We need to talk about being ecologically friendly. With our planet currently facing so many environmental issues, the onus is on us to do what we can to make sure the Earth is inhabitable for years – and hopefully generations – to come. We know that when the topic of ‘going green’ comes up, a lot of people dismiss it with the notion of it not being their problem, or that ‘it’s too much work to change now’, but with research suggesting that a crisis could occur as early as 2040, it very much could be our problem. Don’t worry, though, not every change needs to be a massive overhaul. In fact, there are plenty of ways that you can start your environmentally friendly initiative at the office, and we’re here to help. These are just some of the ways that you can start to make a difference right in your place of business.
5. Go Paperless
This is something that (especially in 2018) can be a relatively easy way to cut down on unnecessary waste. With tablets, smartphones, laptops, and the prevalence of wi-fi, there’s almost no need to print documents any longer. Wherever possible, cutting down on the amount of paper you’re using in the office would majorly benefit the environment. In a 2014 study by Catalog Spree and PaperKarma, it was found that if the US alone were to cut its paper use in the office by 10%, it would reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 1.45 million metric tons.
This is one of the bigger things you can do to improve your office’s carbon footprint. A green roof or living wall can go along way to not only improving the amount of energy your building is using, but to better your building’s natural insulation by reducing the need for cooling during the summer and heating during the winter. Not to mention the obvious benefit to the environment of having more natural greenery planted in areas where it normally wouldn’t thrive. This is definitely a more major change for a business but investing in a living wall or green roof has the potential to pay dividends, not only in their benefit to the environment, but in reduced energy costs for your office as well!
Why stop at the exterior of your building? If you’re permitted, bring a small plant for your desk into the office. Not only will this spruce up your workspace, and bring a little nature to you, it will improve the air quality. Now imagine if everyone in your office was to bring in a plant for their desk. Bringing plants into the office is also a great way to make for cleaner air in an environment where a green roof or living wall is an impossibility.
The benefits to the environment of biking or green commuting are numerous. The more people participating in these initiatives, the fewer toxic emissions are released, and the cleaner our ecosystem becomes. Plenty of companies have found success in incentivising people to carpool, take public transportation, or bike to work, with a prize for whoever was able to find alternate, eco-friendly methods of getting to work most consistently during a set period.
Now this is something we can all do, and something that can help substantially improve your office’s energy efficiency. Monitoring your thermostat (especially in the summer months) can go a long way to conserving energy. Most office buildings are over air conditioned, and it’s not out of the realm of possibility to be bundling up when you’re indoors during the summer. Instead of keeping the thermostat below 20°, why not try setting the temperature around 23°, and adjusting the temperature as needed? You may find that you could even stand to go a few degrees higher! If more office buildings were willing to bump the temperature up a couple of degrees, they would conserve a ton of energy and save a bundle of money on their cooling costs in the process.
We know that not everyone is going to be able to follow every one of these steps but being mindful of the amount of energy you’re using and ways to reduce it is becoming increasingly important. Whatever you can do to improve energy efficiency in your daily life is a step in the right direction, and if enough people take those steps, hopefully we can enjoy many comfortable years on earth to come.
For more ways to stay ecologically friendly, as well as profiles on some of our favourite plants that we offer, stay tuned to St Williams. And don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube so you don’t miss a thing!