Eco-friendly Office: How to Create a Green Workspace
Do you want your office to be efficient and environmentally friendly? In our article, you will find practical tips and tricks to make an eco-friendly office. Find out how to reduce your eco-footprint and contribute to a sustainable future while maintaining productivity and comfort in your working environment.
Use eco-friendly cleaning products
Eco-friendly cleaning products are made without artificial colors, preservatives, and toxic substances. This higher-quality composition makes them more environmentally friendly but also kinder to your skin. If you are concerned about their ability to clean, the effectiveness of eco-friendly cleaners is equal to that of chemical cleaners.
Benefits of eco cleaners:
- They are kinder to surfaces as they do not contain chemicals,
- They have eco-friendly packaging – recyclable or reusable containers,
- they have a minimal negative impact on the climate, nature, and the environment,
- they are also suitable for allergy sufferers due to their natural composition,
- they are not tested on animals.
Separate waste and compost
Try to keep waste to a minimum in the office and get waste separation bins. Label them properly and inform your colleagues.
- The habits that employees learn in the company can be passed on to their households.
- Create educational sheets with information on what goes in which bin, then place them prominently next to the bins.
- Prepare a short presentation on proper waste separation and motivate your employees to sort.
- Suppose you have the opportunity to compost. In some cities, composting is provided by municipal districts. Sometimes, you can put compost in your garden or indoors, thanks to vermicomposting, where earthworms take care of the waste.
We have eliminated the number of bins in the new space, removing the small containers under the tables in the open space to encourage colleagues to separate their waste. Instead, we have placed larger bins in the kitchen area where we separate mainly plastic, paper, and glass. We have also created a separate container for backed-up PET bottles.
You can reduce energy consumption in your working environment in several ways. Here are some tips on how to do this:
- Led light bulbs – not only do they save energy, but they also have a longer lifespan compared to traditional incandescent bulbs.
- Automatic light switching – install motion sensors in unused areas of the office.
- Turn off electronics – turn off monitors, air conditioning, computers, extension cords, and other electronics when not in use and outside of work hours.
- Use daylight – place office desks near windows, and this can reduce the need for artificial light.
Only print documents when they are needed; don’t print unnecessary amounts of paper that get misplaced, misfiled, and never found again. Rather, store everything online, e.g., on Google Drive.
Try to handle everything electronically, and if you can’t do it any other way, use double-sided printing and eco-friendly paper.
Forget the bottled water
Forget bottled water and mounds of plastic. Make it easy to back up your bottles by buying an eco-friendly device to replace mineral water.
At Visibility, we’ve adopted the SodaStream machine, which has helped us reduce plastic in the office. Refill bottles are easily replaced with new ones at electrical stores. Bring an empty flask, and they will refill/replace it while you wait.
Equip the kitchenette with enough equipment to make lunch easier. Provide a microwave so that staff can heat the food from home. Also keep spare food containers in the cupboard for emergencies; this step can go some way to preventing food waste.
Buy a dishwasher
One great benefit is that a dishwasher saves you time, water, energy, and money. Modern dishwashers offer washing programs, including the eco-program, which saves water and energy.
You can buy eco-friendly dishwasher detergents in regular drugstores or package stores.
What about coffee?
Try to avoid buying a capsule coffee maker and refilling it. If you already have a capsule coffee maker, there are reusable steel refills that are a greener form of disposable, plastic ones. Prioritize buying a bean-to-cup coffee maker. Try supporting local/local/family roasters by purchasing coffee from them rather than chain stores. Try to pay attention to fair-trade certification when buying coffee.
We order our coffee from Goriffee Roasters.
Waste from the coffee machine
Coffee machine waste has many uses. Don’t throw it away; it can be used for:
- Fertilizer – Coffee beans contain many minerals that are beneficial for plant growth. You can use the waste to make dry or liquid fertilizer for your houseplants or directly for the flowers in your office.
- Odor barrier – Thanks to its distinctive aroma, coffee can eliminate odors. Place the coffee waste in a bowl where you want to smell.
- Sidewalk Sprinkles – Instead of salt, you can use coffee grounds to sprinkle on the sidewalk. Coffee grounds melt ice faster.
- Scrub – Coffee scrub has many benefits for our skin; it reduces puffy eyes, removes dead skin, and improves blood circulation.
Another way to reduce plastics and waste in the office is to buy food and drugstore items at zero-waste stores.
Buying supplies at such a store has many other benefits, which include:
- No more wastage – We pour precisely the amount we need in and out.
- Supporting a specific person – Local products and local production.
- Elimination of plastics – Buying in our boxes and bags.
- Food and drugstore quality
Give old things a second chance
If you don’t need something anymore, don’t throw it away. Try asking colleagues if they are interested in the items or know someone who might be able to make use of them.
Organize a company bazaar at fractional prices, where your friends, acquaintances, and anyone are invited.
Alternatively, you can take the discarded pieces to a reuse center.
Ask at schools, offices, organizations, or non-profits
We recently moved our old office to a new space and had to say goodbye to the old space and the furniture. That’s why we approached various institutions directly or
through social networks, to which we donated unnecessary desks, chairs, or decorative installations such as bulletin boards. We also had two large artificial trees in our office, which we donated to schoolchildren.
Give things a second life; they make someone happy and can significantly help someone.
Renovate if you can. Try to redo things; give them a second touch.
Buying new things
If you need new furniture or accessories for your office, invest in quality materials that will last for years or companies that work with eco materials and try to offset their negative environmental impact.
Use public transport for meetings in the city, and provide a scooter or bicycle for shorter journeys to the company.
As an employer, offer eco-benefits or encourage your employees to do so. For example, you can support them with a voucher or a financial contribution.
Here are some tips for eco-benefits:
- Public transport allowance,
- A reward system for involvement in eco-friendly activities,
- vouchers for the purchase of sustainable products,
- A company scooter for getting around town.