Going Green: Ideas for the Workplace

Before you pull an Oprah and start handing out Priuses and Teslas, you should know that there are easier (and more affordable) ways to green up your company’s culture and core values. Becoming an environmentally conscious business isn’t just good for further reducing your carbon footprint, it’s also comforting for consumers to know they’re doing business with a company that advocates environmental protection and works to reduce its negative impact. Here are some of the ways you and your employees can do your part in protecting the environment.

Pedal to Work Incentives

The transformation of habits starts at the individual level before growing into a collective movement. Before making the systemic shift to green your company’s culture, you must change the habits of your employees by offering incentives for riding a bike to work.

Many companies have started offering incentives to those who bike to work. For example, organic beverage company Honest Tea adds $27.50 to the monthly salary of employees who bike to work. Additionally, New Belgium Brewing Company gives employees a brand new bicycle on his or her one year employment anniversary and provides bike-sharing for running errands or going out for lunch. You’ll probably have to implement on a smaller scale, but you can gather go-green ideas and incentive suggestions from your team to find out what will motivate them to take advantage of the perks.

Reduce Paper Use

You’ve probably received a tree’s worth of documents and and junk mail within the past month, which is why it’s time to do away with wasteful paper and digitize. Creating and emailing PDFs and using collaborative software like Google Docs helps reduce paper waste and helps you to stay better organized. Not everyone is going to like it, so  consider implementing a “starter” policy to fine paper wasters a dollar per page of unnecessarily used paper. After a few offenses, anyone fighting against the tyranny of less paper will likely come around, if only to save money. At the end of each month, donate the money collected. Get creative and use this fundraising system in other areas.

Green Up the Office

The goal is to bring the green movement to you, so it might seem obvious to mention the green itself. Adding potted plants, flowers and small trees to the office not only reduces indoor pollutants, but also boosts moods and morale.

A plant like the philodendron can function as an aesthetic boost to your office and as a remover of harmful airborne toxins. Philodendron is known to combat harmful Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) and aid in reduction of carbon dioxide in the air.

Consider changing to all “Green” air filters in your office.  A company like Camfil can fulfill your needs in a variety of sizes and shapes.  Contact Camfil to see how far green filters have come in a few short years.

This is only a short list of ways to lead your company into the green life. It’s likely that many of your employees already practice some form of a sustainable lifestyle, but getting them to contribute their efforts in the workplace is an awesome way to develop camaraderie while making a difference in the world.

Here are some other options:

  • Providing community service for sustainable causes.
  • Changing the lighting in your office.
  • Encourage working from home.
  • Perform an energy audit of your office space to ensure that HVAC systems are working efficiently.
  • Provide incentives for carpooling

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