How you can turn your office green friendly

Office workers are being asked to do their bit for the environment and help boost the green credentials of their company.

Office workers are being asked to do their bit for the environment and help boost the green credentials of their company.

A leading environmental expert has warned that while many of us embrace recycling and make efforts at home, many leave these green attitudes behind when they come to work.

Yet, according to waste disposal expert and owner of Harsha Rathnayake, employees could hold the key to helping British businesses go green.

And he says it only takes a few easy adjustments for workers to make a real difference and help them join the green revolution.

Mr Rathnayake, firmly believes that employees up and down the country can make a handful of changes to their offices’ that will not only have a positive impact on our planet, but save their business’ money in the long run.

Separating the recycling and cutting down on paper may seem like minor and trivial tasks, but small steps like these in offices can have long lasting positive impacts on waste reduction.

Not all tasks require huge effort, some are as simple of flicking off a light switch when leaving a room.

Mr Rathnayake says, ‘We all work tirelessly at home to separate waste into our recycling bins and take old clothes to recycling banks, but when we get to work we seem to throw our attitudes to recycling out the window.

‘It’s easy to feel less responsible at work, if there isn’t different recycling bins for example then people tend to think the recycling’s not their responsibility.’

He adds, ‘But so much of what we use in an office environment can be recycled, and if everyone you work with chips in then a little effort will go a long way.

‘If all offices were to pitch in and make small changes then the impact that would have on our countries’ overall recycling intake would be enormous.

‘I’ve seen time and again whilst collecting waste from offices that have gone green just how big an impact it has had on their waste disposal and costs, and I don’t see any reason why this wouldn’t be the same for all business’.’

These are just 6 simple steps that will help you contribute towards a greener office:

Take your own food to work

Bringing your own lunch in containers rather than buying a sandwich and disposing of the packaging not only reduces your waste but it can come with health benefits, as this stops you being tempted to buy pastries and cakes at the local bakery.

 Make purchasing decisions based on a greener mind-set

Purchasing higher quality supplies may be more expensive up front, but they often last longer and reduce not only the amount of waste produced, but the longer term costs of having to replace cheaper items. Switching to rechargeable batteries, or even purchasing products that run on solar power rather than batteries is another long-term cost effective strategy.

Travelling to work

We all know that driving to and from work every day has an impact on the environment, and whilst cars are becoming more environmentally friendly we are still a long way from having zero impact. Despite drawing some unsavoury headlines in recent months, public transport is a good option if you have reliable and cost effective bus or train services.

You could also look to car share if you have colleagues that live in the same area as you. Thirdly, if your company is open to it, working from home just one day a week can make a big impact on cutting your emissions over the course of a year.

Use less paper

There are lots of ways you can reduce paper, only printing when necessary, taking notes on a tablet or phone instead of a notebook or even storing information electronically rather that in paper format. It’s probably the most obvious step we can make but also one of the easiest.

Turn things off

It’s easy to forget to turn lights off when going in and out of rooms but remembering to do so not only reduces energy but also cut costs. There are lots of electronic devices, laptops, printers etc. that don’t need to be left on all the time. Another common sight in lots of offices is a mobile device being left constantly on charge. Try to avoid this, as aside from frying your phones battery it can also use a lot of unnecessary energy.

Dispose of your waste ethically

When it comes to clearing your waste, make sure you use a reputable company that is fully licensed to dispose of it. They will make sure as much as possible is reused and recycled.

Further reading on green efficiency

Owen Gough, SmallBusiness UK

Owen Gough

Owen was a reporter for Bonhill Group plc writing across the and titles before moving on to be a Digital Technology reporter for the

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Environmentally friendly