Ways to make your office ~ sustainable.
It’s 2019 and 2019 is the year where we stop turning a blind eye and we face the [very scary] facts. This year especially, the pressure to do more is everywhere. School children are striking and protesting for their future, celebrities are using their platform to inspire change but what about us? This is now about much more than skipping the plastic straw or using your own carrier bag to avoid paying 5p. It's time that we all made sustainability a bigger part in our life. Whether you're already passionate about the environment or you're just realising you need to make a change ~ we've put together a list of 10 tips to help you make your office more sustainable.
Around 8.3 billion tonnes of plastic has been produced since the 1950’s at the weight of roughly 47 million blue whales. The scariest thing? Only 9% of that plastic has been recycled. 12% has been burned and the remaining 79% is still sitting in landfills or the environment. Crazy right? Whether you’re looking at a sea of plastic or the devastation consequences of climate change, one thing is clear ~ we all need to do our bit in taking care of the planet, at home AND at the office.
Let's do this!
monday 8th april 2019
Tip no.1 ~ It may seem like an obvious one but recycle everything! From packaging waste to paper to even old office furniture, there's a future for almost everything in your office. Set up an easy-to-follow recycling system in your office and use free cycle apps to re-home items you no longer have a use for. Recycling prevents excessive waste heading to landfill which creates harmful chemicals and greenhouse gasses, damaging the Earth's atmosphere and environment.
[ TEK tip:
1. Check out what your local recycling requirements are.
2. Label your recycling bins to make things easy
3. Always flatten cardboard ~ you'll fit more in!
4. Did you know ALL plastic bottles can be recycled? From water to salad dressing.
5. Use websites such as wiseuptowaste.org.uk/recycle for help ]
Tip no.2 ~ And even more effective than recycling? Reusing! When you reuse that glass jar or bottle you are saving the energy that comes with having to dismantle and re-manufacture products as well as reducing waste and pollution because it lessens the need for raw materials, saving both forests and water supplies. So before you get carried anyway recycling literally everything, what could you turn that jar into?
[ Get inspired! Check out our Pinterest board ~ 'ReUse' ... ]
Tip no.3 ~ The last of the 'three Rs' is reduce. Reduce waste.
Becoming more thoughtful when buying for the office is a great start to reducing waste. Think realistically, what ends up wasted? What can you cut down on buying? Ask yourself a series of questions before you make a purchase and commit to the items you're purchasing, some of them will be on the Earth for longer than you! But if the purchase is necessary then ensure to follow the previous R's [recycle, reuse]...
Tip no.4 ~ Do you need that switched on? Unless you're staying at the office till dark, try to go without having the lights on and embrace the natural day light (something we love to do, plus it adds atmosphere!). If your office isn't blessed with big windows and daylight though, make sure to switch off lights whenever you leave the room and try replacing bulbs with LEDs to save energy. Also if the printer, kettle or computer is not in use, is it switched off?
[ TEK tip:
But if you can't completely 'switch off' check out these incredible LED lights which can emit bright, warm light for up to 25,000 hours while using as little energy as possible
~ by BEEM ]
Tip no.5 ~ Cut down on paper, not trees. Paper is everywhere, but it doesn't have to be! Making your office paperless is one of the most effective ways you can make a HUGE difference. The less we are print, the fewer trees cut down and less energy used to make and transport paper. Around 4 billion trees are cut down for pulp each year, that's a LOT of trees (and wildlife homes). More and more businesses are going paperless but it isn't an overnight transition, it's a process that will take some planning but it will be worth it in the long run for the planet (and your expenses).
[ Try out these apps for going paperless:
~ Googledrive for file storage
~ Scanbot for your all your scanning needs
~ Goodnotes for note taking
~ Evernote for keeping you organised ]
Tip no.6 ~ No matter what your business is, source carefully. As a creative agency who work on interior projects we're constantly faced with the problem of trying to stick to our sustainable ethos throughout our work which means we always push to use local suppliers (lessen the carbon footprint) or those with similar sustainable values. Whether it is decorating your office, or connecting with suppliers, try to stick to your goals and consider the impact your decision could have on the environment.
[ TEK tip:
Try using recycled materials for your business cards!
Ours we're printed by MOO using recycled cotton t-shirts... ]
Tip no.7 ~ Becoming paperless may take time, but in the meantime print kindly. Truthfully, this is our current stage on our own journey to being a paperless studio and it's so simple. Purchase recycled paper, print double sided and reuse scrap paper. Be harsher with yourself, don't fill the paper tray or make it easy to print off large documents, recycle your ink cartridges and talk to your clients or accountant about communicating digitally.
Tip no.8 ~ Invest in indoor plants. Or if you're like us and LOVE plants then turn your office pretty much into a greenhouse! Plants help filter out air pollutants, keeping the air you breathe at work healthy. It's also a subtle reminder to appreciate the greenery on our Earth... you could even step it up a notch and start growing your own herbs for lunch!
[ TEK tip:
Peace Lilys, Chrysanthemums, Ferns and Aloe Vera are amongst some of the best plants for purifying the air]
Tip no.9 ~ Does your commute have a carbon footprint? Whether you are on the search for a new office space or looking for a meeting venue, consider the location and travel. Are you about to commit yourself to driving back and forth as your office isn't well located? Is there a space where you can enjoy the fresh air on your lunch break? Or can you cycle?
Try these products.
Tip no.10 ~ Now where to start? To help you kick off your sustainable mission, we've gathered a bunch of our favourite eco-friendly products which will inspire you to start making those little changes for the planet.
[ recycled pencils: Remarkable ]
[ wooden dish brush: Hedge ]
[ recycled notebook: FA VO ]
[ wooden brush set: Nordic Nest ]
[ staple-less stapler: Muji ]