We’ve happily called The Cotton Factory our home since March 2016, a location we selected in part for its commitment to sustainability. Their approach to renovating the facility is called “adaptive reuse”: the aesthetic process that adapts buildings for new uses while retaining their historic features. Lots of that change came in the form of environmentally friendly alternatives like solar panels capable of powering 70% of the building.
Keeping in step with our Cotton Factory family, Muse makes it part of our mission to reduce consumption and implement environmentally friendly initiatives. Here is a list of easy-to-do items that can be implemented into most workplaces to help reduce your business’ impact on the environment and the planet.
Reduce Paper — Keep it Digital!
For a lot of businesses, working from home has already reduced the use of excess paper. According to Environment Canada, paper waste accounts for a third of the country’s waste and only 25% of it actually gets recycled. Making use of online file sharing services like Google Drive and Dropbox can save the trees and save your desk from clutter.
Optimize Your Energy Consumption
Powering computers, printers and scanners uses lots of energy, and keeping your devices plugged in on standby draws power even when they are not in use. This accounts for “nearly 10% of household electricity use” and can make a big dent in your energy consumption and hydro bill. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory calls this phenomenon “phantom power” or “vampire loads” which sounds a lot spookier than it is. Thankfully, you don’t need garlic cloves on your office door; all you need to do is unplug or turn off your power bars when not in use or install an advanced automated power strip.
Let There Be (Natural) Light
If your office space has windows and a good natural light source, consider using the sun in the lighter hours to cut down on your energy consumption. If this isn’t possible, making the change to energy efficient light bulbs, like LEDs, can also help reduce your carbon footprint.
Mugs, Cups and Water Bottles
Remote work has given us the opportunity to reduce our use of single use plastics and instead rely on our own kitchens to stay hydrated and caffeinated. Providing your office with a coffee machine and mugs, and encouraging the use of reusable water bottles can have a significant impact on your business’ waste output. You’ll also be helping your team members to save some money by implementing these ideas. Pro Tip: Reuse old mason jars for water bottles; they look cool and are a great way to stay on top of your hydration!
Walk to Work
If you live close enough, walking to work is an amazing way to reduce your carbon footprint and get some mindfulness time before you begin your workday. When walking isn’t an option, consider carpooling or taking public transportation.
Go Green Literally… With Plants!
Did you grow a green thumb while working from home? Consider bringing a plant or two into the office. House plants help to purify the air, and while you may need a whole lot of plants to make a noticeable difference, keeping and caring for plants is a proven stress reducer and a great reminder to care for our planet and the other living things we share it with.
Did you know that your website has a carbon footprint? Learn more about retrofitting your website to build a smoother running and eco-friendly site in our Weight of the Website blog!