Going green is good for business and good for the environment.
Implementing good go green ideas doesn’t necessarily mean spending lots of money.
In fact, using effective go green ideas can actually save you money.
Below we have outlined 25 low cost go green ideas for the office. Where relevant we have added links to the go green ideas to articles which provide more detailed information.
1. Remove personal bins and centralised waste and recycling system. This article on the top 7 office recycling tips explains how to do this without irritating a lot of people
2. Implement a switch off campaign for lights and office equipment
3. Buy organic products and fair trade teas and coffees
4. Purchase recycled paper and green office stationary
5. One of the most overlooked go green ideas is switching your web hosting to green web hosting. The cost is negligible and the impact is high as you can reduce indirect emissions from your carbon footprint and use an eco-label on your website to demonstrate to visitors what you are doing to reduce your IT environmental impact. Check out our review of three leading green web hosting companies
6. Ensure hitting and cooling systems are optimally setup (i.e. are not on in the evenings or over the weekends) and that the temperature is set between 20-22 degree C
7. Implement default double sided printing. This article on green printing tips and advice explains how
8. Setup a printer friendly email signature for all staff. Here’s an simple and short example of what u can say: “Please consider the environment before printing this email.”
9. Encourage cycling to work by providing subsidies for staff who use bikes and facilities (lockers, bike racks, showers) for cyclists
10. Implement a car pool scheme for staff
11. Install timers on printers to ensure shut down during out of office hours
12. Put water hippos in the toilet cisterns to reduce flush volume and save water. This article on the top 5 office water saving tips and devices explains water conservation methods
13. Delamp (i.e. Remove bulbs) in areas that are over-lit
14. Replace inefficient, high energy light bulbs (incandescent and halogen lights) with lower wattage, energy saving lights (compact fluorescent and LEDs). Another article by me on how to choose energy efficient lighting
15. Invest in automatic power shut down software or plugs to switch off IT equipment during out of office hours. Here are my favourite automatic power shutdown devices
16. Have all residual landfill waste collected by a waste contractor who offers zero to landfill services (i.e. incineration via an energy from waste plant)
17. Write and implement an environmental policy. Learn how to write an environmental policy with our marketing leading guide. Note: this is the only paid resource on the Sustainable Business Toolkit. We believe it is the most thorough environmental policy advice on the market and guarantee it will leave you with a policy that you will be proud to share with customers, staff and on your website
18. Use non-hazardous and Eco-friendly cleaning products
19. Encourage staff to use scrap paper for internal notes by giving each staff member a scrap paper box in their desk
20. Invest in light sensors for areas that get used sporadically throughout the day (i.e. Meeting rooms, toilets)
21. Measure your carbon footprint to identify where your largest impact is. Our article how to calculate a carbon footprint is a great place to start
22. Ensure boilers, AC units and radiators are properly maintained through an annual service
23. Implement a comprehensive recycling scheme to recycle cardboard, plastics, glass, CDs, batteries, fluorescent tubes, IT equipment ect. Our article on top 7 office recycling tips explains how to do this
24. Optimise the use of natural light and ventilation
25. Use a credible carbon offset program to offset any residual emissions that you can’t reduce or mitigate more than you already have. If you want to find out whether being carbon neutral is a worthwhile pursuit for your organisation have a look at this article
So that’s it for our list of low cost go green ideas.
We encourage you to start small and implement a few of these go green ideas before trying solutions which are bigger and bolder.
Follow the links above to find out more details on some of the go green ideas that best resonate with you and your organisation
Our staff writers come from all over the world, but one thing unites them - their passion for sustainability.