Whether you’re doing it for the environment, to save money, or to attract talent, being a sustainable workplace is never a bad idea! In this two-part series, we will guide you on how to bring the zero waste lifestyle into your office.
In this second part, we will focus on eco-friendly transportation and office supplies.
- Encourage environmentally friendly transportation
Cycling, walking, and public transportation is by far the most environmentally friendly solution when it comes to commuting.
Encourage people to cycle to work by providing bike stands, lockers, and showers for the cyclists in the office or start a commuter club for everyone who comes by train so the train ride doesn’t become as boring. You can also create an office challenge, and dare everyone to take the train or bus to work for a week.
- Arrange carpools
If a lot of people are travelling from the same area and public transportation isn’t an option, try arranging carpools.
Start by making a list of interested co-workers and ask them to provide you with postcodes, whether or not they have a car, and how many people they can fit if they do have one. Use this information to make carpool groups!
Have the groups themselves arrange pick-up times and solve the issue of money. By alternating vehicles and drivers equally among carpoolers, the issue of money can be ignored. Another option might be to share fuel costs.
- Track inventory
A final important step in reducing the amount of waste you generate is to keep track of your office supplies inventory. This can potentially save you a lot of space, money, and time. There’s no need to buy five boxes of envelopes, if there are five boxes hidden somewhere in a storage space that you completely forgot about…
Make sure there is a system in place for your office supplies and that everything has a designated place, so you don’t forget anything and won’t buy any unnecessary items!
You can also create a unique platform to encourage your employees to share any excess items or make requests for supplies, so nothing goes unused and forgotten.
- Buy sustainable office supplies
When you’ve put a new system in place and supplies are running low, make sure to buy sustainable supplies.
Remember to think holistically every time you need new supplies: It’s not only the paper and staples that should be sustainable. Replace inefficient, high energy light bulbs (incandescent and halogen lights) with lower wattage, energy saving lights (compact fluorescent and LEDs). When it’s time to upgrade your website look for a green web hosting company. And when you’re running low on cleaning supplies, swap to non-hazardous, eco-friendly cleaning products.
Making all of these simple, little swaps can quickly accumulate, making a big environmental difference!