Every day is Earth Day here at Mister Kleen, and we thought it would be wise to share with you some office tips to help you reduce your overall carbon footprint.
Here are some painless ways you and your office colleagues can be better citizens of planet earth every day:
Reduce The Use Of Paper!
Did you know that the total amount of paper used in the U.S. annually is over nine billion tons? That’s a total of four billion trees cut down each year!
Printing out documents is easy. However, what is not easy is planting enough trees to replenish the overuse of paper printing.
With all the technology we have at our disposal, there are less reasons to have paper printing soar each year.
If a contract needs to be reviewed and signed, then consider paperless contracts. Electronic signatures are just as binding as an old-fashioned pen-and-paper “John Hancock”.
Email is a great paper substitute for your communication needs – both internal and external. Collaboration tools such as Asana, Trello, Basecamp and Slack are great resources to use internally. Not only do they reduce your reliance on paper, they also enhance your team’s ability to stay connected in a way paper cannot do.
And if you do need to print a document, consider printing on both sides. It saves half.
Plastic bags usage is also a major issue. 500 billion plastic bags are used worldwide each year, and more than one million are used every minute.
Plastic not only ends up in landfills causing harmful methane such as greenhouse gasses to be emitted into the air, but they are also polluting our oceans.
The easiest way to cut back on plastic is to switch to reusable water bottles and tote bags. Making this one simple change to ditch the plastic can drastically reduce plastic in the landfills and oceans, and improve overall air quality.
While we have made great strides and progress with recycling here in the U.S., we still have a long ways to go. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the recycling rate for Americans is 34 percent.
When you recycle, you reduce the amount of waste sent to landfills and incinerators. Recycling also conserves natural resources, saves energy, increases economic security by tapping a domestic source of materials, and supports American manufacturing.
If you must use bottles, cans or paper products, make sure to recycle them!
You can also recycle old office equipment and help support the recycling economy by purchasing recycled products, including paper.
Power Down/Turn Off
Electricity and natural gas are the most common energy sources used in commercial buildings. Approximately, 30 percent of the energy used in most buildings today is unnecessary or used inefficiently.
Not only does the inefficient use of energy impact our environment, but it can also affect your wallet.
Making choices to use technology that requires less energy such as Energy Star rated appliances and light-emitting diode (LED) light bulbs will save money on electricity and reduce your carbon footprint by two-thirds.
Energy conservation is also something to practice within your facility. When you exit a room, do yourself a favor and turn off the lights.
You can even have timers or occupancy sensors shut off the lights after a certain period of non-activity in the room. These might be a cost-effective measure to consider implementing.
Hitch a Ride to Work or Consider Alternative Forms of Transportation
If telecommuting is not an option at your office, then consider either carpooling or using an alternative form of transportation – bus, bike, or even an Uber Pool.
Ask around the office to see if any of your co-workers live nearby. Maybe you can pick them up and drop them off, or visa-versa.
If you work for a larger company, maybe you want to consider setting up or participating in a rideshare board. These boards are helpful for co-workers to see what their ridesharing options are.
Of course, if you live near your job, then why not walk or ride your bike? The environment and your health will thank you!
Are The Cleaning Products and Processes Environmentally Friendly?
There is no excuse to have old school cleaning chemicals being used in your facility as these are harmful to the indoor air quality and your health.
Also, is the cleaning staff using environmentally friendly processes to clean your facility? Meaning, are they reusable products, like microfiber cleaning cloths to clean your office versus paper towels?
If you use a Green Seal GS-42 certified cleaning company then you don’t have to worry about this issue. Companies that are compliant with a certifying firm, like Green Seal, must use environmentally friendly cleaning chemicals and processes, and energy efficient equipment. And remaining compliant is a good thing for the cleaning company’s bottom line and the overall health and wellness of your building occupants.
There you have it – six tips to ensure Earth Day is being celebrated and practiced every day.
There is no need to wait. You can start practicing these tips today and encourage your colleagues to join along. After all, we only have one Earth, so why not do our very best to protect it!
Mister Kleen is a leading provider of contract cleaning services to Commercial and High Security facilities since 1976. Our primary service area is the DC Metro region. We also provide a variety of interior and exterior specialty services.