10 tips to make your office more environmentally friendly

For anyone that already lives sustainably at home, it’s an easy step forwards to start getting colleagues involved with acting sustainably. Here are our top tips for a more conscious and happy workplace.

Top tip 1: Manage waste effectively

If your office doesn't already have a recycling bin, it's time to introduce one! Train your teammates to separate waste into paper, plastic/glass recyclables and even food scraps. This will help to reduce the amount of waste from your office ending up in landfill.

With food scraps, you can have a sealable container in your office kitchen to keep them in. If anyone in the office has a compost bin, this can be a great source of "fuel"! Learn more about composting here.

Top tip 2: Cut back on excess consumption

Ditch the coffee pod machine and invest in a French press coffee maker. If your colleagues tend to pop out for a takeaway coffee, encourage them to invest in a Keep Cup in order to cut down on disposables.

Be sure to have a handy stash of reusable containers and cutlery in the office kitchen so that you don't have to rely on single-use plastics.

If you already have a heap of junk clogging up your workspace, consider taking the KonMari approach to cleaning up and cutting back, which forces you to concentrate on what actually brings you joy.

Top tip 3: Only use your car as a last resort

Walk, ride or catch public transport to work to save on both petrol and carbon emissions. If you have an alternative to cars, use it!

Top tip 4: Switch to environmentally friendly cleaning products

Instead of using commercial cleaners, consider making your own product to clean your workspace. You can use bi-carb soda or even food scraps to keep your office lemon fresh.

Top tip 5: Bring nature indoors

Did you know that having plants in your indoor environment can help clean the air and improve your mood?

If you thought that there was no room for a slice of nature in your office, then think again! You can garden anywhere with our handy guide.

Bonus: plants make an awesome decoration for any desk, especially easy-to-grow succulents.

Top tip 6: Share the love

The sharing economy is a great initiative to get involved in. After all, sharing is caring!

Have some extra lemons from your tree at home? Share with your workmates! Cooked up an awesome batch of brownies? Share them over coffee with your desk-neighbour!

The same can go for transport: set up a carpool or walking team to get everyone working together to reduce your collective carbon footprint.

Top tip 7: Power down

Do you use a microwave at work? Did you know that these little guys consume most of their electricity when they're simply sitting in the kitchen doing nothing?

An Appliance Standards Awareness Project study found that the typical microwave is only used about 70 hours a year. During the other 99% of the time, or 8,690 hours, it burns as much as 35 kilowatt hours in "vampire power" to illuminate the clock and keep electronic push button controls in standby mode. Whenever it is not in use, make sure to turn your microwave off at the switch (and leave a note to fellow colleagues to do the same!)

In the same fashion, switch off computers, lights, printers etc. at the end of the working day to conserve power. Your boss will love the reduction in electricity costs!

Top tip 8: BYO lunch

Not only will this save you a considerable amount of money, but packing your lunch will also help to get you eating healthier. Here at 1 Million Women, almost all of us bring our lunch to work in reusable containers such as jars and tins. Often it's leftover salad, carrot sticks with hummus, fresh fruit or muesli (just add soy milk!). Packing your lunch also means that you can spend your lunch break enjoying your food and relaxing rather than standing in a queue at the local fast-food joint.

Check out these yummy recipes for veggie soup, easy pad thai and granola to get yourself started!

Of course, eating out is an awesome treat! When you do, choose healthy, sustainable options such as locally grown produce, meat-free and organic.

Top tip 9: Get the conversation started

By making these changes, you can help to inspire and encourage others to take a step towards a low-carbon life.

Put a poster up in the bathroom to remind your workmates not to flush wet wipes. Host a Plastic Free Morning Tea to challenge your colleagues to bring a plastic-free share plate. Above all, make sure to promote your environmental values in a positive way so that others will feel motivated to join you.

Top tip 10: Challenge each other!

Challenge your work colleges to sign up to 1 Million Women's Carbon Challenge and have a prize for the staff member who is able to save the most kilograms of CO2!

Have you got any other tips for a low-carbon office? Share your stories, tips and photos in the comments below!

Images: Shutterstock

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1Million Women is more than our name, it's our goal! We're building a movement of strong, inspirational women acting on climate change by leading low-carbon lives. To make sure that our message has an impact, we need more women adding their voice. We need to be louder. Joining us online means your voice and actions can be counted. We need you.

Steph Newman Former Social Media Assistant Suggest an article Send us an email

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