Ways To Be Sustainable In The Workplace

June 6, 2019

Since I’ve been working out of Industrious for the past few months, I’ve really noticed their sustainability efforts and thought this could be a good topic of discussion here. I’ve curated some tips below that inspire a “greener” work environment and would love to hear if you have any additional ideas! We all play a part in making this world a better place to work/live and it’s up to us to do better for the generations to come.

01. Reuse

Swap out single-use plastic cups, utensils, and serving pieces for reusable options. At Industrious, they have mugs with their logo on them for everyone to use for coffee/tea. They also provide silverware and glasses for water.

Industrious‘ coffee makers are not single-use and they use local coffee, which is a big plus! Although I applaud Nespresso (my favorite way to make coffee at home) for their sustainability efforts. Their capsules are aluminum which can be continually recycled and they send you a pre-paid recycling bag to easily return them to their recycling facility. The coffee grounds are either turned into nutrient-rich compost, topsoil or biogas. We have a plant at home that is using soil that Nespresso kindly sent us. I should note, Nespresso didn’t sponsor this, I’m just a big fan of them and like to spread the word when a company is doing the right thing!

It’s also import to reduce the amount of office supplies you need throughout the space. Do you really need rubber bands?? Is there a more sustainable option to the rubber bands you purchase? Just one of the things to think about…

02. Recycle

Having recycling bins in the office is a no-brainer and may seem obvious, but if recycling bins are not easily accessible…employees probably will not take the extra step to do so. I love that Industrious places recycling bins next to the printers and in the kitchen next to the trash to make it easy to make the right choice.

Another way to look at this is for office supplies….can you recycle office supplies and reuse them? Can you donate the fabric samples to a local school/art program (looking at you designers and architects)?

03. Lighting / Electrical

My dad would be proud to see this on the list as he is an electrical engineer and being “energy smart” is always on the front of his mind. Also, if you ever want to know the correct way to wrap a hair dryer cord…I’ve got you.

A quick off-topic story: my dad beat Apple in the Siri game…he rewired our house back in the ’90s to be smart. Our house ‘s name was “Jenny” and if you picked up the landline at our home and pressed * she would say “hello?” and you could tell her to turn off lights and close the garage. I actually don’t remember if she did anything else…she couldn’t tell us the weather or order us something on Amazon. Haha, I’m dying laughing because I used to use this as a trick to show off to my friends. But my closet was a wiring chaotic hub as my dad ran everything through there…so it wasn’t all that exciting. He also started a company called “Brainee Home” before everything ran off of wifi and would come to rewire homes for security and to be able to talk to your home. Anyway, I digress.

Back to the original topic…

Changing out lighting fixtures to LED will not only help save costs in the long-term but is much better for the environment. At Industrious, they have Lutron switches that are smart and turn on when you’re in the space and can be dimmed so you only use the amount of light you NEED. Plus, with their use of glass walls for each office, you get natural sunlight in most spaces. Turn off and unplug your computer/laptop, printer, etc. when you aren’t using them.

04. Greenery

It’s so important to have at least one real plant in the office. Industrious does an amazing job of implementing plants throughout their workspaces. Not only are plants aesthetically pleasing, but they help clean the air, provide psychological benefits to employees (in turn reducing illness), and lessen surrounding noise levels.

05. Other tips:
  • Only print what you NEED and find ways to reduce the amount of printing by using cloud services, projections during meetings, etc.
  • Clean with eco-friendly products for not only the health of the employees but also what’s being put back into our water. This is really important!
  • Source sustainable snacks for the office – local, healthy snacks are always the best solution for a healthy work environment!

Do you have any additional tips to create a more green work environment? I’d love to hear in the comments below!