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As the world becomes more eco-conscious, it is not surprising to come across people and establishments working to reduce their carbon footprint.
We understand that living a sustainable life can be challenging, especially in the workplace. However, creating a carbon-neutral habit comes with added benefits, including increased productivity and better health.
1. Go (nearly) paperless
Research has shown that the average office worker in the United Kingdom uses no less than 10,000 sheets of paper in a single year. It might not be possible to go completely paperless. That said, Advancements in technology have allowed us to digitise more than ever before.
Contemporarily, you can store and share essential documents in cloud computing services such as Dropbox and Google drive. Not only does this boost collaboration in your workplace, but it also reduces paper usage, negating 91.8lbs of CO2 produced by the average office worker every year.
Obviously, paper will still be used in the office, so when possible, re-use. Some examples include turning scrap papers into a notepad, or using the unused side of old printed papers to create draft documents.
2. Get rid of plastic cups
It’s estimated that 38.5 million plastic bottles are used in the UK every day, with only half being recycled. With plastic bottles taking around 1,000 years to decompose, large volumes of plastic remain in our landfill sites and waterways, harming valuable ecosystems and food chains.
How can you help? Very simply, replace single-use plastic items with reusable alternatives:
- Replace those plastic cups with mugs or reusable water bottles.
- Replace plastic shopping bags with a cloth tote bag or rucksack.
- Say no to Styrofoam containers and chose a carboard alternative where possible.
Both the ocean (and your wallet) will thank you if you implement these sustainable options.
3. Switch up your commute
With a shift to remote working, caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, emissions from commuting vehicles dropped by up to 60% in the UK. However, these effects could prove short lived if we do not make changes to our future behaviours:
- Carpooling with a co-worker, saves more than 1.6 billion tones of carbon emissions each year.
- Using public transport will reduce the number of cars on already congested roads.
- Biking to the office is a zero-carbon alternative that possesses significant physical and mental health benefits.
If your only option is driving to work, consider how you drive, as small changes can make a big difference. For one, be gentle with the pedal—sudden changes in acceleration increases energy consumption, requiring you to refill more regularly. This summer, opt to roll down the windows and turn off the air conditioning, producing an energy saving of up to 15%.
4. Advocate recycling and composting
The average person creates 4.40 pounds of waste per day. Without correct segregation and a reputable waste collector, large volumes of recyclable and compostable waste end up in landfill, producing harmful green-house gas emissions.
At Bywaters, we work with our clients to limit their environmental impact and increase recycling rates. Each customer is provided with their own dedicated “Green-Guru” to devise a bespoke waste strategy, improve recycling and reduce overall waste production.
The professional commercial cleaners at Maid Sailors Office Cleaning Companies NYC also support designated recycling and compost bins in the office. Introducing new recycling waste streams not only helps to improve segregation, diverting more waste from landfill, but it can also lead to significant cost savings.
These principles can also apply to your home office. Check out our blog to find out how you can keep recycling at home, becoming your own green guru and making the overall recycling system more efficient.
5. Be a leader in sustainability
Once you master office waste reduction, you might want to take it to the next level.
Many companies and organisations have a long list of sustainability and carbon reduction targets, but only a few succeed. That’s where you come in.
You can develop a list of ideas or use our tips mentioned in this article to help your team achieve their goals into a greener future.