A lot of business owners put off making eco-friendly changes to their office spaces and businesses because they believe that those changes are expensive. If we’re being totally honest, the actual implementation of those changes does usually cost money–sometimes a lot (like with the solar paneling we mentioned here). What makes that cost worth it, though, is the amount of money the change saves you over time. Many of the upgrades and changes you make really do end up paying for themselves.
Here are five of those types of changes:
1. Install Eco Friendly Lighting
Did you know that CFL bulbs actually aren’t the most energy efficient bulbs out there? LED lights use significantly less power and save way more money on electricity bills than inandescent or even CFLs. Yes, LED lights do typically cost more at the outset than CFLs (the average LED household bulb costs about $20), but you can save money by placing bulk orders for efficient light bulbs from AM Conservation Group. And over time–even without the bulk pricing–they pay for themselves.
2. Use Real Dishes
You probably already have, at the very least, a coffee maker, a toaster oven, a microwave and a refrigerator in your company’s breakroom. You likely also have a water cooler and a bunch of paper plates and cups that employees can use for beverages and snacks. The problem here is that most recycling centers will not accept things that have food or beverage residue on them so, even if you’re recycling those disposable plates, cups, etc, the recycling center is likely just tossing them out. Several office coffee services, for example, do offer green options for cups and utensils; however, a better way to help the environment is to provide real dishes and cutlery.
A better way to help the environment is to provide real dishes and cutlery. To keep things clean you can install a dishwasher and then run the dishwasher whenever the breakroom runs out of dishes. Real dishes are not expensive. You can get really cute and cheap sets from places like Target and Ikea. Washing them costs less, in the long run, than keeping paper and disposable stuff fully stocked all the time.
3. Energy Efficient Appliances
Make sure that the appliances you have installed–the fridge, microwave, coffee pot, dishwasher, etc are all as energy efficient as possible. While you’re at it, make sure your water heater is energy efficient too. Or, even better, install a tankless water heater in your office space.
4. Lower Your Flow
Did you know that toilets account for 30% of a home’s water consumption? If that is true for a single bathroom home, imagine how much water your employee bathrooms are using! Switch out all of your toilets, urinals, and faucets for low flow varieties. The low flow appliances will reduce your company’s water consumption. This, in turn, reduces your water bill. Even better, according to the Poplar Network, the payback period for low flow appliances is relatively short, so you should start seeing savings–especially in your water bill–very soon.
5. Get Rid of Your Water Cooler
Instead of having a water cooler and paying for bottle service for the company, have filters installed on the breakroom sink so that people can get clean and drinkable water from the tap. Most sink filters are affordable–you can buy one for the same price as one or two months of water service from a bottle company. You’ll also see a reduction in your energy bill if you had the type of water cooler that also dispenses hot water. Even better, the water you and your employees drink will probably also be cleaner than the water you get from your bottled service. This is because residential tap water is highly regulated by the EPA and other agencies but bottled water is not.
These are just five things that you can do to make your office space more eco-friendly. There are also lots of other things that you can do!
Photo credit: mattwalker69 / Flickr