It’s no secret that the health of the environment has taken a turn recently. While there are steps, we can take within our own homes that can help, it’s only natural that one of the most important places we can make a difference is within our work offices. As we spend 5 days and 40 hours per week at our jobs, here are some ways that we can help to make our offices eco-friendlier.

Offer Reusable Containers and Cups

As workers are more than likely eating half of their day’s meals right within the office, a way to make your office eco-friendlier is through having reusable containers and cups available. Instead of wasting money on disposable plastic silverware, paper plates and paper cups, buying reusable options will be a budget saver and it will also help with the issue of waste. Of course, you can’t expect to offer enough reusable options for everyone in the office but offering just enough will encourage others to bring in their own reusable supplies as well.

Have Clearly Labeled Recycling Bins and Trash Bins

With all the trash that’s accumulated at an office, it’s important to have clearly labeled trash and recycling bins. While most know what goes in the trash, some are still sometimes confused as to what is considered recycling material and what isn’t. Things like plastic bags and empty containers oftentimes get confused as to whether it’s recycling material or not and unfortunately, if one thing that’s considered trash is entered into a recycling bin, it can affect the outcome of the whole bag of recyclables. To avoid any confusion, have a printable sheet available detailing what’s acceptable to recycle and what isn’t. This will avoid any questioning and help ensure that items are being properly disposed of.

Use Environmentally Friendly Cleaning Products

While it doesn’t seem like it, there are negative effects that come with the kind of cleaning products we use on a daily basis. Some of the chemicals included within cleaners contain pollutants that can contribute to air pollution, potential water contamination and can pose a threat to animals. Because every office is often cleaned at least once a week, it’s important that the products being used are environmentally friendly. Whether you have a cleaning crew or everyone is in charge of cleaning their own area, recommend the use of environmentally friendly cleaning products. These kinds of products work just as well as other cleaning products but they’re a more sustainable option with biodegradable ingredients. It’s truly a win-win!

Have Donation Stations

Whether it’s for a special cause or just because, setting up donation stations within your office is a great way to not only give back to others within the community but also help with the issue of waste. There are all kinds of donation stations you can set up. You can set up a clothing donation station, a toy donation station or one for your local food drive. For a clothing donation station, think about donating clothes either to an online consignment store or to your local salvation army. This will encourage people to shop secondhand and avoid buying brand new clothes that can contribute to waste issues. No matter what kind of donation station you set up, having any kind of give back program won’t only make your co-workers feel as if they’re helping others, but it will also help reduce creating further waste.

Conserve Your Lighting

While most offices have automatic timer lights set up within their office, if that’s not the case with yours, make the effort in conserving your lights. If you happen to be the first one in your office, don’t turn on every single light within the building but only the ones that you yourself will be using. If you’re the last one in the office after a long night, make sure to go around and see that every light is off. Or if you want to make a bigger, more official change, talk to your office manager about installing automatic timer lights. This will help conserve energy and also give you peace of mind that no light is being wasted.

Photo credits: eOffice

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