Conservation of resources, sustainability and environmental awareness
are increasingly becoming part of our everyday life. But how can this be
reconciled with the workplace in the office?
The paperless office can help the environment significantly. Germany is currently still one of the leaders in paper consumption compared to the other G20 countries. However, anyone can start saving paper today!
Just ask before every print whether printing is really necessary. Working without paper is already made very easy by innovative office concepts. We just have to actively pay more attention to it.
The delicious cup of coffee in the morning from the capsule machine lets almost every office day start well. However, reusable capsules are now available for high-quality coffee machines, replacing the disposable aluminium version. Filling these capsules with fair trade coffee even kills two birds with one stone.
On the way to work: If you bring your own thermo mug, you get your daily hot coffee directly into your favourite cup and get by without disposable products.
Waste should also be consistently separated in the office and thus fed into the recycling process. The correct disposal of products such as old batteries, printer cartridges and toner containers is particularly important. They contain poisonous substances that should be disposed off in an appropriate manner.
In many countries the water from the tap is of high quality and suitable for drinking. In case of doubt, treatment filters can be used for optimal drinking water quality. If you do not want to do without bottles, exchange plastic for glass. These can be refilled twice as often! (https://www.umweltdialog.de/de/wirtschaft/arbeitsbedingungen/2019/Nachhaltigkeit-am-Arbeitsplatz.php)
Those who get by without take-away, disposable and similar products can use refillable pens, USB sticks or other office materials made of wood, bamboo or other renewable resources in the office environment. And let's not forget the classic: fabric carrier bags instead of plastic bags!
Light is only needed when someone is in the room - even in the lavatory. Simply switch off the light when leaving the room. Old light bulbs containing mercury should be replaced by LED lamps. These require 75% less energy and last considerably longer.
And another effective tip: only heat the amount of water in the kettle that is actually needed. This saves electricity and water!
Plants have an influence on the indoor climate. Not only do they have a positive influence on temperature, humidity and air quality, they also improve your mood. Of course, the use of the heating system also plays a role. Avoiding the constant switching on and off, and consistent ventilation offer the possibility of energy-saving air conditioning. Fresh air heats up more easily and supplies the oxygen necessary for your own biorhythm.
A clean workplace is the be-all and end-all in everyday life. A kettle can also be decalcified well with a bio vinegar cleaner and hand soap without microplastics protects our environment just as much as the replacement of disposable towels with fabric towels. Those who pay attention to organic products here live more sustainably.
Change to public transportation for your travel. The time on the bus or train can be used for books, a chat or even to relax. Simply leave your car at home and use alternatives such as e-scooters or car-sharing. When travelling on business by train, time can also be used for other purposes without having to concentrate on traffic, traffic jams or other road users.
One or more monitors, your own computer, printer, telephone... These and other IT devices are part of a typical desk. And everything is powered by electricity. Our tip: After use, consistently switch off all devices and do not leave them in standby mode. This way, even breaks or meetings can be used to save electricity. In addition, rechargeable batteries should be used instead of standard batteries for devices that require an additional power supply.
The best measures are useless if the topic is not anchored in the minds of all colleagues. As "ambassadors for the green office", everyone has the opportunity to raise awareness of their surroundings. You set a good example and inspire through consistent action!
So the final motto is: Start today and talk about the good you do!