September 20, 2021
How to Encourage Your Workplace to be More Eco-Friendly
With thousands of workers considering taking the seismic shift to work from home full time, questions can be asked about how offices can become more eco-friendly in light of how our attitude to office life has changed. With far more awareness on the impact of running an office than in previous years, questions can be asked about how offices that are up and running can take the right steps in being eco-conscious, and doing something for the planet.
At Absolutely Bear, we’re all about taking small steps to make a big difference. We spoke to our founder Nick Fletcher to get four tips on how to encourage your workplace to be more eco-conscious….
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1. Turn your office into an indoor forest
“Why not ask your boss to invest in a few indoor plants for you and your colleagues? When it comes to the health benefits your team will receive, think of reduced stress levels, faster recovery from illness and reduced levels of depression and anxiety.
If you’re concerned about the ‘overall difference’ to the CO2 levels in the atmosphere that having a few office plants will make, don’t be. Instead, think about the cumulative effect that every office ‘greening up’ would have. The real difference comes when many people take a single action.”
Office refurbishment company Meridian Interiors, cites “green and living walls” as its most popular 2021 office feature request too: “There are two main reasons behind the increased interest in living walls that I hear on a day-to-day basis. The first being employers are understanding the importance of creating a relaxing environment for their employees. They understand that there is huge underlying anxiety about returning to the office, and they want to ensure that the transition is as smooth as possible,” comments Meridian’s Sarah Glover.
The second reason is similar, but on a client perception level: “With companies now eager to hold in-person meetings and move away from video conferencing, it could be a chance to ‘wow’ their clients. Even though green and living walls are becoming increasingly popular across hospitality and events in recent years they are still relatively rare to find in an office. Having this unique feature gives employers the feeling of standing out from the crowd. Being near nature, or what the brain conceives to be as natural, is proven to relax the brain and reduce stress hormones,” she adds.
2. Swap your team’s coffee for more sustainable options
“Arguably the lifeblood of companies, caffeine is widely considered to be the elixir of productivity. Swapping out the coffee in your office for more sustainable alternatives is a great way to make you and your team more sustainable, whilst maintaining that power up to ‘get stuff done’.
Because most coffee is grown in South America, there is somewhat of a limit on reducing the number of air miles as a result of buying it. What can be done, is to ensure that the coffee is registered Fair Trade, and is organically produced.
If your office harbours a coffee machine that uses pods, then swapping to compostable coffee pods would be a solution to minimise landfill waste generated by your team.
However… the word ‘compostable’ in a commercial product sense commonly refers to it being ‘industrially compostable’, which means it needs set temperatures and biological conditions for biodegradation to occur. If this is the case, there are companies which you can pay for this disposal - you can search ‘compostable packaging recycling’ for more information.”
3. Ask to swap your office cleaning products to more eco-friendly alternatives
“If you’re aware of the components of modern cleaning products, how about asking your office cleaning company to swap their products for eco-conscious alternatives? It will make for a quick win when it comes to the ecological impact of your office’s waste, and the wider environment with their regular use.
Cleaning liquids are notorious for the harmful chemicals that they contain, and when they are used in conjunction with disposable wipes, these chemicals will enter the environment. Natural ingredients are always best where possible.”
4. Introduce a car share system to your colleagues
“To reduce the carbon footprint of your team’s commute, why not encourage your colleagues to take up sharing cars on their way in? This is likely to work better in some scenarios than in others, depending on where everyone lives in relation to each other.
However, if it means one person taking an extra 10 minutes to drive out of their way to pick a colleague up, that could almost halve transport carbon emissions for the day by travelling in two separate vehicles. If you and a colleague drove each other to work on alternate days, this could be effectively halving your driving emissions all year round, and will also save on both spending on fuel too, which in turn cuts back on human consumptions of fossil fuels.”
Heading back to the office soon? Check out our range of organic cotton shirts so you’re dressed for the part while doing your bit to shop sustainably.
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