Commuting to work can be greener and more environmentally friendly if it happens on foot, by bike or by public transport instead of by car. Walking two and a half kilometers means 75% less greenhouse gases than would be produced by driving the same distance. If people live further away from the office, carpooling with colleagues who live in the area and are going in the same direction is a good idea. When the office is reached, choosing the stairs over the elevator saves energy and has health benefits.
During the course of the workday, to stay hydrated and energized throughout the day, employees drink beverages such as water, coffee, or tea. The first step to a greener workplace is to minimize the single-use plastic cups from which these drinks are consumed. Their alternative are the increasingly popular edible cups and, of course, ceramic cups. Water can be carried in reusable glass bottles, and to save plastic, water can be filled from dispensers that filter tap water. Taking it a step further, it is more environmentally friendly for employees to use ceramic plates and metal utensils instead of single-use boxes and plastic containers during their lunch break. To transport them, fabric bags are preferred instead of plastic bags.
In the signatures of each email, there is often a message inviting readers to think about the nature before printing the content of the email. Indeed, it is most environmentally friendly to save on unnecessary printing, as it saves paper, ink and energy. However, there are documents for which processes have not yet been digitized and are required to be printed. In this case, it is good to use recycled paper or to print double-sided. Double-sided printing can save your business about half the cost of printing single-sided pages.
The technologies we use generate many emissions that people probably do not think about in their busy daily lives. For example, not many people think about the carbon footprint that emails generate. It has been proven that sending an email can generate between 0.2 and 50 grams of emissions – depending on whether it contains only text or a large attachment. What is the alternative? Stop the practice of emails containing a single word such as “okay” or “thank you”. For this, it is more environmentally friendly to use chat applications, the most environmentally friendly being SMS, as it generates only 0.014 g of CO2.
Devices that are plugged in but are not in use and remain on standby mode should be turned off when they are not going to be used for a while, for example at night. Monitors in offices should be turned off from the button at the end of the day so that they are not lit unnecessarily. It is estimated that this saves us about 2 dollars (4 BGN) per month. Printers and other devices such as shredders should be unplugged to conserve energy.
Experts advise to use the option to automatically determine the brightness of the computer display. This is because the brighter the screen is, the more power it uses. According to research, each screen uses 22W of power at the lowest brightness setting and 49W at the highest. Therefore, each screen uses over twice as much power when set to the brightest setting. They also recommend turning off the computer in the evening or when it will not be used for a while. This saves energy and the battery lasts longer.