It’s time to jump on board the green bandwagon. If you’ve always assumed your business is too big/ too small / too complicated/ not significant enough to make a difference by making eco-conscious decisions, it’s time to change your thinking!
Obviously, if you can switch to green-powered electricity sources and upgrade your office furniture and white goods, that’s great. But most small businesses don’t have the budget to invest in major green office makeover. But don’t let that stop you from making small changes to your space that will not only improve your environmental footprint, but it will also contribute to a healthier, happier office space.
1. Recycle wisely
While this feels like a no-brainer, there’re a few things to consider when switching your office products green. Take Recycled paper for instance. Instead of just grabbing the closest pack of ‘recycled’ paper, take the time to check what that means. What we should be looking for is PCW paper – that is Post Consumer Waste – products. PCW paper is made entirely from the products we put in our recycle bins, so your recycled paper becomes – recycled paper! In addition to stopping the tree waste, it also uses 45% less energy to produce than traditional paper making. Feel good factor High!
So you should also invest in some recycling solutions for your office to contribute back to the PWC loop. Companies like Eco Bin provide cheap solutions to get your office on board with sorting recyclables.
Other initiatives can involve your local communities. If you collect your kitchens compost waste, there are local community gardens or schools that are often happy to come in and take it away. There are so many options, if you have waste, there will be a way to recycle it!
2. Get a Green Thumb
That’s right, literally turn your office green by adding in some plants! Not just an Instagram Fad (though seriously there are some inspiring accounts to follow out there to give you a bit of green-spiration!), having plants in your office contributes to more than the aesthetics. Results from the NASA Clean Air Study suggested that certain indoor plants are extremely efficient at filtering out toxic emissions from your office (and household) furniture and supplies. So not only do they improve air quality like all plants (which helps avoid that stuffy, 3 pm slump) but they are capable of removing harmful Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) from the air. Toxic agents like benzene, formaldehyde and trichloroethylene are emitted from things like our desks and even the paints on the walls. By installing some easy-care plants like the Peace Lily, Snake Plant (commonly known as Mother-in-law’s tongue) or English Ivy, you’re removing those harmful nasties from your office (and making yourself Insta worthy in the process!)
3. Go digital
Going digital has several perks to the green crusade. Firstly, as more and more offices and small businesses jump on the cloud-based software bandwagon, the less paper we use. We can email invoices directly, keep track of expenses and do away with the old highlighter on the bank statements to reconcile trick. All of which means less paper used and more freedom for businesses. Another upside is it allows for employees to work remotely, which cuts down on commuter miles, one of the biggest contributors to greenhouse emissions
4. Get Moving
Joining up to workplace challenges like 10,000 Steps or Ride to Work Day, not only gets you and your workers moving – which results in a healthier, more productive workplace – but they promote alternatives to using cars or public transport to get around. A big win for the environment – and your business! By incentivizing or encouraging your employees (and yourself) to get active and get moving, you’re making a small step to normalise biking or walking to work. These schemes provide people with an insight into how easy it is to make the eco-switch and ditch the carbon polluting car.
5. Turn your clean Green
This one always seems to inspire fear or have the most resistance, but chemical-free cleaning products aren’t as scary or new-age as they seem. It can even be as simple as being conscious of what products your office chooses. By picking brands that don’t contain harmful nasties, or test on animals, you’re taking a small step that will collectively make a big difference. You can even go one step further and choose microfiber cleaning products and ditch the cleaning products altogether.
So there you have it. Five super simple ways you can turn your office Green without breaking the bank. It’s simply about making conscious choices when choosing office products and creating an environment that supports and promotes Green thinking.
This article was originally published on Intuit’s blog http://www.intuit.com.au/r/how-to-run-your-business/turn-your-business-green-without-breaking-the-bank/