February 12, 2020
You’re probably familiar with Kermit the Frog’s famous lament of “It’s Not Easy Being Green.” But, as it relates to your office environment, you would be surprised how many simple steps you can take to make your workplace more environmentally friendly.
Hereat the Valeri Agency, we are committed to doing all that we can to sustain a clean, healthy environment for our children and grandchildren. With that in mind, we offer the following tips that can be applied to pretty much any workplace.
Any office green initiative logically starts with a recycling program. Most communities have municipal recycling programs in place. It is important that you understand and participate in those.
Include in your employee manuals a section on how to appropriately dispose of batteries, light bulbs and the like. Employees should be trained on the proper ways to recycle printer cartridges.
Make reusable lunch items readily available for your workers. This includes plates, cups, water bottles, etc. Emphasize the need to use and reuse items that eliminate extra trash headed to the landfills. Provide your employees reusable lunch bags – might make a great logo item for you to invest in.
Establish printing procedures that cut back on waste. These include but are not limited to cutting back on color printing, using both sides of paper and eliminating printing entirely where possible by using electronic record-keeping.
Put visible recycling stations throughout your facility and require your employees to use them for newspapers, cardboard and other items that can be recycled.
Also, create organic stations to recycle coffee grounds, leftover food and other biodegradable items.
In Kenosha, there several sites you should make yourself familiar with. These include the City of Kenosha public works department recycling site. Also, Kenosha County has a recycling site and sponsors annual electronic recycling drop-off days.
If your company has a fleet of vehicles, put in place a plan to convert to energy efficiency as one of the purchase priorities. This may take time, but will save you money in the long run.
Reward employees for carpooling or traveling to work via public transportation. Make it easy for employees who choose to ride a bike to work to do so – lockable bike racks are a start.
Employers can save a lot of money by taking a few practical, easy and not always so obvious steps to conserve.
A good first step is to have an energy audit conducted by your provider. Here in Kenosha, WE Energies offers programs to businesses that will audit, analyze and monitor your ongoing energy usage. They will educate you and your staff on a variety of energy-advice including available rebates.
One of the simplest steps you can take to cut back on your electric bill is to convert your company to energy-efficient LED lightbulbs. They are a little more expensive on the front end, but they last a long time and will save you money in the long run.
Also, develop a plan to “power down” at appropriate times. This includes temperature adjustments when your employees are not at work as well as specific programs to shut off lights and computers when they are not in use.
As our workforce matures, the younger people coming on board have a keen appreciation of our environment and support efforts to preserve our planet. Putting in place programs and initiatives designed to make our world a cleaner safer place for generations to follow can be both fun and productive.
Appoint someone (possibly on a rotating basis) to oversee your company’s recycling and energy-saving efforts. Empower them to be creative – use company logo items as incentives. Award logo items like reusable cups, lunch bags and the like to make it fun.
Centralized water stations encourage employees to abandon their addiction to plastic bottles.
Schedule quarterly meetings with the sole agenda topic being workplace environment ideas.
Encourage your employees to participate in neighborhood cleanups and Earth Day festivities, such as the annual event at Gateway Technical College.
The Valeri Agency is proud to be environmentally conscious. Our location, near Lake Michigan, and in the great, environmentally attractive State of Wisconsin, gives us a stronger commitment to helping our business customers put environmental programs in place.