September 2 2022
Seven Eco-Friendly Things to Do in the Workplace
Nearly three quarters of people employed in Poland work almost exclusively form the office – according to the survey for Gamfi from late 2021. This means that over ten million people can do at least seven things at work every day to limit the negative impact on the natural environment. Will you become one of them?
Slowing down the negative impact on our planet is first and foremost the matter of changing everyday habits and attitudes of all of us. What can you personally do to make the office where you spend most of the week a more eco-friendly place?
More plants in the office!
It is said that nothing facilitates rest during a short break quite like the sight of plants, even if they are just ferns on the windowsill. Aesthetically pleasing working environment is but one of the benefits. Potted flowers not only clear the air, but also improve productivity; additionally, they lower the temperature in the room and keep the humidity at an optimal level.
Limit the power consumption!
Electricity costs more and more, and we all should take care of the planet – these are two best arguments for unplugging our computers before we leave the office. Do you remember to do that? You should, because even the state-of-the-art hardware still uses electrical energy while on stan-by. That’s right – office equipment, even if turned off, consumes small amounts of electricity for as long as it remains plugged in. If there are several dozen or several hundred computers in the company, such daily energy consumption becomes non-trivial. It generates costs and impacts the environment. All you have to do is to pull the plug or switch the power strip off.
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Turn the AC down just a bit
Do you know that the air conditioning and electric fans constitute even 20% of the total power consumption of buildings globally? Yes, it’s true that its hard to do without them in summer, but maybe its enough to just lower the office temperature to 22 degrees Celsius? The power consumption will be lower, and upper respiratory tracts of everyone in the office will adapt better to the temperature difference after leaving the workplace. Additionally, plants will take care of better office microclimate.
Print as economically as possible
If you cannot forego the creation of printed documents entirely, try to print them front and back. This alone will help you reduce the use of paper nearly by half. It is also a good idea to choose recycled paper, as the production of one ton of non-recycled paper requires cutting down 17 trees (not to mention the water and energy costs of production). Choose ink printers because their energy consumption is even 90% lower. Can you adjust the printing settings? Switch them for regular or economic printing.
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Stop using plastic water bottles
Still no water cooler in your office? You can always check the local waterlines quality on the internet to learn if the tap water is any good, or maybe buy a filter jug. If you like sparkling water, drink one that comes in glass bottles, and forget PET-bottles for good. Giving them up will not only help the environment but also take care of your health. Water form plastic bottles may contain microplastic, bisphenol A, and even formaldehyde – substances that negatively impact the hormonal balance and may even cause cancer. This much about your health. Now think about the environment, as every single disposable bottle will decompose over hundreds of years. Moreover, manufacturing it will contribute to the carbon footprint generated by the producers and it will use up copious quantities of water and energy.
Less coffee, even less milk
Why act so surprised? Yes, your favorite coffee also contributes to the carbon footprint. Coffee plantations decrease biodiversity, coffee trees produce less oxygen than most other trees, and milk cow breeding releases enormous quantities of carbon oxide into the atmosphere. The production of coffee and milk puts a lot of strain on the environment, much more than most of us realize. But how to live without coffee, you may ask… Barely anyone can, so at least choose the least damaging method of preparation and brewing. Forget the coffee machine that uses aluminum (!) or plastic capsules – these will take ages to decompose. According to baristas the healthiest and the tastiest is the coffee brewed in a drip coffee maker or brewed directly in a pot or a mug.
Boil only as much water as you need
Do you know that for every hundred liters of processed water, only seven ends up drunk? You know that we need to preserve it, because its a resource necessary for our survival, right? You also know that there is less and less drinking water in Poland, don’t you? If you do, than next time you go to the office kitchen ask those around you if anyone else needs water for tea. If they don’t want any, don’t boil any more water than what you need. And one last thing – it is a good idea to choose an electric kettle with heated bottom, rather than the one with a heating coil. Such models boil water faster, they use up less electricity and are better at dealing with water mineral sediment. You are welcome.
Did you know all this already? Great – pass it on. Every habit you change or help others change will slow down the negative climate change. Obviously, we cannot see the change in its entirety. But it is still taking place, and we can limit its impact.
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