The article will elucidate on how to make workspace sustainable so that there is conservation of energy and resources, better waste management, and augmented pro-environmental behaviour.
How to make your workspace more eco-friendly?
To make our workspaces more eco-friendly you can work on the following aspects.
- Use of sustainable workspace material
- Having sustainability moderators
- Responsible waste disposal
- Sustainable eating practices
- Sustainable resource use
Using sustainable workspace material
Workspaces are thronged with products and materials be it pens, staplers, files, covers, papers et cetera.
The plight is that most of these products used in workspaces either rely on harmful chemicals, plastics, and degradative components that are not only bad for our health but also relate negatively to the environment.
In contrast, there should be a use of products that are
- Avoid the use of chemicals and degradative synthetic ingredients
- Are non-toxic to life and the environment
- Organic and naturally derived
- Certified sustainable
- Made from recycled materials
Having a sustainability moderator/s
It is also advised to make a sustainability moderator or council that is directed to develop and promote sustainability culture in workspaces. The team members can lead by example and can inspire their colleagues to engage in green and pro-environmental activities because it is in the very nature of humans to follow and imitate.
Some initiatives that can be taken by the sustainability team may include
- Awareness seminars
- Green projects
- Awareness standees
- Rewards programs for pro-environmental behaviour
- Incentives and employee of the month titles to promote eco-friendly inclinations
- Optimising waste and energy consumption (by doing energy audits or partnering with recycling centres)
- Organising outdoor activities such as Earth day, visit to a forest, or compost in the yard.
Responsible waste management
When it comes to waste management, there are three simple strategies. These are given:
- Responsible dumping of waste
Responsible waste disposal
The first option is not that recommended because dumping of waste means addition in the landfill. It is claimed that the capacity of landfills is already close to full.
Therefore, the management should consider reusing (whenever possible), recycling, and composting (only for organic waste such as paper).
Recycling can be done by the following steps:
- Identifying if your waste is recyclable or not.
- If it is, you can throw it in green-coloured recycle bins.
- You may also contact nearby recycling centres for a drop-off or pickup.
- To find nearby recycling centres, rely on internet sources or inquire from the city’s administration
Composting is the conversion of waste into compost which can increase the organic content and hence can be used as a natural fertiliser. When it comes to the practice of composting, there are two main options that a person can rely on. These include
- Composting in the composting centres
- Composting at home
Composting at home can be done by the following steps
- Find a suitable location in your home that is distant from your indoors but decently accessible
- You can compost either openly (compost piles) or in a compost bin. Both are fine.
- To initiate the process, make a heap made from compostable material
- Make sure to place the heap in a cool and dry place. Be sure to continuously and regularly mix it.
- Make sure that there is a decent ratio of brown and green matter. The brown matter will be the source of carbon whereas the green matter will be the source of nitrogen. Many suggest making the ratio 4:1.
- Wait for several months (5-8) until the compost is ready
- The compost may be used as a natural fertiliser
Sustainable eating practices
In most workspaces, there are canteens and cafeterias. Other than saving food, another good thing you can do is to develop a culture of being vegan.
You can have meat on some particular days to fill in your meat cravings and on other days, you can rely on healthy green vegetables.
Sustainable resource use
There are several ways by which we can be wise with our resources. These include steps such as:
- Proper damping and insulation must be done in school to save resources
- Instead of paper assignments, software-based assignments and tasks should be preferred to make schools paper-conservative.
- Substitution of renewable resources and reducing the use of non-renewable resources.
- Being careful about the use of resources. Turn off lights and fans wherever needed. If possible, install automatic and motion-sensitive systems to be more careful with resource consumption.
- Continuously check for leaks and repair works to make sure that there is no damage or drainage of resources.
- Latest systems must be installed because the latest systems will be energy-efficient and this will be good for both the economy and the environment.
- The structure of classes should be made as such to make them the airiest and the exposure to sunlight should be maxed. This will lead to less resource consumption.
Workplaces are incomplete without papers because the documentation needs to be printed and printed a lot.
It is seen that a lot of paper is used and mostly, the actual use or need is very less. It is claimed that more than 90% of the paper that is used in workspaces goes to waste which reflects the blunt exploitation of resources.
Therefore, it is recommended to prefer digital and promote the culture of digitization. Not only will it prepare us for the new-age notions, but it will also alleviate the eco issues because paper consumption means cutting trees.
It is concluded that there are tons of ways to make workspaces more eco-friendly so that a role may be played in the alleviation of environmental problems towards a better and greener future.
- (November 18, 2020). 20 simple steps to make your business more sustainable. Retrieved from: https://youmatter.world/en/sustainable-eco-friendly-business-workspace/
- Wiseman, Lauren. Let us make our workspace sustainable. Retrieved from: https://www.wwf.org.uk/updates/top-20-tips-workplaces-sustainable
- (February 17, 2021). 8 Simple Changes to Make Your Workspace More Eco-Friendly. Retrieved from: https://www.greenjournal.co.uk/2021/02/8-simple-changes-to-make-your-workspace-more-eco-friendly/