We spend the majority of our weekly waking hours getting to work, existing in the office, and of course, getting home at the end of the day. We are accustomed to making these transitions and bulk time spent in the workplace as simple and effective as possible. But can we push ourselves further and consider a few simple ways to lessen our overall environmental impact surrounding our work life? With these four simple tips, you’ll be on your way to living and promoting a greener lifestyle.
1. Transportation consciousness
The average American jumps into their own car each morning, commutes to work in a mostly empty vehicle and sees nothing wrong with it. To observe this phenomenon, simply look to the right and left of you next time you’re stuck in traffic during your daily commute. Everyone is driving solo. This not only burns an unthinkable amount of fossil fuels, but it also discourages community, conversation, and potential exercise. This is not a normal feature of everyday life in other countries. Most Europeans exclusively take the underground, utilize their city bus’s, carpool or even bike to work. Lucky, there are a few easy ways to jump on the eco-train and slash your CO2 emissions overnight!
We now have a plethora of great ride-sharing apps made available to us that we can choose from. There is really no good reason to drive a four or five-seater car alone to work five days a week. You may be surprised to discover that someone in your neighborhood is doing the same commute each morning- also alone, paying too much in gas, and feeling slightly lonely.
Below are just a few Rideshare apps to get started and redefine your daily commute:
Secondly, the option is always there to make use of great public transportation in your city. Take the Metro or the city bus. Many of us don’t even consider taking public transportation to work- because it seems like a hassle… it’s not necessarily on our individual schedule, or it’s uncomfortable. However, the pluses far outweigh the minuses. Public transport provides a fantastic solution to a daily commute, and it’s typically much faster than driving. There is virtually no traffic, no red lights, no accidents to make you unexpectedly late. Not to mention, taking public transit is far more economical than burning gas and the taxing miles you put on your car during a daily commute. A quick internet search will provide readily available information on a metro or a bus near you.
Lastly, consider a healthy alternative to normal transport. Biking, skating, walking, scooting or jogging to the office is a viable option for many, yet for some reason, we tend to shudder at the thought of exercise outside of the gym. Now that many office spaces are providing showers for their employees, a biking commute to work is a viable option. No worries about remaining sweaty throughout your workday. It just becomes a matter of giving yourself a little extra time in the morning to allow for slightly longer travel time. Your waistline is not the only thing benefitting from a physical commute!
That is short for Bring Your Own Dishware! Mugs, plates, and silverware are all necessary items in the office. Come lunchtime, that midday cup of coffee, or unavoidable snacking, we tend to use whatever our companies provide for us. Often times, that means paper plates and plastic cups and utensils. Using throw-away plastic dishware is understandable a few times a month but becomes excessive if used every day. Five plastic cups a week quickly becomes twenty plastic cups a month- and a whopping 230 plastic cups a year. Now, multiply that by the number of employees in your building all doing the same thing and you have a major waste issue at hand.
Consider bringing a reusable coffee mug and water bottle to work from now on. You’ll be saving the planet a lot of unnecessary waste and will also save your company a lot of money on products. Check out the amazing vacuum-sealed Hydroflask water bottles and canteens for a great solution to throw-away cups and water bottles. You can also invest in some great alternatives to paper and plastic plates and utensils. For example, Cost Plus offers these stylish BPA-free bowls made from bamboo at an affordable cost that will gain you major karma points with Mother Earth and your company.
3.Lay Off The Thermostat!
Offices that are shared by many tend to endure high monthly heating and cooling costs. During frigid winters, most offices overcompensate by cranking the heat and therefore pouring a mountain of resources into regulating temperature. This is extremely costly, not to mention consequently generating a lot of ugly CO2 emissions in the process. In the summertime when it is too sweltering outside to comprehend, our buildings are typically overly chilled to the point where we find ourselves in jackets in the middle of July. There are a few smart solutions to combat the temperature swings both economically and environmentally.
- Bring layers to the office. Keep a coat and a variety of shirt options in-house so that when the office temperature rises or drops, you’ll be ready. This way, you can swiftly adapt to the atmosphere rather than asking management to adjust that thermostat. This will save you time, annoyance and your companies money all at once.
- Suggest that your company update its typical partitions for offices and glass walls. Making this transition is a great way to increase airflow and temperature regulation so that air can move freely throughout the entire office space and not get trapped in pockets of stagnant air. Have a look at Space Plus, A Division Of The Sliding Door Company office partitions, glass room dividers and sliding glass doors to see how they can improve your energy costs.
4.Lighting is Everything
We’ve all heard it said before- lighting is everything. And it truly is. Light greatly affects how we work, how we exist in an environment, and how we feel. Too often, places of business do not thoroughly consider the lighting for their offices. Not only is this a bad economical move, but its also unfair to its employees. Fluorescent overhead lights are a staple of the workplace. But are they right? If they aren’t LED, and they detract from the quality of life of the employees, they’re probably not a great solution to lighting in the first place. Luckily, there are a few simple solutions.
Using spotlighting with LED bulbs- i.e. desk and floor lamps- can update a space and transition an office into a green business. LED bulbs now come in all sorts of hues and shades, from white light to amber and soft. Switching to LEDs will undoubtedly save hundreds of electricity. Many LEDs have a rated life of up to 50,000 hours. This is about 50 times longer than a typical incandescent, 20-25 times longer than a typical halogen, and 8-10 times longer than a typical CFL.
Secondly, transitioning to glass partitions, glass office doors, and glass office room dividers throughout an office building will allow natural and artificial light to pass through and therefore- slash energy costs. By replacing standard office partitions and light-blocking walls with glass partitions and sliding glass doors, you create a warm, light-filled environment that is not only an economic no-brainer, but it also greatly improves the life-quality for office workers.
With these four simple tips, you can start your transition to becoming the eco-warrior of your dreams! Discover how much cleaner and guilt-free you’ll feel about taking conscious action towards a normally wasteful experience in the workplace. Check out Space Plus, A Division of the Sliding Door Company for ideas and inspiration in updating your office space for the better. Get a quote from one of our professionals to begin the transformation today.