Apr 03

5 Ways To Make Your Workplace Eco-Friendly

Ways To Make Your Workplace Eco-Friendly

Image by Chris Potter

From melting polar ice caps to smog-filled cities, the threat of global warming isn’t going away. Despite the red flags and the bombardment of warnings, the majority of people continue to turn a blind eye to their carbon footprint. Ignorance really is bliss.

It’s all too easy to turn away and leave it to someone else, but if we all do that then nothing’s going to change.

Instead, you could make a few small changes to your day-to-day life that can have positive effects on the environment. You may not have the money or time to become totally green, but these short easy to do steps will leave you slightly more satisfied in the knowledge that you are doing your part.

Here are five quick and easy ways to make your workplace more eco-friendly:

1. Less Waste, More Recycling

Minimize the amount of waste that goes to landfill by installing recycling bins in your workplace. The majority of packaging can be recycled now, and you’ll find that most of your colleagues will happily ‘go green’ if you provide them with the opportunity to recycle items.

2. Use Less Energy

Your workplace may be a-buzz with energy, but make sure it’s not wasted electronic energy. Turn off equipment such as computers, chargers and lights when they’re not in use, and remind your colleagues to do the same.

3. Minimise Your Mileage

Don’t travel unnecessarily for company business if a conference call could achieve the same result. If you can’t avoid travelling, try to car share where possible.

4. Be Proud To Be Green

Lead the way in your workplace’s green revolution by displaying your green credentials for all to see. Update your email signature to say:

Think before you ink – please consider the environment and do not print unless absolutely necessary.

5. Print Double-Sided

It seems so simple, but by printing and photocopying on both sides of a sheet of paper, you’re cutting your energy and paper use in half. If you have an IT team, speak to them about making double-sided printing the automatic default on all of the company’s computers and photocopiers.

That’s five simple ways to a more eco-friendly office, but it doesn’t end there. You could even speak to your procurement team about buying environmentally friendly products like Xerox business paper, which is manufactured using less water, chemicals and energy.

Have you got a great idea on making workplaces more eco-friendly? If so, leave a comment below!

Featured images:

Matt Reilly is a professional copywriter. He blogs about the environment, the business world and the links between the two. He writes for Continua.

Jun 22

Water Bottle Facts

Too Many Bottles-It is a Waste

  • Single-serve bottled water is the fastest growing beverage of choice in the United States.
  • Americans purchased nearly 31 billion bottles of water in 2006 and spend $11 billion on bottled water every year.
  • Nearly 2.5 billion bottles of water a year are sold in New York alone-stacked up end to end, they’d reach the moon.

It’s a Waste of Money

  • Tap water creates less pollution and uses far less energy and natural resources than transporting and manufacturing of plastic water bottles.
  • Bottled water costs as much as $10 per gallon-tap water costs less than one cent per gallon.
  • Nationally, local governments spend $43 billion per year to deliver some of the highest quality water in the world.
  • In New York, we spend $2 billion per year to provide safe, clean drinking water to the public.

It’s a Waste of Plastic

  • Unlike soda and other carbonated beverages, there is no deposit on water bottles so fewer are recycled.
  • Nationally, only 10% of plastic water bottles are recycled-90% end up as either garbage or litter.
  • 30 million single-serve non-returnable containers end up in landfills or as litter every day.
  • We spend millions annually to clean up plastic bottles that litter our highways, parks and open spaces.

It’s a Waste of Energy

  • 18 million barrels of crude oil equivalent were consumed in 2005 to replace the 2 million tons of plastic bottles that were wasted instead of recycled.
  • Manufacturing that much plastic releases more than 800,000 metric tons of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, contributing to global climate change.
  • If we recycled the water bottles used in New York, we would save more than 67,000 metric tons of greenhouse gases.
  • In New York, the oil used to make our bottles is equal to 66 million gallons of gasoline; enough to power 120,000 automobiles for a year.

Taking Action

  • Since New York adopted the bottle bill in 1982, 90.6 billion beverage containers have been recycled. Roadside container litter has been reduced over 70%.
  • San Francisco and Los Angeles have banned city departments from buying bottled water. Ann Arbor, Michigan is calling for city events to be bottled water free. Salt Lake City urges city workers not to buy bottled water. Maine, Hawaii, California and Oregon have deposit laws that include bottled water.

What You Can Do

  • Recycle or return all of your beverage containers.
  • Pick up bottles along the road or sidewalk and recycle them.
  • Drink tap water-it’s better for the environment, even using a filter is cheaper than buying bottles.
  • Get involved-help start a recycling program at school, work and sporting events.
  • Buy and refill reusable bottles.
  • Learn more about your local recycling program.