As part of our Green Week, we’re promoting some small changes that you can make to reduce your carbon footprint. This blog includes some ideas and policies that you can implement in your workplace to be kinder to the planet!
About the author:
Hi I’m Lily, the Marketing Officer at Solar Plants. I hope you find this blog interesting and it inspires you to make some healthy green changes to your office or working environment! Seeing as we spend such a huge proportion of our lives in work, it’s more than achievable for us all to make a change to be healthier, happier and more environmentally conscious in work. Maybe you could start competitions or department challenges in your workplace to encourage your team to be more green!
Take an alternative route to work
A great way to reduce your carbon footprint is to lift share with colleagues! We worked out that if all of our office team drove to work, on average, all of our cars combined would produce 29 tonnes of CO2 over the year! So, many of our team now take a shared bus to the office, which, in comparison, produces only 4.7 tonnes over the year! Cycling or walking to work is an even better way of being more ‘green’ and if you are a business owner, why not implement a cycle to work incentive scheme? We also recently had EV charge points installed at the office as a way of encouraging our team to switch to an electric vehicle.
Turn off plugs at the switch, rather than leaving them on standby
We recently found this article that explains how lots of appliances are quietly adding to your bills, just from being left on standby – http://bit.ly/UeZ4Jl We’ve put stickers up around the office to remind us to turn off plugs at the socket to save CO2 and reduce our carbon footprint! You could also nominate someone to ensure all plugs are turned off.
Recycle, recycle, recycle
When possible, keep things digital! We now give our customers the option to have their installation documents sent via email or printed in the post. As an estimate, around 95% of our customers are happy to receive these documents digitally which has allowed us to cut down massively on paper! If this isn’t so easy for you in your work environment, try to ensure that all the paper is recycled.
Harness the sun’s renewable energy
The Solar Plants offices are powered by solar energy, with a 20kWh system on the office roof. Installing solar for your office is such a great way for a business to be recognised as doing their bit for the planet and also saves up to 75% on energy bills – more money for staff parties hooray!
Make the most of natural light
This one is clearly much easier in the spring/summer months and not so practical in the winter months. But, when possible, try and turn off lights and make the most of natural daylight! In the Marketing office at Solar Plants, this is something we really try to do as often as we can – we also find it’s much less harsh on our eyes too.
Buy Fairtrade or Rainforest Alliance certified products!
We often hear the word Fairtrade, but what does it actually mean? “Fairtrade has been shown to increase standards of living and reduce risk and vulnerability for farmers and workers. Food security is linked closely to economic growth, stable incomes and reduced risk and vulnerability.” Here at Solar Plants, we only buy coffee that is Rainforest Alliance certified. Rainforest Alliance’s “work is bringing real, measurable benefits to forests, communities, and wildlife around the world. It’s really important to buy Fairtrade products like tea and sugar to support farmers and workers! This leads us onto our next point…
Only use what you need!
We get through a LOT of tea and coffee in our offices, so the kettle is often working overtime, but we now try to make a conscious effort of only boiling the water we are going to use. According to the Energy Saving Trust, British people waste £68 million annually whilst making daily teas and coffees by overfilling the kettle! We have all also switched to thermal mugs if we visit a coffee shop, where many branches will now give you discounts for bringing your own mug!
Put up reminders around the office
As well as our stickers to remind us to switch plugs off, I also recently put stickers on our printers. With so many easy online sharing programmes, we no longer need to print as much as we used too, but these handy reminders will always make us consider our impact on the environment before pressing the print button!
We often need boxes to carry materials and products, so keeping boxes from parcels and packages is a great way of reusing materials. Our agricultural show season will be starting very soon, so we’re using old parcel boxes to pack up team clothing and literature. Remember to reuse any plastic bags that you have too – we cover this in more detail in our Market Monday blog.