What does it mean to be ‘eco-friendly’ and ‘sustainable’?
Do you find your eyes popping out of your head when receiving the dreaded office electricity bill? Not only will this start to wear a substantial hole in your pocket, the environment will start to suffer too.
Being eco-friendly – as the name suggests – is all about showing the natural world some much needed love. Whether this be with a few office plants and bringing the outside world in, or by adopting a mindful mentality about the damaging impact of overusing appliances – it all makes a difference.
Environmental sustainability comes hand-in-hand with an eco-friendly mindset. It is strongly encouraged that we, as a society, think carefully about the decisions we make, considering how they will affect both future generations and the environment in years to come. A conscious, green office design also carries plenty of health benefits, so not only will the environment thank you for it, your employees will too!
What are the benefits of a green office design?
An eco-friendly office design that holds sustainability at its core is not just a money saver. Findings have shown that bringing greenery into the workplace increases productivity by up to 15%, whilst upping employee satisfaction, concentration and improving air quality. Not only this, knowing that you’re doing your bit for the environment by designing a healthy, comfortable workspace is guaranteed to bring feelings of motivation and positivity.
Although taking steps to create an eco-friendly and sustainable working environment may seem costly at first, the long-term investment and additional benefits will certainly outweigh the negatives.
Create a plant haven
Let nature be your interior designer by incorporating plenty of plants into your workspace. Learning to embrace the biophilic office design will leave you head over heels for the natural world, and is one of the easiest steps to take when making eco-friendly changes.
Alongside carrying plenty of physical and mental health benefits, office plants act as cost-effective (and more aesthetically pleasing) natural air purifiers. They do this by absorbing any nasty toxins that may be circulating the room, bringing a dose of freshness to any indoor environment.
If you’re starting to feel snowed under by copious amounts of paperwork, now is the time to optimise your filing system and go paperless. According to statistics, the average office worker gets through a worrying 10,000 sheets of printer paper every year, 6,800 of which goes to waste. As you can imagine, this goes against all the teachings of sustainability. What may seem like a quick convenience, such as hitting the print button time and time again, adds up to create a big impact.
Sustainability and organisation go hand-in-hand with one another, so if there’s ever a time to improve your filing system, it’s now. Going digital will not only save valuable time spent sifting through documents, you’ll save money on printer paper too! It’s a win-win; both for your pocket, and the environment.
If you do find yourself in a scenario where the printer is needed, opt for recycled paper instead. It uses less water, energy, and reduces the amount of waste that ends up in landfill, and the printing performance is just as good.
Remember to recycle
Office clutter starting to build up? Organise a big tidy up and be sure to separate rubbish into their designated bins. Staying on top of your recycling contributes to landfill waste reduction, it saves energy on raw material processing – which reduces greenhouse gas emissions – and it protects the surrounding environment. You can even take old office electronics to a local recycling centre too, so avoid chucking anything in the trash just in case!
To save on the dreaded electricity bill, make use of natural lighting wherever possible. Research reveals that brightening up your office space improves sleep quality, reduces the stress response caused by fluorescent, artificial lighting, and increases Vitamin D exposure – which is important given the estimation that humans spend up to 90% of their time indoors.
If your office is still feeling a little dark, switch out regular CFL bulbs for energy-saving ones that operate through the conversion of renewable energy. Although slightly more expensive, they have a longer lifespan and don’t waste as much of their energy on heat; their efficiency makes for an eco-friendly, long-term investment.
Turn it off!
Be sure to check all of your electrical appliances at the end of the day to ensure that no energy is going to waste. For forgetful employees, install a smart timer for lights and thermostats, use motion-activated light switches, or opt for electronics that switch off automatically when they’re not in use.
To really put this into perspective, findings show that a laptop that has been left on for eight hours emits up to 88kg of CO2 a year. However when left on stand-by mode, the power consumption plummets by a third. So, at the end of a busy day, be sure to set aside five minutes for a quick scan around for any forgotten devices.
When you have a chance to reflect, how eco-friendly is your workplace? If you feel as though it’s lacking in efficiency, our office design experts are well equipped to ensure that your space revolves around sustainability. Get in contact with them today!