10 Ways to make your office green

There are so many great reasons to transform your office into a green machine. But if you’re afraid that it’s going to make you a hippy tree-hugger, be brave and keep reading! Green offices are often happier places to work. They will save you money, keep your staff healthy and give you a warm glow because you’re helping the world. And it’s so easy, so why not go green?

Here at Sacred Grounds, we’re as green as it gets. So if we can do it, anyone can! Here are our tips…

10 Ways to make your office green

1. Cuppa care

Our number one has to be… please, please, please buy organic/fairtrade coffee and tea! It’s such an easy way to support poor farmers across the world while ensuring a quality/clean cuppa hot goodness.

Chemical-free coffee and tea will make everyone in the office healthier and happier because, as we all know, organic is the best! And if you’re not convinced, then you’re in luck! Check out our post, 5 Reasons to drink organic coffee, for more info.

2. Recycle/Reuse

We all know this one. It’s been around for ages and we’re pretty good at doing this at home because our councils provide fancy bins. But how does your office go recycling and reusing products? At Sacred Grounds, like everyone else, we recycle paper waste but we also make sure that our coffee bags are reused.

We love repurposing things, so we turn our coffee bags into funky things like stools, pillows and art while our hessian bags are donated to the kings of recycling, Reverse Garbage. We also transform our pallets into amazing pieces of furniture! You should try it.

3. Curb that printing!

Thanks to the good old internet / computers, we no longer have to read printed documents or manually file pesky paper in large metal cabinets. Nope, you can do it all on your computer. So although it sounds impossible to have a paperless office, it’s really not that far away.

At Sacred Grounds we print off a only a few things but when we have to, we use recycled paper. Having said that, we do try to limit printing because it’s really not necessary anymore.

4. Electricity usage

The cost of electricity has sky-rocketed in the past few years so watching your usage is not only great for the environment but for your hip pocket.  There are a few simple ways that you can cut your electricity bill significantly while creating a greener office.

* Turn lights off when not in use (clearly the easiest of all the energy-saving tips!)
* Swap old style bulbs for the new energy efficient variety (for more information go to Livinggreener.gov.au)
* ‘Sleep’ your computer when you’re not using it. This is an easy way to help you save money and instantly give your office a greener tinge.

5. Work from home

While it’s great to be a part of that office excitement, tell your boss that working from home can help turn the office a lot greener. You save on transport and electricity all at once. According to mnn.com, businesses can save up to $10,000 per year, per full-timer by allowing them to work from home.

It also makes employees happier and more productive and with programs like Skype,  you’re still able to feel part of a team, part of the office without physically being there. Sounds like a smart way to work!

6. Go green, literally!

Add some leafy greens to your office. Plants will not only give your office a relaxing, happy vibe, but they will help purify the air. You’d think that with cleaner air there’d be less sick days too. Bonus!

Plants reduce mould, bacteria and dust making your office a healthier place for everyone. They’re also pretty to look at when you’re having a bad day or just need a bit of inspiration. Win-win!

7. Walk, ride or hitch

While we don’t condone hitching a lift from strangers, thumb out and all that, getting a lift from a co-worker is a great way to green up your life. You can bond, talk about your day, the kids, your work while saving on petrol/emissions.  Or if you live close by, why not hop on a bike, scooter or get all old-fashioned and walk.

Alternatively, hop on a bus/train/tram. You’ll save money, the environment and maybe even make a new friend. Good times.

8. Chemicals

An easy way to keep nasties out of your office is by choosing healthy cleaning products. There are so many on the market these days. Some companies have found that buying non-toxic cleaners has actually saved them money. The office will smell amazing (none of that choking chemical smell) while staying clean and shiny.

9. Food glorious food

When you have business lunches/snacks/parties, try and buy Fairtrade Organic produce. While it’s difficult to go completely organic with things like cakes, there are heaps of options out there for meals and healthy chemical-free snacks to choose from.

This will not only benefit the rest of the world, but your staff! Healthier workers are more productive, happier and have less sick days.

10. Don’t forget your e-waste

A lot of us are confused about how to get rid of old computers, tablets and everything electronic. But it’s easier than you think! Most companies don’t recycle their ewaste which ultimately ends up rotting oh-so slowly at the tip.

But the Australian Government has the National Television and Computer Recycling Scheme where small businesses and households can drop off computers, TVs, printers and such at certain drop off points. There are also a lot of companies that specialise in ewaste recycling that bigger businesses can use to reduce their stockpiles.

What ways has your office turned green? Share your tips!