Working Green, Reasons Why Your Place of Work Should Turn to the Green Side

working-green

Whether it be business, landscaping, construction, education or arts, all workplaces could use some sprucing up when it comes to eco-friendly  practices. Converting your place of work to a greener, eco-friendly space will not only benefit the planet but workers too, providing you with that “good deed, feel good” mindset.  Whether it be small scale, large scale or anywhere in between, there are many different ways you and your employees can implement environmentally friendly ways into your work spaces.  Here’s how… 

Tiny Tidbits

All workplaces generates waste. Though it is often overlooked in our society, much of what we use is either disposed of or wasted completely, without a care in the world.  Paper and plastic are BIG ones in the workplace. 

GOOS – Good On One Side  

A GOOS Bin is the place you go when in need of scrap paper for scribbles or maybe a brainstorm sketch.  A GOOS Bin is a terrific way to repurpose extra paper, preventing higher consumption and therefore waste. It may not seem like a lot but, every bit of wasted reusable paper truly does add up.   

When looking for a bin I suggest you use one you may already have.  Importantly, do not buy a plastic one cause that is what we’re trying to stay away from folks!  A nice basket – perhaps even secondhand (to reduce consumption of new products…another tip) will do the trick!     

Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) Certified Paper Products – Free from Forest Fiascos  

Do you know where your office paper products come from? Forest Stewardship Council paper products is a great way to know exactly what your business is supporting.  

The FSC was created to allow corporate buyers and the public to identify products coming from responsibly managed forests, with the aim of redirecting the forest products industry towards more sustainable paths. A few FSC supporters are, Marks & Spencer, IKEA, Kingfisher and Tetra Pak , look out for these names when purchasing products for the office! Ensuring you are sourcing sustainably viable products is essential when converting to these eco-friendly  ways.  

Anti the Plastic Problem 

Another small change up with a large impact is to eliminate plastic waste within the workplace.  Replacing disposable cutlery, plates, dispensers (soap etc), cleaning products and more with reusable alternatives is essential in making the switch to becomineco-friendly .   

Invest in a set of dishes for the office or even bridgeable plates cups and cutlery, use natural bars of soap – this avoids plastic bottles, make your own all-purpose cleaner and throw it in a reusable spray bottle, replace paper towel with biodegradable reusable cloths. Lastly, ensure your office knows how to properly sort waste into garbage, recycling and compost.

Putting It All Together 

Pitching in More of a Hand 

Want to make more of a difference?  I have 2 suggestions to keep your business striving for the next level.  

First of all, encourage everyone to become involved as a team. Becoming involved as an entire group of people then results in a much larger change.  Hopefully, each person in your office implements these eco-friendly  changes not only in the office but then brings these changes into their homes and shares them with others – spreading these positive actions.   

Even more so, organizing group events that work towards an environmental cause is a stellar way to help the Earth and bring your team closer together.  For instance, office litter clean ups once a month are a great way to involve everyone, clean up your community, while promoting getting fresh air and activity!  If possible, going out more frequently is even better.  Need more convincing? Interestingly, in a study done by Harvard University, they found that being near a green space or outdoors, significantly improves mental health (Tentree International, 49).  So, this gives you every reason to get out there!   

If direct action is not something your business has time for, think about particular causes or charities you could support through various events or communicating, your business already has going on.  Or, you could even organize a campaign to raise money or awareness for environmental issues.  All in all, every bit of work contributes to a much larger cause…and that is saving the Earth! 

The After All 

Overall, becoming eco-friendly takes time and does not happen overnight.  It is a process and requires thought.  However, the first step to becoming more environmentally friendly is awareness.  If you are conscious of your actions and their consequences, you can then see what the issues with some of society’s practices really are.  Perhaps you will start noticing how certain things that go on around your office aren’t so good for the environment and that they need to be stopped immediately.  

I encourage you to scrutinize your ways and your office’s ways over the next few days in an attempt to see which areas need help or you could do better in.  After all, change has to start somewhere…so why not with you?

By: Caitlin Ciampaglia, Part Time Summer Student at Geoscape ContractingFull Time Eco-Warrior

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