Going green is a positive, environmentally conscious trend among modern companies all around the world, and many new and experienced business owners want to go down this road.
However, a lot of them have a feeling that it is difficult to make the first step.
The truth is, it isn’t hard at all to start making your company more eco-friendly.
All you need to do is take care of simple things first, things that at first sight look too mundane to be addressed.
Any company can do this, and what’s more, not only will it not bankrupt you, it may even make you become more successful and get you to make more money.
It will make you more sustainable, it will help you cut costs. And, honestly, a Carbon Tax is in the works, and it will essentially make all businesses cut down on their carbon emissions. So, trust us when we say that going green is always an excellent choice.
However, you are not the only one in your company (right?). That’s why you will need to advise and convince everybody that is part of your company on how important and useful this is.
Bellow, you will find 32 tips and tricks for convincing your employees just how important the green initiative is, as well as how easy it is to become a part of it.
1. Print On Both Sides
This one is quick and easy. Get a printer that can make double-sided copies and prints. Furthermore, try to avoid using colored prints. If you get colored one-sided prints, you will waste a lot of money, and a lot of resources, for nothing.
2. Recycle Cartridges
Paper is not the only thing that you can recycle. Cartridges can be replaced and recycled as well.
3. Don’t Use Paper If Possible
So one of the first things you should do is waste as little paper as possible. This means that have as much of your work online. Don’t forget to backup all the files you place in the cloud. If you must have a physical document in your hands, have your people review it, and scan it.
4. If You Use Paper, Recycle It!
Now, if getting totally rid of all paper is impossible, then recycling is simply a must. And not only should you recycle, but you should get recycled materials as well. So, get paper that has been coloured and processed via eco-friendly methods and processes. Also, get paper that has very little, to no, chlorine bleaching.
5. Consider Obtaining Green Software
Use software programs like GreenPrint that can identify wasteful printing and alert the user about the possible wasted paper space. It also recommends ways to eliminate it. In fact, GreenPrint claims to save businesses 17 percent on printing materials every year.
6. Misprints Can Be Reused
Give away notepads made of recycled misprints and so everyone knows their misprints can still be used and not just thrown away.
7. Reuse For Packing
If your staff needs to ship packages, have them reuse shipping boxes and shredded waste paper as packing material.
8. Dress Casual Every Day
What about implementing a business casual clothing policy? Instead of wearing very formal and stuffy clothing, they can switch to something more casual. You may end up saving on dry cleaning, and on air conditioning.
9. Save Resources By Working From Home
What about working from home? Sounds crazy, maybe even a bit lazy, but honestly, it really can help your company save up some cash and make it waste less natural resources. You can communicate with your employees as much as you can via Skype or other tools, and go to the office only when you really have to.
This will get you to use less gas for transportation, among other things.
10. Encourage Workers To Leave Their Cars At Home
Help reduce traffic congestion by encouraging everyone to carpool, take public transit, bike, or walk to work if the workplace is reasonably near their home.
11. Electric Cars? You Know You Like Them
Get a hybrid or electric car. Not only are they very safe, cost-efficient and good for the environment, but they look pretty cool too. Encourage your employees, and get them to follow your example. Let them follow your lead.
12. Experiment With Work Day Lengths
Consider having your employees work 10 hours a day for 4 days instead of 8 hours a day for 5 days. This helps cut energy costs for the company and travel costs for everyone. Who wouldn’t love three-day weekends?
13. Promote Natural Light
Natural light helps employees with productivity and satisfaction. So, make the most of the natural daylight and use it as a free source of lighting in the workplace instead of having all those artificial lights on all day.
This can work perfectly for all the desks that are close to huge windows.
Also, advise everyone never to leave the lights on at night when it’s time to go home.
14. Use Recycled Materials Whenever You Can
Stock up on recycled pens and pencils and encourage everyone to use them. It’s also better to get refillable pens and markers instead of buying disposable ones.
15. Biodegradable Is The Future
Getting a good deal of your office materials replaced with biodegradable versions is also a good way to go green.
16. Biodegradable Cleaners Today!
Have your cleaning people use biodegradable cleaners exclusively. Unlike regular cleaning agents, these will not influence the health of your staff. They will actually help eliminate harmful substances, while not being toxic for the cleaners, or for the environment.
17. Introduce Some Greenery
Go Green by having some greenery in your office. This means get some plants in there. Plants absorb airborne pollutants, as well as emitting oxygen into the air.
This will make your workplace much healthier, not to mention, much prettier.
18. Replace Your Mats
Instruct employees on the use dust control & floor protection mats. Place these mats by the door to keep dirt, dust, and bacteria from invading your workplace. It will reduce the need for everyday vacuuming and cleanups using harsh chemicals.
19. Prevent Wastefulness With Office Supplies
Advise the office manager to regularly keep tabs on your supplies cabinet. This helps keep employees from being wasteful with the office supplies.
20. Give Your Workers A Treat
Explain the importance of cost savings to your employees and perhaps come up with a program that allows you to throw pizza parties, organize lunches or dinners for everybody.
You can do it using the money you all have saved from conserving your office supplies. This will make the savings more tangible for everybody and encourage their efforts.
21. Update Your Mailing List
Keeping your mailing list updated all the time will keep everyone from sending out unnecessary letters. This means you’ll be saving on paper, printing, and postage.
22. Save Water
Promote conservation of water in the office kitchen or washroom. Toilet flushing wastes a lot of water. You can limit the amount of water wasted per flush by putting a brick in the tank.
23. Buy In Bulk
Avoid buying individual packets of coffee, creamer, sugar, pepper, salt, jam, and other consumables for the office pantry. Get them in bulk instead. Make sure to keep them organized and sanitary.
24. Unplug It If You Don’t Use It
Advise employees to unplug their computers, printers, scanners, photocopiers, and other devices before they leave work. Did you know that a huge percentage of office power is consumed by machines that are not even being used?
These are the machines that may be off but are still plugged into an outlet. This makes them one of the biggest environmental culprits and expenses today called ‘standby power’ or ‘phantom power’.
25. Switch Off Your Displays
Instead of using screensavers, have everyone set monitors to power off instead. Basically just turn everything off when it’s not about to be used for several minutes or more including the lights.
26. Say No To Bottled Water
27. Replace Plastics
You might also consider a one-time investment for glass and silver plates for you and your employees to use in the office kitchen or cafeteria during lunch breaks.
28. Promote Bringing Your Own Utensils
Instead of using disposable spoons and forks, encourage everyone to bring their own reusable utensils so you don’t throw away large quantities of plastic on a daily basis.
29. Pack Food In Reusable Containers
Encourage employees to bring lunch to work in reusable containers. As much as possible, avoid getting delivery and takeout as these usually end up being a pile of packaging waste in your office’s trash bins.
Your employees can also bring in their favorite mug from home to reduce or even eliminate the use of paper cups.
30. Make Recycling A Habit
Make sure each department has their own small recycling bins so that recycling becomes everyone’s habit in your company.
31. Assemble A Green Team
Couldn’t think of more ‘green’ ideas for the workplace? Build an employee-run ‘green’ team or committee whose members will brainstorm and come up with more Earth-conscious measures for your office. This will make everyone feel more involved and create a team atmosphere.
32. Let Everyone Know!
Share these tips with your colleagues. Spread awareness in the entire workplace. You can put up signs, posters, and bulletin boards everywhere in the office.
Share studies and statistics about the company’s imprint on the environment. Share the company’s long-term goals and ask for suggestions, opinions and other ideas as well.
Now, we spoke so much about how to be part of the green initiative, but we haven’t mentioned just how much it influences workplace morale, employee retention, and, of course, cost reduction. You will see amazing strides in all of these areas after you go green.
The good news is, there are companies like Alsco that strongly support ‘Green’ businesses. We provide services that will help every business owner, big or small, achieve total workplace sustainability.
Get in touch with Alsco today and our friendly staff will be more than happy to assist you with everything you need to get your ‘green initiative’ started.