Earth Day is a day to consider how best to take care of our planet. One way to participate could be to green up your workspace.
Walk or Ride
Reduce your carbon footprint by walking or riding a bicycle to work if possible. Too far to walk or cycle? Carpool or take public transit. Have a long commute or live far from any co-workers? Consider investing in a hybrid or electric car. If it’s an option, telecommuting is the greenest choice!
Turn off and unplug anything you’re not using. When your device has finished charging, unplug the charger. At the end of the day or any time you’ll be away from your computer for more than 2 hours, power your computer down instead of letting it hibernate (Energy.gov).
Use electronic copies whenever possible, print double-sided and in draft mode, and use any printing errors as scrap paper. Bring your own utensils, cups, and plates to work instead of using plastic or Styrofoam at lunch. Recycle paper, cardboard, soda cans, aluminum foil, ink cartridges, batteries, and old electronics. If you’re not sure if it can be recycled, look it up (OCRRA).
Get a Plant
Studies show that indoor plants reduce stress in the office, improve the air quality, and increase the overall aesthetic appeal of your workplace. Employees exposed to plants have reported lower stress, more focus, and lower blood pressure (Daily Mail; Nursery Papers). Plants also improve the quality of air by reducing CO2, dust, bacteria, and mold (Nasa Guide), and can even reduce ambient noise levels by absorbing sound (ArticlesBase). A few plants around the office also create a more welcoming and engaging atmosphere for both employees and clients (Ciphr). The best low-maintenance plants for around the office? Aloe, spider plants, cacti, succulents, ivy, rubber plants, and peace lilies (Gardening Know How).
Increase awareness: spread the word at staff meetings, post reminders in common spaces, and create incentives for going green (The Green Office). Ask for recycling bins in the break room, talk to the office manager about eco-friendly products, and post a carpool list. Every little bit helps.
You don’t have to be Captain Planet to make a difference. For more resources about improving your workspace including ways to green up your workspace, check out our Workday Improvements Pinterest board. If you have other green practices you’d like to share or ways to be green in specific industries, we’d love to read about them in the comments.