Setting up and maintaining a green office environment is not as difficult as you might think. There are simple options that involve only a change of attitude among the people inside the office. There are also more complicated options that may require investment in funds, but will also positively impact the environment better in the long run. Here are some of the options to maintaining an environmentally-friendly office.
Technologies for a greener office
Air pollution is the number one problem in any major city in the world. When we think of air pollution, we mean outdoor air pollution caused by automobile exhaust fumes, smog, dust, and other pollutants. However, indoor air pollution is just as important. The US Environmental Protection Agency
reports that out of ten office buildings in the US, six of them are considered “sick” in terms of indoor air quality.
The solution is to invest in negative ion air purifier systems that aim to remove more than 50% dust and more than 95% of bacteria found in the air. Wastewater treatment facilities should also be part of the engineering plans when building an office building
, or looking for one. The amount of wastewater generated by an average-sized office building in the city can be very detrimental to the waterways.
Lastly, offices are flooded with electromagnetic fields
generated by electronic equipment, electric wires, and even mobile devices. We are so immersed in these energies, particularly in an enclosed office space, much like in a microwave oven. Some studies have suggested that being immersed in EMF energies may lead to low energy, irritability, chronic pains, and even depression due to the drop in serotonin and dopamine levels in the body. It may be best to invest in devices designed to protect from electromagnetic fields.
Attitude Change for a greener environment
Maintaining an environmentally friendly office can be expensive at first, particularly for smaller businesses or offices. Nonetheless, there are simple practices that any office may start with to achieve a greener office.
First, conserve electricity. Shut off all the unnecessary lights, as well as equipment that are not in use. Check for more energy-efficient options when using computers and monitors. When purchasing office furniture or supplies, choose environmentally-friendly products including non-toxic highlighters, refillable ink cartridges, and recycled papers. If possible, practice a paperless office environment.
Supply the pantry with organic and natural products. Practice the adage ‘reduce, reuse, and recycle.’ Choose non-toxic and natural cleaning products for all the office-cleaning needs. Allow for alternative working dress code. If employers are allowed to use cooler clothing inside the office, instead of wearing suits all the time, the office will be able to save in terms of cooling costs.
Finally, a green office doesn’t just apply for practices within the office; it may even extend to outside the office. Employees should be given options for telecommuting or ‘work from home’ options. This can lead to reduced energy consumption in the office, as well as lesser costs. Employees should also be encouraged to use the public transport, carpool with other employees, walk, or even bike to work. If more and more people do this, it can even make an impact to the outdoor air quality, reducing the number of cars that occupy the roads.