really no reason why all documents can’t be digital and stored safely on the cloud rather than in physical files. The easiest way to move your office toward sustainability is by opting to digitize all data, including confidential company information and client files, and storing them on a virtual data room for safe keeping. A VDR allows the appropriate users to access this data whenever, wherever while still ensuring that it remains completely impenetrable to unwanted third parties. Not only will converting to digital storage help the planet, it will also offer the company a bit more freedom with how they share information and the clients they are able to work with.
Making changes to the office space isn’t the only way you and your colleagues can make an environmental impact. Finding alternative methods of getting to the office, such as carpooling, taking public transit, or riding a bike, can not only save you money but also help you do your part to become more sustainable. Even cutting down your use of a car to 3 days a week can have a positive effect on your carbon footprint and help you save a bit more on gas. Furthermore, opting to work from home when possible is an even better way to conserve energy while also saving money. The power of the internet allows employees and management teams to stay in constant communication from anywhere around the world. Rather than physically being in the office for that meeting, you can be there digitally viaSkype.
Bring Your Lunch From Home
It’s incredibly tempting to skip lunch prep the night before and opt instead to buy your lunch out, but that creates a lot of waste and isn’t necessarily great for your health. In order to please your doctor while also knowing that you aren’t contributing to the production of unrecyclable materials, bring your lunch from home as much as possible and be sure to keep it in reusable containers. Your diet might seem inconsequential to the sustainability of your office, but if it doesn’t have the appropriate garbage and recycling bins, then you and your lunch are just contributing to the problem. If you absolutely have to buy your lunch out, be sure to take it in a recyclable or biodegradable container and forgo the plastic bag to carry it in.
Thrift Your Décor
Half the fun of having your own cubicle at work is being able to decorate it to reflect your taste. You want to look at it every day and feel happy and motivated in your space, which may require some shopping and necessary reorganizing. A sustainable way to transform your cubicle is by thrifting your décor pieces rather than buying them brand new. Buying your décor secondhand means that it can be reused rather than tossed into the garbage, saving the planet from anymore unnecessary landfills.