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10 Tips for a More Environmentally Friendly Office

August 01, 2023

Everywhere you turn, people are talking about “going green” and the impact that the eco-friendly movement has on the environment. By making little changes in your daily routine, you can reduce your carbon footprint and help create a more sustainable Earth. Chances are that you’ve probably implemented some green strategies in your home, such as recycling, ditching single-use plastics, buying local, or eating less meat. But what about your workplace? So many people focus on going green at home but forget about where they work. An eco-friendly office provides environmental benefits as well as benefits to the company and employees. Here are ten tips to help you make your office a more eco-friendly place.

Coworkers smiling and looking at a laptop

1. Create a “Green Team”

Gather some interested employees from around your company and create a sustainability team. Have them work together to create and maintain practices for a greener workplace environment. Projects might include coming up with ways to reduce waste, developing a more effective recycling solution, or researching options for more energy-efficient office appliances. The team can inspire and engage the rest of your team to make meaningful, eco-friendly changes at the office and at home.



2. Print Less

Chances are that your office goes through a lot of paper. From employee forms to memos to paychecks, paper is a major office supply. But, not only does paper use trees, but it also creates a significant amount of waste. One of the biggest ways you can reduce paper use in your office is to go paperless. Have your employees fill out and sign forms online and maintain digital records. Send memos and paystubs through email and encourage employees to sign up for direct deposit.

If you do need to print something:

  • Print double-sided
  • Decrease the margins
  • Use recycled paper

While going paperless will have the largest impact, anything that you can do to reduce paper consumption will help create a more eco-friendly workplace environment.


Someone recycling plastic bottles

3. Recycle More

If you haven’t already, create a recycling program in your office and encourage your team to follow it. Many office supplies that can be recycled end up in the trash. A good recycling program helps to eliminate a lot of unnecessary waste. Set up various bins around the office to collect paper, cardboard, plastic, and glass. Electronics can also be recycled. The more areas that you have set up for recycling, the less waste your office will create.


A work desk with a laptop and a plant next to it

4. Reduce Your Energy Usage

Reducing energy usage is a common eco-friendly workplace solution that’s easy to implement. Changing your thermostat up or down just a few degrees can have a major impact, and your team likely won’t notice the difference. Before everyone leaves for the day, be sure to turn off all lights and electronics. If possible, unplug electronics you don’t need on when no one’s in the office as well. If you have a cleaning crew that comes in at night, make sure that they remember to turn off all lights when they’re done.


A workplace lobby with lots of indoor plants

5. Bring Some Nature Indoors

Your team spends a lot of time in the office. Bringing plants inside is an eco-friendly way to boost the mood of your employees while also improving the air quality. Certain species like spider plants, English ivy, and Peace Lilies not only convert carbon dioxide into oxygen but also filter out harmful toxins such as carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, and benzene.


A man holding a catering pan of food

6. Partner with Like-Minded Vendors

To further your mission of becoming environmentally friendly in the office and show both clients and employees how serious you are, partner with vendors who share the same green ideals. When possible, work with local vendors and other eco-friendly companies.

Companies like Sifted are dedicated to serving customers and communities while reducing overall environmental impact. Sifted works with regional growers and incorporates seasonal produce into each menu to provide fresh, healthy meals for companies like yours. We only use what’s necessary to create each menu to reduce waste. Not only that, but all leftovers are donated to our non-profit partners.


A jar of compost

7. Set Up a Composting System

If you’re looking to take office recycling one step further, set up a composting system. Install a sealed container in the kitchen or employee lounge area for your team to get rid of uneaten food. Let your team know what can, and can’t, go in the bin. Food scraps can be taken by an employee who has a compost pile at home or you can partner with a compost pickup service in your area. If you have lunch catered, choose a food service provider that takes care of the composting for you. Sifted works with various composting services to compost all food scraps that are unsuitable for donation. This gives you one less thing to worry about when your office lunch is over.


Reusable plates and bowls in cabinet

8. Outfit the Office Kitchen

On the days that your employees do bring their lunch to work, provide them with the appropriate plates and utensils. Instead of paper plates and plastic utensils, provide durable plates and silverware. Add some ceramic mugs to the cabinet for those who like to have a cup of coffee first thing in the morning. Encourage reusable containers over ones that will just be thrown out after lunch is over.


Eco Friendly Cleaning Products

9. Use Eco-Friendly Cleaners

A clean office is a happy (and healthy) one. Commercial cleaning products, however, aren’t environmentally friendly. They contain chemicals that can cause eye and skin irritation, respiratory problems, and air pollution. Instead of commercial cleaning products, look for green alternatives. You can make cleaners out of common kitchen ingredients or find green cleaning products for sale. If you use a cleaning service, partner with a company that uses eco-friendly products and practices.


Man going to work and putting his bike away

10. Encourage Eco-Friendly Transportation

If all of your employees drive to work in their own cars, the pollution really adds up. If possible, encourage your employees to walk, ride a bicycle, or take public transportation. For those who need to drive, encourage carpooling. Another option, depending upon your company, is to set aside one or more days per week where employees can work from home. Not only does telecommuting reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but it can also increase productivity and general job satisfaction. If you need to hold a meeting, there are web or video conferencing tools that you can use.


Staying Environmentally Friendly in the Office

When it comes to making your office eco-friendly, every little change helps. Encourage your employees to continue coming up with new ways to improve and keep the conversation going. Not only will you help the environment, but you’ll also make your office a better, more fulfilling place to work.