7 Eco-Friendly Office Trends That Pay Off IMMEDIATELY
So you’re an evil conglomerate that’s had a change of heart and wants to save Mother Nature? It’s about time! Eco-friendly initiatives usually take decades to bear fruit, but these 7 eco-friendly office trends will start saving the planet and saving you money immediately!
We just want to say that we were surprised just how easy it was to encourage sustainable practices in our office. We admit there was ample nagging at first.
Sure, we want to help Mother Nature (we like air, and we want our kids to have at least SOME of it), but we aren’t ashamed to admit how selfish our intentions are. Our office and business are totally revamped now that we’ve gone green.
Lower energy bills, lower overhead costs, happier employees, more efficient processes—we were able to implement these eco-friendly office trends right away WITHOUT major investment.
#1 – Green Challenges
It’s one thing to say you’re going green and a TOTALLY different thing to actually get people to do it. That’s where competition comes in.
Here’s what to do…
Make office challenges and keep track of which team actually follows through on green initiatives. The winning team gets rewarded with gift cards or even work from home perks (more on this later…it’s actually GREAT for both sides). Of course, they also get to sleep at night knowing they aren’t the reason our planet will have to be evacuated to a new home in the Crab Nebula in 2094 (KHANNNN!!!!).
Some challenges we’ve tried are:
- No plastic utensils in the office
- Only refillable coffee mugs allowed
- No plastic bags
- Team carpool!
#2 – Go Paperless – Our Favorite of These Eco-Friendly Office Trends
If you aren’t already using Soda PDF to produce stunning PDFs of all your paper documents that can easily be shared, edited, saved, signed, and marked up for any purpose, you are wasting money and hurting the environment (see what did there?).
According to Sustainablebusinesstoolkit.com, one ton of printing paper costs the world 24 trees. That means all of the paper in your office just killed the Amazon. Thanks.
That’s not all. According to the Paperless Project, just one lost document can cost upwards of $350. And on top of that, using eSign features to John Hancock your documents can save over $30 per document in costs.
See what we’re getting at? Going paperless saves you money, keeps documents safe, AND protects the environment.
There’s an app for everything. You can find online services helping with everything you could need, and they often offer storage. We know of an awesome PDF tool that lets you do everything digitally (including using eSign) that you can do with a paper document (you know the name). Is there really any reason to use paper at all?
#3 – Let There Be Light!
Ever notice that every dystopian movie uses shadow? Or that every movie villain is shrouded in darkness?
We are drawn to natural light so much so that it stimulates the production of vital nutrients in our skin whenever it touches us. Studies have shown productivity to increase by 15% when employees sit by natural light.
To maximize productivity and reduce energy consumption, utilize as much natural light as possible and turn off light bulbs during the day (if possible). If you can pull it off, this is one of the best eco-friendly office trends to adopt.
#4 – Coffeeeeeeee. No Seriously, Your Coffee Can Be Green Too
You know that sweet caffeine caressing every neuron, spurring you to frantically Google every vacation destination near Boracay and message your top 5 friends on Facebook?
Well, it’s also literally destroying the world.
Coffee’s once innocent life story began in a quiet corner of Ethiopia, not far from where the first humans drew everyday scenes of their lives using the crushed remains of berries and soot.
If only they knew how their favorite pick-me-up would turn into the destroyer of the environment they loved so dear.
Ok, we’re being overdramatic. But think of every Keurig cup your mother throws out, every Starbucks cup laying on the side of the road, every drop of water used to grow the drug that fuels hoards of 9-5 zombies.
Here are 3 ways to encourage green coffee use:
- Encourage employees to only use glass mugs
- Use coffee filters made of recycled paper
- DO NOT USE K-CUPS
- Compost coffee ground whenever possible
#5 – Show Off How Green You Are
Listen, we know how annoying that holier-than-thou attitude can be, so you’ve got to reign it in a little….
But showing off your eco-friendly office trends, while you are in the office is actually a GREAT way to get employees on board.
Think about this for a second…
How much effort do we put into understanding food labels? How much more satisfaction do we get from health-conscious efforts at schools when we know how healthy food impacts our children? What about when the local government posts a billboard outside of a highway project showing how your tax dollars are making the roads less of a deathtrap?
Knowing things are working provides a direct feedback loop, allowing employees to see the fruit of their labor. Show them how much energy they’re saving, how many cups aren’t on the ground, how many gallons of water went unused, etc.
#6 – Create Spaces that Encourage Well-being
Green is a state of being—it’s an attitude. Green is a backlash against the waste and harm we’re causing the environment and ourselves.
The most forward-thinking offices are combating waste in the world AND in our minds. Hundreds of millions of emails are sent every second. We’re all glued to our phones and laptops. We’re all connected 24/7. We need workspaces that act as a catalyst for creativity, mindfulness, and well-being.
Encourage employees to practice yoga, connect with each other about their stress, and relax in spaces that encourage health. These could be open, well-lit rooms full of green, leafy plants or just outdoor spaces where mobile phones aren’t allowed.
Honorable Mention – Green Procurement
According to the EPA, green procurement is purchasing goods or services with the least environmental impact.
Since the year 2000, the US government has made its best effort to take the environment into consideration when making public purchases.
This means purchasing goods or services that are:
- Made with reduced packaging
- Energy efficient
- Emit few toxic substances
Also, you must take into account who you are buying from and their practices. If they have multiple marks of a green company, they should be considered over a competitor.
Working with these eco-friendly office trends, not only protects the environment, but it also leads to more productive employees, healthier business practices, and higher profits. It’s time you get with the program!
And what’s a great way to start? Download Soda PDF and start your new journey towards a paperless existence.