We now live in an age where as a society we’re becoming more interested in taking care of our beautiful green planet *phew. For many, recycling has become a daily habit, plastic packaging has been switched out wherever possible, and many of us are using sustainable products not to harm the environment. However, there are still millions of offices and businesses around the world that haven’t yet adopted greener habits, if you’re looking to make a change in your work place (be that at home or in an actual building with people), take a look at these ten easy ways to green your work habits.
Green Your Work Habits With These Easy Changes
1. Send Fewer Emails
No this is not a windup, sending fewer emails is actually better for the environment. What better way to green your work habits? Researcher Mike Berners-Lee calculated that a typical business user creates 135kg (298lbs) CO2e from sending emails every year, which is the equivalent of driving 200 miles in a family car.
If every adult in the UK sent one less “thank you” email, it could save 16,433 tonnes of carbon a year – the equivalent to taking 3,334 diesel cars off the road– BBC
2. Go Paperless
One of the biggest faux pas that offices all over the world are still making is using paper. Did you know that around 15.3 billion trees are chopped down every year? That’s an astounding amount that’s not only sad, but very harmful to the environment. We live in a world where completing business entirely through emails is completely possible, so go paperless and do your bit for the environment!
3. Switch To A Green Energy Provider
Which do you choose: energy that harms the planet or energy that doesn’t? O.K good. Switching to a green energy provider is super simple. Bulb provide 100% renewable energy and are so efficient. By going green, the average Bulb member lowers their carbon impact by 3.4 tonnes of CO2 a year. That’s the equivalent of around 1,689 trees.
If you decide to switch to Bulb, you can save up to £95 and get up to £50 credit when you join using my referral link: www.bulb.me/christinem6905
4. Green Search Engines
The search engine you use can actually be harmful to the planet, gross right? Everyone just uses Google or Bing without a second thought, but search engine Ecoasia are offering a green alternative. Search engine Ecosia uses the ad revenue from your searches to plant trees where they are needed the most. By searching with Ecosia, you’re not only reforesting our planet but you’ll be benefiting people, the environment and local economies. Switch to a green search engine: Download Ecoasia
5. Switch To Cloud Storage
Every business needs accounting, but many businesses are still using the traditional method using stacks of paper to record, store and document important accounting information. Switching to cloud based accounting with companies such as mneaccounting.co.uk to help reduce costs, drive long-term efficiencies, deliver sustainable benefits and help streamline your financial processes.
6. Eco-friendly Team Building
You might be keen on doing everything you can to help the planet, but not everyone is as on board as they should be, and this might include your staff members. A great way of ensuring everyone takes part is by providing incentives for those that choose a greener way of working (and living!). You can do this by offering small rewards! For example, a tree planting fun day out in nature, or you can challenge your team to go a month without plastic, and reward those who stick with it, perhaps by planting a tree or sponsoring an animal in their name.
7. More “Working From Home” Days (Post COVID)
Last year I questioned whether social distancing and working form home is actually impacting climate change. The answer was, yes, there has been a reduction in carbon emissions. One of the main takeaway lessons from the post was, that fewer cars on the road has made. positive impact. So, with this in mind, why not consider offering your team more ‘working-from-home’ days in the future?
“Lockdown UK pollution decrease shows CO2e emissions dropped 30 million tonnes”– The Eco Experts (2020 Stat)
8. Start A Carpool Scheme
O.K so this idea might be on pause until after the pandemic, but one to keep in mind for the future. If you absolutely cannot avoid working in the office, encourage your team to carpool to work together every day, and join in yourself! Not only will your office be reducing its carbon footprint, but you’ll each be saving money on fuel and travel costs every year, not to mention the chance to get to know each other better on the commute to work! Again, you could reward those that choose to carpool with small incentives like gift cards or leaving an hour early from work once a month.
9. Introduce Offline Days
Alarmingly the carbon footprint of our tech gadgets, the internet and all the systems supporting them accounts for about 3.7% of global greenhouse emissions! That’s similar to the amount produced by the airline industry globally says Mike Hazas, a researcher at Lancaster University. These emissions are predicted to double by 2025. Introducing an offline day in your working week could be a great way to reduce your emissions. Your team could dedicate a day to planning, preparing, generating ideas or working together on a physical project, when meet-ups are permitted of course.
10. Switch Off Every Night
Finally, many of us simply put our computers to sleep and leave the office every night. However, turning everything off such as computers, printers, heating and lighting can dramatically reduce the energy consumption your office is using each year. It takes but a few minutes, and can really make a difference.
Going green in the office doesn’t have to be hard and with these tips, your office can make a difference when it comes to preserving our beautiful planet.
Photography by Veronika Jorjobert