Going green is going strong. There’s been a recent surge in being more environmentally-friendly, from sustainable buildings and electric cars to solar power. Many people are taking steps to make their home more eco-friendly, but may forget to make their work space as equally harmless to the environment. Here are five steps to build an eco-friendly office.
1. Install a Green Roof
If you’re still in the process of constructing your office building, think about installing a green roof. A green roof is made of vegetation such as plants and grass that create insulation. While these types of roofs are more costly, you’ll get that money back by saving on energy bills. The layer of vegetation staves off excessive heat during hot summer days and retains heat inside of the building during cold weather.
2. Switch to Green Materials
Save a few thousand trees by using recycled paper whenever possible. Rather than giving every employee a separate print out at morning meetings, think about sending out an e-mail or using a slide show. If everyone at the office has a smartphone, they can read the agenda on that instead. Other paper products to consider switching include toilet paper, water cups, and paper towels. Think about having employees bringing in reuseable bottles of water rather than buying plastic bottles. If you do decide to keep using bottled water, set up a recycling station.
Choosing more green materials even translates into office furniture. Consider purchasing pre-owned office furniture from a company such as http://www.sitbetter.com/ instead of buying it brand new. Not only will you get great and more affordable furniture, but you will prevent older furniture from winding up in the land fill and becoming additional waste.
3. Install Efficient Windows and Shades
Efficient shades and windows keep heat inside during winter weather and blocks outdoor heat on sweltering summer days. Be sure to talk with an expert before buying efficient windows and shades to see which are the best for your office building. Different office locations, direction, local climate and personal needs will determine the type of windows you’ll require. For example, windows that face the south let in the most heat, so the type of efficient window you’ll need for them will differ from the ones you’ll need for north-facing windows.
With the way technology has advanced, it’s easier than ever to work from home. Instant message, video conferencing and e-mailing have made it possible to do nearly everything at home that can be done at the office. Working from home saves on gas, time spent in traffic, lowers your stress level and gives you more time for an extra cup of coffee. If you can’t work from home, think about starting either a carpool or a commuter credit program for public transportation.
5. Use Energy-Efficient Computers
Computers with the Energy Star label are more efficient than other computers. Program your computers to switch off after stretches of inactivity and set them to sleep at the end of the workday when they aren’t in use. Using energy-efficient computers can save more than $50 a year for each computer.
Save money while you make money at the office by going green. With a little effort and creativity, you’ll be helping to create a greener planet and an environmentally-conscious workplace.