Most people are trying to reduce their carbon print and take their stand in the war against global warming, because of all the news we have been hearing about how our environment is slowly dying. For instance, we always remember to separate the trash so that we can do recycling. Many homeowners are nowadays also improving their homes, for them to become greener in many ways. Some of the ways include installing energy saving light bulbs to other not-so-simple things as switching to the use of green power by the installation of solar panels.
The only problem is that a majority of people forget all their environment consciousness the minute they step in through their office doors. So fine, you do not work in one of those monster companies that release tonnes of toxic substances into the environment every day, but do you not know that the simple things you do in the office are harmful too?
Even if you do not emit toxic substances yourselves, if as an organization you are procuring products from companies that do, then you are just as bad because you are keeping them in business. Talk with the management of the company to develop policies that regulate your procurement procedures and ensure that you only work with green companies and buy only green products.
- Paper wastage
Stop for a moment and think of all the junk mail you receive as an organization every day. Do you know how many trees were cut to manufacture the paper that those letters are written upon? Do you send them as an organization?
Stopping junk mail is as easy as contacting the company that is sending them to you and stating that you are not interested and that they should remove your organization from their mailing list. Communicate with companies that you are interested in working with too and ask them to send you all the relevant documentation online.
Make sure that you are not the culprits yourselves by ensuring that you do not send unsolicited letters. Advertise online, it is more effective and more environmentally friendly too. In addition, train your workmates to use both sides of the paper while printing, and to use any sheets of paper with printing errors to jot down notes instead of discarding them and grabbing a fresh sheet every time they need to write something.
- Plastic/paper cups
Yes, having plastic and paper cups at the water dispenser and coffee-making machine is convenient, but have you ever considered how many cups just one worker goes through in a day? Where are these plastics disposed?
Have the workers bring their own mugs, which they can wash after use and keep. They might not like the idea but if you explain to them, why they should appreciate the need. You could even buy the mugs for them to make them happy!
- Switching off machines
Did you know that an average office of 50 people each with their computers and printers could create the carbon emissions that can be compared to that of ten cars on the road? While it is unreasonable to expect that the use of computers and printers be stopped, the least you can do is make sure that they switch those machines off every time they leave the office.
Create a roaster if necessary of the person who shall be ensuring that this is done each week, or make sure you email your workmates just before the time comes for them to leave reminding them to switch off. These simple things will go a long way in making your office a greener one.
- The use of search engines
Powerful servers operate search engines. Google, the fastest search engine there is, gets that speed precisely from the fact that it operates on several servers in different locations working simultaneously to get you results every time you run a search.
This results in the emission of several grams of carbon in the air, and you most likely will not get what you are looking for with just one search.
Consider reducing on the use of search engines. Use a dictionary if you need to look up the meaning of a word, or use an encyclopaedia. It may seem like something small but it will definitely make an impact in the long run!
Ryan is a freelance writer and an environment blogger. He is of the opinion that the food industry and other businesses have been primarily responsible for the environmental degradation and food waste must be dealt with by devising better waste management methods. Photo by Daniel Ryan