A Greener Workplace

Reduce. Reuse. Recycle. This mantra is known as the three R’s and is embraced by FBG to minimize our impact on the environment. The three R’s is a waste hierarchy that helps individuals and offices alike live more sustainably by reducing and reusing single-use items that end up in landfills and conserving natural resources by recycling products into new items. Celebrate Earth Day this year (April 22nd) by examining ways that the three R’s can be applied in your office.

Commute

  • Encourage ridesharing. Consider incentivizing employees to carpool through free or preferred/reserved parking.
  • Offer commuter benefits. Commuter Assistance Programs can help employees pay expenses related to mass transit passes and vanpooling (vehicles that seat 7+ adults) by allowing them to use pre-tax dollars.
  • Skip the commute altogether. Telecommuting saves employees money spent on gas and time spent sitting in traffic, but it can also help save the environment. By allowing employees to work from home, they can reduce their carbon emissions by about 79 million metric tons per year (the equivalent of planting over two billion trees)!¹


Kitchen

  • Start with a cup of coffee. One-use coffee pods, the majority of which are non-recyclable, can be detrimental to the environment and yet remain a popular choice for many companies looking to provide employees with an easy caffeine fix. Enjoy a cup of joe guilt-free by using an environmentally sustainable system, such as a traditional coffee pot, a bean-to-cup machine or, if single serve is a must, use a reusable or no-waste option.
  • Say no to disposable. Invest in reusable dishware so you can offer visitors a glass of water rather than a plastic bottle. When getting lunch catered, opt to use said-dishware and ask the restaurant to leave the plastic plates & utensils behind.


Personal Space

  • Incorporate small plants into your décor. Not only do plants help to spruce up a workspace, but they also remove harmful toxins from the air such as formaldehyde, carbon dioxide, and carbon monoxide.
  • Use LED lightbulbs in lamps. LED lightbulbs require less energy and have a longer lifespan than typical incandescent bulbs. This can lower utility costs as well as reduce electric waste.
  • Turn keyboards, mice, and computers OFF when not in use. Leaving electronics in a ‘standby’ state can drain the batteries, so it is best to power them down to extend the life of the battery. Ask employees to shut down their computers before leaving each day.


Workroom

  • Utilize recycled paper and shipping materials. Recycled paper and boxes use significantly less water and paper pulp when manufactured thereby reducing tree and water consumption.
  • Use refillable or recycled pens and pencils. Replacing ink cartridges in pens and lead in mechanical pencils helps to reduce single-use plastic waste in landfills. Many manufacturers also have options for writing utensils made from recycled materials.
  • Place recycling bins in a communal area for batteries and ink cartridges. By sending in used batteries, the chemicals and metals are either extracted and reused or disposed of properly to reduce harmful exposure to the environment. Ink cartridges can be reused by taking them to office supply stores such as Staples or Office Depot.

 

¹https://www.virtualvocations.com/blog/telecommuting-survival/8-environmental-benefits-of-remote-work/