These days, being green is good for your reputation and, ultimately, your bottom line. Having an eco-friendly workspace appeals to customers and also helps attract the right employees. In some cases you may start from scratch and build your own green workspace. Or you may convert or improve your existing space. Here are a five tips to create a green workspace for your business.
Paper costs money and trees. Every time you print something, it costs. Every time you go to turn the printer on, think. Do you really need to print this document? Buying double-sided printers and printing documents on both sides helps. So does using recycled paper and encouraging the recycling of all paper used in the office. Also recycle ink cartridges. So many businesses throw away thousands of pieces of paper that could be recycled each month. Do your part by setting up recycle bins in and around your office space.
2. The Kitchen
Ban styrofoam cups, wood and plastic stir sticks, plastic cutlery and paper plates. Insist employees use coffee mugs and their own reusable plates. If you must use disposable cutlery, it’s possible to purchase biodegradable cutlery. The breakroom is one of the biggest creators of trash in the office, so cut down on trash wherever you can. Look for opportunities to reuse materials and kitchenware as often as possible.
3. Conserve Energy
Save as much electricity as possible. Resist the temptation to save time by leaving computers on 24/7. The best recommendation is to turn off monitors if you will be gone for more than 20 minutes. Computers should be turned off overnight. The last person to leave should make sure printers, copiers, lights and kitchen appliances are turned off before departing. Keeping window shades closed in summer and open in winter also helps save energy. Not only will you be conserving energy, but you will likely be saving your company hundreds of dollars on the electric bill.
4. Use Eco-friendly Construction Materials
These days you can get “green” paints which don’t release toxic fumes. Flooring and furniture can be made of recycled materials and recycled when taken out of use. Furniture can also be re-used. Consider selling or giving away desks and chairs that are no longer useful in the office, if they’re in good condition. If you are building or remodeling, ask your general contractor in North Dakota about recycled materials and energy-efficient construction such as using skylights to reduce the need for artificial light.
5. Use Energy Efficient Equipment
Buy equipment and appliances that are energy efficient, including computer equipment and microwaves. If you have employees who travel a lot, have them use their laptops as their primary computer. Laptops use much less energy than desktops and, these days, are not much less powerful. Use energy efficient bulbs. LED bulbs are better than CFLs as the latter contain toxic mercury.
Your office should be green. It’s good for your bottom line, your employees, and the planet. Do your part and go green now.
Dixie Somers is a freelance writer who enjoys blogging about business, home, and family topics. Check out general contractors in Idaho if you are looking to build or add on to your business office space.
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