Going green is a topic that people absolutely love to jump on their high horse about, but there are many simple ways to be kinder to the environment without having to make tremendous efforts. Businesses generally have more of an environmental impact than individuals.
Firstly, it is common knowledge that many materials can be recycled; obviously paper, food waste, metals and plastics, however this tends to be more of a concern for people at home than those at work. Have you considered printer toner cartridges, ceramics and more importantly, things that can be given away rather than thrown away? Here are six tips that can help you to go green:
1) See if you can get recycling bins added around the office rather than large bins outside. People are far more inclined to use them if they are close to where they work, so make it easy for them by providing them accessible bins that can later be taken to the ones outside the building.
2) Shut down computers and switch off monitors rather than leaving them on standby, this is a simple habbit to pick up, but nearly nobody actually presses the off button on their monitor.
3) Opt for recycled paper. There is a stigma attached to recycled paper in that it is assumed to be of inferior quality, but in reality, the recycling process has greatly in recent times. You can now get brilliant white high quality 100% recycled paper. Also remember to print double sided (duplex)!
4) Encourage car sharing and get your employees to talk to each other about their commuting habbits. Chances are, there may be scope to share, which has the added benefit of keeping travel costs down for your staff.
5) Consider teleconferrencing. Start using video, instant messaging and whiteboards to collaborate and communicate. These can eliminate or reduce the need to travel to face to face meetings.
Obviously this list is not exhaustive and there more comprehensive methods, but this is a good time to mention my final (unofficial) tip; start small and be realistic. As business people, you understand the principle of resistance to change so don’t hop on a green soapbox and irritate your staff/colleagues!