Being green at the office does more than conserve the planet’s resources. Employees also benefit from cleaner air and better lighting. Here are some easy ways to create your very own green office and promote a sustainable office environment.
Start with the Walls and Office Divider
Replace gray and brown cubicle dividers and make them come alive—literally. The easiest solution is to use hanging baskets filled with plants that grow well indoors, literally helping to create a green office. Succulents are low maintenance plants that come in a variety of shapes, and they only need watering every one to two weeks.
Also consider these plants that help purify the air: peace lilies, small potted cactus, bamboo, English ivy and the heartleaf philodendron.
While it’s possible to use partitions, shelving and bookcases work well for displaying the plants.
Office plants act as a natural air purification system, keep humidity at comfortable levels, and reduce airborne bacteria.
Find the Light
Natural light reduces electricity usage while promoting positive moods, alertness and assisting with metabolism. Workers with adequate sunshine also slept an average of 46 minutes longer per night than those who didn’t, according to a 2014 study by Northwestern University medicine and the University of Illinois.
Workstations should be within 25 feet of walls that have windows. Natural light practically “vanishes” after that distance. Consider using solar tubes or skylights in areas that don’t have windows. Quality solar tubes allow maximum light while keeping out hot air.
Use a smart office control for electric light to adjust lighting levels as the usage varies.
Use Ceramic Instead of Throwaways
For meetings and open houses, if your company has them, use ceramic mugs instead of styrofoam or other types of disposable cups. Use an energy efficient hot water pot to quickly heat water to boiling so employees can easily sterilize their own mugs during the workday.
Shout it from the Rooftops
Schools around Southern California have covered their parking lots and installed solar panels to harvest the abundant sunlight as renewable energy. Consider this for your office if the parking lot is currently open air.
Solar panels for commercial grade roofs may also be a solution, but study the options carefully.
Look to the Trees for a Truly Green Office
Offices can also reduce their energy output by planting trees strategically. Trees have additional benefits such as covering unsightly concrete walls, reducing traffic noises and making an area look appealing to attract customers, as noted by Treepeople.org.
Encourage walking, biking to work, and the use of public transit when driving to the office. Ask people to share rides to meetings whenever possible.
Sustainability is an important concept for all aspects of a professional and personal life. 2010 Office Furniture helps create office designs and layouts that are efficient and can sustain a company’s workflow needs and personal employee preferences.