Sustainability is the new trend in office spaces; energy can be thoroughly saved as employees have the enriching experience of participation in a green office space. Green offices often have a positive impact on employee mindset and productivity, which is no small feat. There are dozens of actions an office can take to instantly reduce their energy footprint and foster a more positive work environment.
One sustainable action you can take during office renovations is only buying carpet containing recycled material; if you really want to go the extra environmental mile, purchase carpet squares with recyclable material instead as this will enable you to only replace small portions of the carpet when needed. Alternatively, you can purchase bamboo flooring for your office; it’s a prime renewable resource.
If you are also painting the office during renovations, consider using low VOC paint. VOCs, which are also known as volatile organic compounds, are not good for the environment and can even cause headaches or dizziness for people in the painted room. Purchasing low VOC paint is a much more sustainable and healthy choice. Furthermore, to increase the indoor air quality of your space, be sure to regularly monitor your air filters and replace/clean them as necessary. This great tip also helps save energy, as less dirt and particulates clogging up your filters means a more efficient HVAC system that will have to work less hard to circulate cleaner air.
Also remember the importance of your method of lighting the green office space. Natural light usage is best, so try utilizing any windows you have; the bigger the window, the better it is. Of course, other lighting is also required, so try choosing CFL or LED lighting. Additionally, place motion sensor lighting in rooms such as bathrooms; this way, energy will only be used if the room is actually in use.
One highly important tip for environmental lighting is that you dispose of it properly. For example, the majority of Home Depot locations will accept CFL lighting so you do not need to throw away these bulbs that contain low levels of mercury, a highly toxic ingredient to human and environmental health.
Water and plumbing are also important aspects of the sustainable office mission. Use water aerators for kitchen and bathroom faucets. Also, ensure that you install the revolutionary waterless urinals and fit toilets with special green handles. Both of these actions save water. The toilets with green handles are handy in that they adequately flush waste in a way that saves water.
Green cleaning products are just as important in the battle for a peaceful, sustainable office environment. Try to only purchase cleaning products with a Green Seal or Environmental Choice insignia on them. When trashing items, make certain that you create a recycling program and use only recycled paper products in the first place for minimum wastefulness. When using printing paper, print on the back of it to save materials. Please be sure to recycle any batteries, and discourage the use and purchasing of Styrofoam products unless there is Styrofoam recycling available in your area. Another important element of recycling is rinsing out used soda cans and food containers before the final recycling process; this reduces recycling stream contamination and helps out the process downstream.
Look for the ENERGY STAR label when you purchase any kind of office appliance such as monitors. This enables you to know that your new product is an environmentally friendly one. In addition to this, you can organize recycling events every 6 months to encourage everyone to recycle. During these special events, you could also assist in coordinating and setting up carpooling among regular occupants and discuss the mutually beneficial and sustainable relationships such a program can bring to your office.
Perhaps the most important aspect of a sustainable office is its atmosphere, which can be greatly improved by adding natural elements. These can include daylight, a fish tank, plants and well-maintained air ventilation. Fish tanks and plants in particular certainly improve the office. There have been several scientific papers from different academic journals that hypothesize that there is an instinctively beneficial relationship between humans and different living systems; they call this idea biophilia.
Sustainable Investment Group (SIG) is a company with one major passion: the environment. The Atlanta SIG headquarters is certified LEED Platinum with its quality paint, recycled materials and pristine bamboo flooring in the kitchen. The windows bring in so much natural light that the lighting is hardly ever used. Employees at Sustainable Investment Group SIG experience a beautiful connection to nature with a fish tank and plants; thus, the environmental improvement comes full circle with a brighter and healthier atmosphere for the employees.
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