Take a moment and imagine this scenario. You’re sitting at your desk during work, and behind you the printer kicks into action and starts shooting out pages of a training manual that you know is it at least 50 pages long. By the time it reaches 80 pages you realize that, oh no, part two is also printing (it’s not even double sided!), and you can almost feel the pointed glares of nearby coworkers who think that you’re the non-green, eco-enemy offender.
If it does, then you are not alone. Today, more and more companies, organizations, and workers around the world are taking their environmental impact into account and making green office spaces a priority. Rework is one of them, and below are some tips to help you and your business become or remain a committed member to office sustainability.
How much energy can really be saved by using LED light bulbs?
While offices built within the past decade are more likely to use energy saving lighting fixtures, there are still a variety of ways to decrease your energy usage and save money. According to Energy Star, a green office space often employs energy efficient light bulbs that use 70-90% less energy than fluorescent and/or incandescent light bulbs, which in turn saves money otherwise wasted on unnecessary lighting.
This one strategy, when also combined with sustainable light fixtures, ceiling fans and even decorative light strings for the more relaxed office space, could help businesses large and small reduce energy consumption, save money, and lower their environmental impact. If you’re not sure where to start, choosing products with the Energy Star logo, which is the government-supported symbol for energy efficiency, is always a good place to begin. From there, connect with Rework’s Planning and Design team to help you put together an energy efficient, productive, and comfortable office space.
What are ways to be eco-friendly when traveling to and from the office?
When traveling to work or going on a work trip, how often do you think of the energy costs? When many of us now have more options about how to get to work, striving for office spaces to be eco-friendly both inside and out is useful when making transportation decisions.
If you happen to live close to your office, the first choice is to either walk or bike to work instead of driving. Walking and biking not only saves valuable natural gas and cuts emission levels, it also helps contribute to greater feelings of calm and productivity within the office as people aren’t stressed out from grueling traffic or scarce parking spots. For those whom walking or biking isn’t possible, asking your manager about possible discounts for public transportation is a great way to work together as an office towards decreased energy consumption while also striving for a shared goal.
Of course, if you’re someone who frequently travels then you’re given an extra challenge when it comes to on-the-go office sustainability. Thankfully, however, the creation of electric and fuel-efficient cars means this dilemma doesn’t have to feel nearly as overwhelming. On the Environmental Protection Agency’s Green Vehicle Guide, they include a list of five alternative vehicle models that are not only more environmentally-friendly but will also save your company money in the long run.
How can my office become more involved in the local community?
Successful green offices are marked by a group commitment to sustainability and eco-friendly practices. One company challenged their employees in a previous year to reach a collective one million steps within three weeks. Within two weeks they did it and earned an extra day off for the year. Implementing sustainable practices within your own company office is similar. If your company is looking to move towards a green office space it’s helpful to get as many people on board as possible so everyone feels included and rewarded once you reach your goal. If your office is interested in taking part of nationwide efforts to restructure and reduce energy consumption, check out these EPA-created partner projects.
WasteWise - All U.S. businesses, nonprofits, and organizations large and small are encouraged to join WasteWise. WasteWise partners show how they reduce waste, practice sustainable materials management, and strive to be environmental stewards.
Food Recovery Challenge- Everyone enjoys food, but many of us would probably get even more enjoyment knowing that our company was decreasing its food waste while serving the needs of those within the community. The Food Recovery Challenge aims to do just that by challenging organizations to improve their sustainable food management practices. If your company is one that frequently has catered events where food management is a concern, then this initiative is tailored for you.
Environmental Management Systems (EMS) - While not exactly a specific project, EMS is perfect for any and all offices who want to become more eco-friendly. The EPA describes EMS as “a set of processes and practices that enable an organization to reduce its environmental impact and increase its operating efficiency.” Whether your office is looking to for a large-scale overhaul of your environment practices, or just needs some additional tips and tricks, creating a system for how each employee can contribute to reducing their environmental impact is a project everyone can be a part of.
Still looking for more? Connect with Rework!
Here at Rework, we know that recommending strategies for a sustainable workplace is only so convincing as the efforts taken in our own office. That’s why Rework is dedicated to reducing landfill and conserving the environments natural resources by giving new life to current office furniture. Rework offers services from refurbishment to reupholstery, while still including ready-to-purchase options. Connect with our team today to help give your office space the functionality, sustainability, and style your company deserves.