Climate changes have dangerous consequences on the Earth and the animals and plants inhabiting it. Here is an interesting article, “100 Effects of Global Warming,” that lists the 100 ways climate changes can be disastrous.
I’ve worked in a few offices, and I am always shocked on how they are not trying to do much to help with environmental issues. The amount of materials wasted is mind boggling, especially when you consider that it isn’t just one or two offices doing it, but the majority of them.
Here are five ways that offices (regardless of their size) can help control climate changes:
1. Allow Employees to Telecommute – With the advancements of technology, people are more connected than ever. More and more, companies are adopting cloud computing technology and laptops/netbooks. However, even though this is increasing, companies still want their employees to be at the office five days out of the week. This is a form of micromanaging and unwilling to change that is causing more harm than good. It’s also a known fact that telecommuting has more pros than cons, so there is no reason to not start allowing this today. Telecommuting allows companies to save money while helping the environment because you minimize the use of electricity needed at the office. If you are worried about the productivity level of your employees, then try it on a trial basis. You will more likely find that it’s a good change.
2. Web Conferencing/Teleconferencing is a Good Thing – Meetings are a necessary evil because you want to work alongside your clients to provide the best solution for them. However, many of these meetings could be held via web conferencing/teleconferencing. This eliminates the need to travel by car, train, or plane, which lowers fuel emissions, while saving money. Majority of offices have this option available, but rarely use it. You are paying for a subscription to this service, so start setting up web conferences/teleconferences with your clients today.
3. Eliminate Paper Waste – The amount of paper that is wasted in an office is incredible. I try and skim through documents on the screen, or print on both sides of the paper for those documents that I need to really read. However, there are plenty of people who don’t. They print out any and every tidbit they come across, and then throw it in the trash when they are done. Additionally, the amount of paper cups, plates, and utensils that are used in an office and then thrown away is even worse. This is something that employees need to do. Stop wasting so much paper! The majority of the documentation that you are reading can be read online. There are many ways to store data without having to print a hardcopy. You don’t need paper lying around that is just collecting dust.
4. Turn Off and Unplug Electronics – Many people leave their computers, printers, scanners, faxes, etc. running at all times at the office. It does not hurt if you turn them off and unplug them before you leave the office. You save energy, which in turn helps the Earth. Another great way to save energy is by buying electronics that have the ENERGY STAR label. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, it can save up to as much as 90% savings for some electronics.
5. Encourage Employees to Volunteer in Helping the Earth – Find ways to have your employees volunteer by partnering with groups that have environmentally-friendly activities, such as recycling, cleaning the environment, biking to work, etc. If you get your employees involved, they might be more receptive in being accountable for their actions around the office.
If we work together, we can start helping the environment.