Small steps towards becoming more eco-friendly can be easy to integrate into your workday. The smaller changes contribute to the overall impact. Since the majority of our adult lives are spent working, it’s worth investing into our future and comfort in the work environment.
Here are some ideas of how you can be more sustainable in the workplace.
1. Unplug what you aren’t using
A majority of office workers leave their electrical equipment plugged in or even switched on whilst they aren’t being used. Most people don’t realise that whilst devices are plugged in, phantom energy is constantly being drawn through the socket. Laptops and computers are one of the biggest offenders drawing an average of 9 - 44 watts in ‘off’ mode (44 watts is the equivalent of powering an LED light bulb for 24 hours).
Simply by unplugging your computer, desk lamp and other electrical devices, you will stop the phantom energy from flowing. An alternative to unplugging is using extension cables; most cables do not use any energy when they are switched off at the socket.
Saving energy on your equipment also prolongs the lifespan, meaning you won’t be replacing expensive bits of kit as often.
2. Use eco-friendly products
Conventional cleaning products contain toxic substances which could be harmful to the environment. A vast majority of us are using cleaning products without thinking about the effects they may be having on - not only our planet - but our health. On the back of most cleaning products, you will find warning labels which explain that the product has the potential of being harmful (most of the time, to marine life). Toxins to look out for include; Phthalates, Perchloroethylene or “PERC”, Triclosan (Experience Life - 8 hidden toxins).
Be more conscious when you replenish your cleaning products. Buy biodegradable cleaning equipment as most of the packaging is recyclable or biodegradable, in turn, this will reduce your business contribution to landfill.
Refill your bottles rather than buying new plastic bottles.
Products which are eco-friendly to both body and planet include:
Method - naturally derived, cruelty-free, recyclable packaging.
Ecover - smart green science, cruelty-free, recyclable packaging.
Ecover also offer a refill point for their soaps, find your local by following this link: https://www.ecover.com/store-locator/
Most businesses are pretty savvy with their recycling but there are multiple ways to improve your recycling which may not have crossed your mind.
- Not all plastic is recyclable - hard plastics are not recyclable, such as toys, washing baskets and buckets. Bubble wrap and polystyrene cannot be recycled, these can, however, be reused. At Tiny Box, we use all external bubble wrap that comes through from the post to protect our customer printing plates.
- All items put into recycling must be clean and dry. Plastic bottles must be rinsed and squashed. Glass jars can also be rinsed with the lids put back on.
- Paper and card must not have any tape - most wrapping papers cannot be recycled due to their decorations or finishes.
- Some businesses accept cardboard from other companies to shred and use as protection for packing their products. At Tiny Box, we use our ‘cookie monster’ shredder which crinkles and cuts any cardboard not being used, we then use this to pack and protect the boxes we send out to our customers.
- Make sure any new employees starting with the company are aware of your recycling procedures.
Food waste entering general waste bins are taken to landfill and produce methane emissions as it decomposes without oxygen. Composting reduces the impact and puts the waste product to use by creating a natural fertiliser. Install a composting system in your office and add a vegetable garden to your space - wait for the satisfying feeling of knowing you are helping our planet.
5. Cut out plastic
Plastic is a huge problem for our oceans and sealife. By 2050, it’s estimated that there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish. Unfortunately, it’s everywhere and even the production of plastic is extremely damaging to the environment.
Why not encourage your employees to take part in a beach clean for an afternoon? Allow them to see the scale of the problem.
Plastic will continue to be produced whilst there is still a demand for it. As consumers and some businesses out there as producers, we need to consciously reduce the amount of plastic we buy.
Consider whether there are eco-friendly alternatives to the packaging you use in your company.
In house, we have switched to offering our visitors cans of water which are fully recyclable, rather than bottles of water which are harder to dispose of.
What could you do to help save our environment?
Share this blog to help raise awareness.