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Creating an eco-friendly office space

Ideas on how to design a greener working environment

Creating an eco-friendly office will most definitely reduce your carbon footprint while creating a more mindful environment for you and other workmates. 

To create an eco-friendly office, you can go from very simple by switching a few items that can reduce your carbon footprint and save you money, as well as changing just a little the decoration such as adding plants that will literally bring your space back to life.  

Yet there is more; if you want to truly set your eco-friendly office, you can try to achieve official sustainability criteria with a LEED certification. Whether you are willing to level up with a certification or just get a greener office space, there are a few key elements that make it truly eco-friendly as well as get you saving some money in the long run: building energy-efficient walls, heat-efficient flooring and the latest in green lighting and fixtures. 

Businesses most definitely have a massive part to play, from products manufacturing environmentally-friendly products, to the way that they are run on a day-to-day basis. 

Ensuring that you have an eco-friendly office space not only shows that environmental issues are important to you, but also helps your staff to focus on how they are affecting the planet – and can often save your business money as well!

How to create a greener office

Creating a greener office is all about making changes in the way that it functions, as well as changing the attitudes of those who are working there. With this in mind, here are some ideas about how to make your office space more eco-friendly:

Think about your waste

Most of us have got used to recycling our household waste but ensuring that as much office waste is recycled is also important. You can arrange for the majority of your office waste to be recycled – from paper and cardboard packaging to food waste to batteries and electrical items. 

If you have a considerable amount of cardboard and paper waste, you could consider getting a cardboard baler. This not only helps you to save space in the storage of your waste, but it also would help to facilitate your recycling and save you money. 

According to QCR, who hire and sell recycling equipment, there is another reason why the planet would thank you for using a cardboard baler – “A cardboard baler can decrease emissions by up to 75%, due to… fewer refuse collection lorries to empty bins. This can be a great way for your business to improve its carbon footprint and contribute to environmental efforts.”

Creating an eco-friendly office space
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Try to go paperless

In a world of digital technology, there is very little that businesses still need to do on paper. By using less paper, you will create less paper waste. As a business, you could consider making some changes to go as paperless as possible, including:

  • Emailing letters and invoices.
  • Using messaging and emails for internal communications.
  • Using cloud technology to save documents instead of printing out or copying
  • If you do use paper, make sure that you use both sides.
  • Get digital business cards for your team, Squiqr is a funky brand and platform where savvy, eco-conscious professionals can make the switch from old school, outdated, wasteful paper business cards.

Consider structural changes in your office

Our impact on the environment can be greatly affected by the building that we are in. There are several ways that you can ensure that your building is as eco-friendly as possible, including:

  • Insulate it as much as possible – cavity wall, loft, or floor insulation can have a huge impact on the amount of energy that you use to heat or cool your building, as well as double glazing your windows.
  • Introduce as much natural light as possible – this is great not only for the environment meaning that you don’t need to use as much energy to light the building, but is also great for the health of your staff
  • Use motion-sensored lights so that they are only on when people are in the room
  • Change to LED lightbulbs as they use less energy

Changing working practices and attitudes

Ensuring that your staff are on board is also important and encouraging them to be more environmentally friendly is vital.

  • Encouraging walking or cycling to work, using public transport or car-sharing.
  • Encouraging video conferencing instead of arranging physical meetings.
  • Allowing employees to work from home where possible.
  • Supporting eco-friendly charities.
  • Supplying reusable cups, mugs, crockery, and cutlery instead of disposable.
  • Ensuring that staff turn lights off when there is no-one in a room and at the end of the day.
  • Ensuring that computers, printers, and other appliances are turned off fully at the end of the day.
  • Turning the heating down a couple of degrees.
  • Ensuring that cleaning products that are used are environmentally-friendly.
  • Use green office supplies – recycled paper, for example.
  • Continually look for new ways to be more eco-friendly – and encourage staff to come up with their own ideas.

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Ensuring that our office spaces are as environmentally-friendly as possible is a responsibility that we all have. Although there are some drastic changes that businesses can make, there are also many small tweaks that can be made to save you money as a business as well as help to save the planet.

How to create an eco-friendly office space
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Evelyn James

Evelyn James is an emerging freelance writer who's passionate about environmental issues and sustainable living. Since the start of lockdown, she's been creating content that she hopes people will find valuable. When she isn't writing, she can be found either out hiking up mountains or curled up with tea and chocolate.

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