Unless you've been living under a rock, I'm sure you've been exposed in some way to the biggest event of the year. No I'm not talking about the election, and I'm not even talking about Game of Thrones (lets not talk about how that one ended!)...
I'm talking about Avengers: End Game. The ultimate culmination of super heroes from all walks of life, banding together to save the world from Thanos, the self appointed lord of equilibrium, come to rectify the planet by basically killing half the worlds population. I have to admit that a part of what Thanos stands for does actually make some kind of sense, in a very warped and sadistic way he wants to save ourselves from ourselves. But we can't just go and wipe out half the planet in doing so now can we! So what can we do? This month I thought I'd go all Hulk in my blog post, pop on my reading glasses and put together some pointers for you on how we can all 'turn green'.
Besides of course the cost of paper, ink cartridges, printer servicing and the odd document getting lost, as soon as you print a document, it’s no longer controlled, traceable or the latest version. Cloud storage systems are so easy to use, readily accessible to your team and so much more cost-effective in the long run. Keep the trees in the forest and your docs in the cloud!
Why not try unplugging certain office appliances over the weekend? I’m not talking about the fridge. No-one wants sour milk in their coffee on Monday morning… but chargers, TV’s, printers and work stations really don’t need to be left plugged in once they are powered down. Pop that plug out and save the ‘standby’ for during the week.
These days, there is not much that can’t be recycled! Sometimes there may not be recycling facilities within your complex nor space to facilitate an industrial recycling bin and keep the body corporate happy. Here at Viridis, we have a recycling roster where we take it in turns to take home our weekly recycling and dispose of them in our home recycling bins. You can recycle paper, cardboard, glass, aluminium and steel cans, aerosols and plastic bottles in your usual recycling bin as well as old mobile phones, batteries, old printer cartridges and old IT equipment through outlets provided at Office Works or Aldi and soft plastics (plastic bags, bread bags, lolly packets) at most supermarkets.
Ditch the paper towels and cleaning wipes
I know it seems more hygienic, but it’s truly so wasteful. Employ a roster where staff take it in turns to take the office tea towels home and wash them. Keep some spray and wipe and some microfibre cloths on hand and these can be washed in the machine at home over and over again. It only takes a moment to gather them together at the end of the week and toss them in with your usual load and will save on wastage and extra expense.
Choose a more sustainable brand of loo paper
We love “Who Gives a Crap”. They are comparable in price to economical ranges in the supermarket, made from recycled material, donate a portion of the sale price to assist in building toilet facilities in developing countries and (arguably) most importantly, they’re soft! www.wgac.com.au
Watch the thermostat
If it’s a nice day outside, turn the AC off. If you’re fortunate enough to have doors or windows to the office, open them up and let that fresh air in! Try just one degree higher than freezing in the summer and one degree lower than ‘roasting marshmallows by the fire’ in winter. You’ll notice it on the office power bill and you can rest assured knowing you’re not sitting comfortable today only to contribute to the planet temp sitting so much higher in twenty years time.
Say goodbye to business cards
Ok ok, if you just can’t do away with business cards, there all always more sustainable options, but in this digital age, we are all carrying mobile phones wherever we go. Perhaps trial a business card sent by text message. A side benefit.. once you’ve sent the digital business card, you’re already in their inbox. Sales 101!
Encourage staff to work from home
We are all connected these days and majority of the time, the devices we work on can be carried with one hand. Why not encourage staff to work from home from time to time. It will drastically cut down the carbon footprint generated by your workforce in commute emissions over the course of a year and can also mean you could downsize the size of your office space in the long run. Cheaper rent, hello!
Provide a stash of reusable coffee mugs / keep cups
Be like the hipsters and carry your coffee mug (or keep cup) downstairs to the coffee van when it comes by. Takeaway coffee cups are not recyclable. I’ll say that again for those in the back… takeaway coffee cups can not be recycled. This is because paper based cups are lined with a polyethylene membrane to make them waterproof. For this reason they cannot be recycled with paper. And the membrane is so fine, they cannot be recycled with plastic. And so we are left with millions, actually 500 billion takeaway coffee cups per year, that end up either in landfill, or worse, contaminating the entire load of otherwise recyclable waste when they are popped in the recycling bin by someone who thinks they are doing the right thing. If you MUST use one, remove the plastic lid and place that is the recycling bin, and pop the cup in the normal bin. Or better yet, use the office mugs I talked about !
The ultimate green! bring the outside in with plants!
Office plants have so many benefits. They look beautiful, they give our tired computer eyes somewhere to rest when we need to take a break, they purify the air in the office and reduce carbon emissions. It’s also a well known fact plants make people happy! And they really do, except when your coworkers aren’t keeping up their end of the office plant watering roster. Which happens. So if you want to go ultimate Hulk... greenify your office with those real green things… and enforce the roster!
So there you have it, my top 10 ways to turn green for the ultimate End Game. We didn’t need Thanos after all!