One of the most pressing issues nowadays is climate change and its effects on the planet. The forests are shrinking to make room for houses for people and for fertile lands for crops to provide food. In addition, trees are cut for other purposes like heat and other wood-based energy and are not replaced right away or at all. It takes many years for a tree to grow enough so that it can offer the oxygen that we all need, so even planting trees is not the fastest solution for slowing global warming down.
However, it is better than nothing and, so far, the only available and feasible thing to do. Many businesses chose to help with this issue lately either by providing eco-friendly products and services or by entering campaigns that try to improve the environment. Signomatic is one of the companies that started a campaign in this direction, planting a tree for every sign bought from a certain category.
There are plenty of other ways you can help the environment through your business like reducing energy consumption, using eco-friendly prime materials or even working in the recycling industry. The little changes you do to the way things work inside your company matter for the big picture.
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Install a water filter
It is suggested that for the health of the body you should drink at least 2 litters of liquids every day. The choice of beverage for most people nowadays goes back to water and providing it in bottles is not the best choice if you want to help the environment. Installing recycling bins may be a solution but if you can reduce the amount of plastic used, why rely on bottles? You can instead install a water filter and that will help you get rid of a big amount of plastic.
Besides, the most important guidelines to a better environment are the 3 Rs: reduce, reuse, recycle. By having another source of water, you check the first box: reduce. In addition, studies show that bottled water is not as healthy as we think it is because the storage in the warehouses of the providers might not be in concordance with the fact that plastic releases toxins when it is exposed to the sun, hence to heat.
This way, the water inside may be contaminated with plastic particles that can lead to a wide variety of illnesses and diseases like cancer and slow poisoning of the body. In addition, for cold water you can install a dispenser that is linked to the main source of water in your office.
Use lighting alternatives
Natural light is the best choice for many reasons. First of all, it helps people see better because human eyes can adjust to the changes in natural light. Moreover, it shows the colors as they are, which is also better in terms of accuracy if that is an element they work with. It is better when it comes to health as well because it raises the levels of melatonin and helps employees stay awake and active for a longer time. The light that comes from a natural source is also a provider of vitamin D, which fixes the calcium in the bones.
If natural light is not an option then switch to led light bulbs as they require less energy to work. This way you reduce the electricity usage and cut the bills saving both the environment and your business finances.
Reduce paper usage
A great alternative to paper could be using cloud storage, a whiteboard with markers, an interactive video projector or other devices. Some studies show that, on average, an employee requires around 10000 paper sheets every year, which may or may not be recyclable. With the technology on the rise, it is easier to reduce the usage of paper or cut it all together by being able to share documents online and store them in clouds so everybody could have access to them anytime. Dropbox, Google Drive or other apps can easily turn into digital workspaces as people can use them to edit documents online whenever they want.
Moreover, while we are still on the paper usage issue, you can encourage your employees to reduce the usage of disposable paper cups for coffee or food and bring their own reusable cups, bowls or plates. You can even invest in some office crockery if that helps with the process. Also, replace the paper towels with air dryers or reusable towels and cloths.
Consider giving the employees the possibility to work from home
It is well-known that lately, people are looking for more flexible jobs concerning the schedule or the possibility to work from home. It is good for your business as well because it helps reduce the energy footprint of your company and saves them the trouble of having to dress up and lose time traveling to the actual office. Moreover, you can also save some money by not having to buy extra furniture, devices and office supplies, pay rent or spending too much on bills.
Studies show that employees that work from home are happier than the ones that go to an office, which leads to more productivity. In addition, most workers use their personal cars to go to work, which increases the carbon footprint, so indirectly, if you let them work from home, you will bring a huge benefit to the morning and afternoon traffic and to the environment by lowering the number of cars on the streets.
Join eco-friendly campaigns or start your own
The best way to make an important impact on the going green movement is to work side by side with companies that have the same goal in saving and protecting the environment. There are office supplies providers that sell eco-friendly products or other companies that run eco-friendly campaigns like planting a tree for every milestone, accomplishment or product they sell. There are also other big events that you can join like Earth Hour when the lights and other electricity-powered devices are turned off for one hour to help decrease the carbon footprint of the planet.