Promoting an eco-friendly society isn’t restricted to green practices in the home. The ethic of “going green” can also be applied at work with the same level of efficiency. Since many businesses have adopted mission statements which recognize corporate stewardship and have well-established sustainability goals, going green in the workplace is rapidly becoming the norm. Here’s what you can do to reduce your carbon footprint and enjoy the benefits of a green workplace.
Practicing the Habits of a Green Workplace
You may have heard the phrase, “it’s the little things that count.” This cliché rings true toward the ultimate goal of reducing your carbon footprint at work. A collection of small, consciousness acts can make that much of a difference. If your office is not currently engaged in sustainable business practices, know that this can be turned around quickly and easily with small steps in the right direction. Support from top management in the organization is a critical first step, but true progress comes from participation from every employee, no matter their title or position within the organization. Once management support is obtained, a great next step is the creation of an office “Green Team” to design business practices that are both environmentally friendly and often economic to the corporate bottom line. Teams should be of a manageable size (10 – 15 individuals) with representation from all across the organization and up and down the chain of command. The team should be empowered to explore all areas of sustainable materials management and energy efficiency. Here are some of the focus areas for your corporate green team:
Invest in Cleaner Energy Sources
It’s time for an office upgrade! Updating to cleaner energy sources such as eco-friendly LED light bulbs, efficient climate control and better-insulated windows should be investigated and become a priority focus area. One of the best alternatives to utilize in this situation is opening up the blinds or curtains to let in as much natural light as possible. This will help reduce dependence on artificial light and reduce demands on HVAC systems. An energy analysis of the workplace offers perhaps the best opportunity to identify simple changes that will yield energy efficiency and cost savings.
Work From Home
Often overlooked, the option of working from home can save significant amounts of energy throughout the year. While obvious, the equation is simple – the less people in the office at any given time, the less energy is being used. Employers won’t see much of a difference on a day-to-day basis, but over a longer period of time the savings can be dramatic. It is important when considering a work-at-home program to establish good baseline data on energy use and waste production and to then monitor reductions and cost savings over time. Of course, keeping employees off the road in commuting also reduces societal carbon footprint with as much as 35 – 40% of all air pollution coming from mobile sources like our cars.
Turn Off Everything
Before leaving for the day, make it a point to turn off all electronics. The sad truth is that even when devices and other equipment are in sleep or standby mode, they’re still using a lot of power. For example, your computer screen may seem like it’s off, but “vampire power” is using up a lot of energy all through the night. Turning off all lighting and your devices and unplugging them is the best way to save energy. During the day however, a good habit is to turn on an energy saving mode if available. This will save as much energy as possible when your electronics aren’t in current use.
Reduce Physical Waste
Going green at work means much more than just replacing the paper towel dispenser in the bathroom with an air dryer. You’ll want to reduce all physical waste and make sure that anything that’s eligible for recycling is, in fact, recycled. This includes buying smart by avoiding items such as one-use kitchen utensils and limiting paper usage. When you head to the kitchen think about how you can help the environment today. We recommend the metal fork and not the plastic one. Employees should be encouraged to use their own ceramic coffee mug – Styrofoam cups and straws can be completely eliminated. The same thing goes for internal operations. Going digital provides almost immediate benefits of better organization, savings and eco-friendliness – and if you have to print go double sided. If you’re office is in need of a major revamp of waste reduction, a dumpster rental for commercial offices and store locations is an option worth considering. Each county in New Jersey has an Office of Recycling and each town a Recycling Coordinator. Contact them to find outlets to properly manage consumer electronics, ink cartridges, fluorescent light bulbs, and any number of other difficult to recycle materials. All your paper and cardboard can be comingled in a dumpster headed for an approved recycling intermediate processing facility such as Bayshore Single Stream Solutions. One dumpster can hold 10 to 40 yards of material without worrying about separation. This eco-friendly, no hassle option allows you to comingle materials with Bayshore taking them back apart for distribution to end markets for recycling.
Educate Your Employees
The entire office needs to be on the same page to ensure your sustainability efforts are recognized. This is best accomplished through education programs designed and implemented by your Corporate Green Team. In reality, nothing will truly get accomplished if employees aren’t working in unison towards one goal. Incorporating sustainability materials management and energy efficiency education into the workplace is the best way to ensure your efforts are effective. After all, collaboration is the main driving force towards success.
Commercial Recycling Services in NJ
Reducing your carbon footprint undoubtedly saves energy and money while benefitting the environment all at the same time. Finding the perfect solution also includes investing in dedicated support from those who can take your green initiative to the next level. Partnering with an industry-leading supplier of sustainability and reliable recycling services, Bayshore Recycling will provide the assistance you need to take the next step in establishing green business practices. Between internal Green Team efforts and outside contractor assistance from Bayshore, you can make an important contribution to sustainable business operations and save money. Let Bayshore be your recycling solution and contact us to learn more about our corporate vision or request a quote for your business today!