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And they Cost Less, Too!: 8 Innovative Ideas For A Green Office Space

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The green movement is a rapidly growing industry. However, it’s not money-hungry companies trying to get behind trending fads. Rather, the green movement is growing because people are becoming more and more aware of the damage humans are doing to this planet.

Due to industrialization, increases in technology, and an ever-expanding population, Earth’s outlook is looking relatively bleak. In a short 200 years, humans have managed to deplete the planets of fossil fuels nearly to extinction. Many studies suggest we have a very limited amount of time left before they are gone forever.

Initiating eco-friendly ideas, such as a green office, is more important now than ever.

Take a look at our top suggestion on turning your average over-consuming office into a green workspace that will make the conservationist in everyone proud.

Ideas to Create a Green Office Environment

What exactly does a green office look like? Well, it’s not actually the color green if that’s what you’re thinking. Green simply refers to being eco-friendly.

Therefore a green workplace is simply a business where great efforts are made to help protect the environment and make a much smaller impact on the world.

Keep reading the top 8 ways you and your staff can make a difference.

1. Set Up Car Pools

One great way to establish a green office is by setting up carpools to get everyone to and from work, including lunches.

While you can’t make it mandatory, you can offer incentives for employees who choose to participate in the carpool program. For example, employees who carpool can arrive to work half an hour later or leave half an hour earlier. This will accommodate for the extra time it takes the driver to pick everyone up or drop them off at home.

The driver for the week could also have their lunch covered every day they drive, as a way to make up for their extra fuel consumption. Play around with the idea and talk to your staff about options and to get an idea of how they feel about it.

2. Cut Down on Paper

Another effective way to make your workplace a green office is by cutting down on paper usage as much as possible.

In today’s world of computers, tablets, and smartphones, we’re always connected. Do we really need to print memos off to the entire staff every day? Instead, go digital as much as possible to avoid excess paper usage.

This also includes water cooler cups. Provide a water cooler, of course, but have employees bring their own bottles to fill, rather than throwing away small cups for single gulps of water.

3. Buy Eco-Friendly Products

Since we’re talking about excess waste, let’s also talk about eco-friendly products.

In a single office, there is a ton of waste produced in a single day. Face tissues, paper towels, toilet paper, plastic utensils, paper plates, paper cups, printing paper, notepaper, etc. All of these products can be made in a less impactful way to the environment.

When you can, try to use eco-friendly office materials.

4. Set Up Recycle Bins

Another easy way to make a green office is by providing recycling bins for the staff. People are way more likely to recycle when it’s as simple as throwing something in the right bin.

Create recycling bins for plastic, paper, glass, and aluminum. Recycling is a super effective way to ensure we’re reusing products rather than adding waste to landfills.

Some people even go so far as to repurpose shipping containers for the office building itself! It’s a great idea and the epitome of a green office. This article explains more.

5. Conserve Energy

As we suggested earlier, at the rate we are using energy, we will be out of it soon. Eventually, the world will be forced to turn to alternative sources, such as wind and solar energy.

Until that point, however, we can all do our part by conserving energy where we can. Creating a green office means paying extra attention to the little things.

For example, many of us leave lights, TVs, computers, and other appliances on when we’re not using them. We even leave some of them on overnight!

Even though an electronic is not being used, it still draws energy as long as it’s plugged in. Where you can, unplug unused appliances, even if it’s only for the night.

6. Install Eco-Friendly Appliances

As well as using eco-friendly products, we can also use eco-friendly appliances. This includes toilets and faucets with low-flow settings, which use much less water.

It also means using Energy Star electronics. Energy Star certified appliances use much less energy than their counterparts. They make computers, laptops, TVs, microwaves, ovens, refrigerators, dishwashers, etc.

Investing in some Energy Star appliances for high-use equipment is a great way to make less of an impact in the office.

7. Use LED Lighting

Another great way to cut back on electricity usage is by installing LED lighting. Some LED lights can use up to 75% less energy! Not only that, but they last up to 25 times longer.

With statistics like those, why wouldn’t you switch to LED lights? Especially because LED lights come in all shapes, sizes, and designs.

8. Compromise on the Temperature

We all like to be comfortable while we work. It’s a pretty normal human condition.

For physical laborers, such as ranch hands, construction workers, and mechanics, being uncomfortable at work comes with the territory.

On the other hand, in an office, there’s no need for people to be uncomfortable. However, that doesn’t mean the air conditioning needs to be set at 66 degrees or the heater at 75 degrees.

Setting the thermostat at extreme temperatures is a terrible waste of energy. Setting the A/C at 70-73 degrees is more than comfortable. As is setting the heater to 68-70 degrees.

You should also avoid letting everyone have access to the thermostat, as it could result in a day-long battle of up and down temperatures!

Everything Counts

In a world of unimaginable waste and energy usage, you may wonder what difference it will make if you have a green office or not. To be honest, your green office alone won’t make a difference. However, a collective effort by everyone to have a green office, home, restaurant, etc. will make a difference.

If everyone had the mentality of being too small to make a difference, nothing would ever get done. However, multiple small efforts add up for a massive impact!

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