5 simple solutions for a greener office life
1. Instead of paper or air dryers, just wipe your hand on your clothes! I know, it seems weird, but hands do dry really quickly anyway, so why use a tool to do so? If you’re wondering why I didn’t talk about cotton hand dryers, well, it seems they have been forbidden in countries like France or UK, because they can spread germs. So if you really want to dry your hands, the best way would be recycled paper towels. http://www.europeantissue.com/hygiene/official-recommendations-on-hand-washing-and-drying-3-uk/
2. Coffee machines usually work with any type of cups: plastic or normal. So just make sure everyone has a ceramic mug, and get rid of all the plastic ones! If you think the machine in your office doesn’t work with ceramic mugs, try again: sometimes there’s a laser looking for the cup, so if you keep your ceramic mug with your hand for two seconds, it will recognize it.
3. Paper and plastic recycling: I don’t know how it is elsewhere, but in France you have to pay so that your garbage is removed, even recyclable one. And many companies, to avoid cost, they simply don’t care about it. But what most people don’t know is that nowadays there are more and more ngos ready to do that for you, so do an online search and I’m sure you’ll find one in your area!
4. In an office, everyone has its own trash can. People are so used to that, and especially to the fact that it gets emptied every single day. Which of course is a complete waste of time and resources. So what you can do instead, is for example :
In an office of three, add only 2 trash cans for recycling purposes (paper and plastic and general waste). In open spaces, add the same 2 every 5 to 10 meters. And for every 20 meters, add a can to recycle glass. This will allow people to take a walk, to take a tiny break to stretch, as well as recycle instead of just mixing everything in the same can!!
5. Bring plants at work! Plants are very important, because they help purifying the air, so people are healthier at work.
Last but not least, rationalize the paper usage and inform people about sustainability. These are clearly huge problems in most of the companies around the world. People are just not concerned because no one imposes that, nor explains why we should think about our carbon footprint. So instead of recycling, educate people and just “kill” the waste source.
Is your company recycling? Are you trying to do anything about it? What other solutions do you have in mind?
credit photo: http://greenliving4live.com/2013/09/top-three-trends-office-design-2013/