Customers are increasingly looking towards the companies they shop with to be more environmentally conscious, and they like to see deliberate steps being taken towards a greener status. The good news is, going green can also help you to save money and increase your productivity in some areas. Here are seven small steps you can take today for great results.
1. Change to recycled paper
You may not have a choice about whether you print things out, but you can certainly choose how you do it. Select only recycled papers to fill up your printer – you won’t notice any difference in the quality, but you will be saving forests when you do it. Be careful about the brand you select: check that you are using paper which is made from 100% recycled materials, rather than a lower percentage.
2. Switch to environmentally-friendly lightbulbs
It doesn’t make much sense why we are still using outdated lightbulbs for our offices and homes. Eco-friendly lightbulbs last longer, use less energy and thus cost you less over time, and help the environment. Not only that, but they’re usually the same price or cheaper than the lightbulbs you normally pick out, too. This may not have been the case ten years ago, but there’s no excuse now.
3. Use bike couriers, not cars
Switching to a bike courier will do the environment a huge favour. Skipping the exhaust fumes will be fantastic for the planet as a whole and also your own particular part of it, since these fumes are often responsible for dangerous air pollution. Bike couriers are also faster, which means an extra bonus on your side – the recipient will be hugely impressed at how quickly you make the delivery.
4. Do an energy audit
You may be able to get an energy audit done for free, but you could also start the process yourself by simply taking a look around the office. Cracks and rotten wood around window or door frames, could be allowing heat to leak out, thus costing you energy. Look around the edges of the room too, across the ceiling, and in vulnerable places. Sealing up these leaks could cut as much as 20% off your heating or cooling bill and, of course, help save the planet by using less energy.
5. Encourage car pooling
Are your employees driving in individually from the same areas? Encourage them to start car-pooling or even taking public transport. Put a rewards system in place where the eco-friendliest travellers can win goodies like a free lunch or an hour in lieu time. This will help to cut down the emissions your workplace generates overall.
6. Recycle your furniture
Next time you need to replace a chair or get a new filing cabinet, consider going vintage. Second-hand or repurposed items help the environment too. eBay and Craigslist are both great places to search for vintage or barely-used second-hand furniture that won’t cost too much.
7. Switch to green web hosting
Where is your company website hosted? Green hosting companies pledge to use renewable energy, plant trees, or offset their carbon footprint. Voting with your wallet and switching to green hosting will be a decisive gesture, and will be a badge of honour to display on your website as well.
Any office can go greener very easily, as these seven small steps show. Once you have completed these and seen the difference that it can make when you are more eco-friendly, you’ll be looking for ways to improve even further.