Towards a Green, Energy-Saving Workplace
What does the term “going green” mean for you as far as your workplace is concerned? Environmental initiatives can be at once very simple to suggest, and simultaneously very difficult to implement. Also, there are a number of different paths that an office can take when it comes being eco-friendly. Recycling, for instance, is always a popular tack, requiring little more than the appropriate recycling bins for different types of waste, a few signs to remind people to “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle”, and a brief awareness campaign for employees on the benefits of returning waste material to be reprocessed into usable goods instead of letting it collect in a landfill or garbage dump somewhere.
Another excellent direction in which to take a workplace that is attempting to paint itself green is in the realm of energy conservation. The significant electrical resources that the average office consumes to power lights and electronic equipment annually can become quite prohibitive, which not only leads to a really high utilities bill, but a lot less fossil fuel out there for the world to use. These policies can easily be adopted in the workplace, with a little information campaign, and a few energy saver signs.
Signs? It may seem like eco-friendly signs don’t accomplish much compared to, say, penalizing irresponsible employees for wasting resources. University research on the power of suggestion, however, clearly demonstrates otherwise. The fact is that an energy saving sign is a cheap and efficient method of subtly reminding employees that an environmental policy exists in the office, and gradually warm up to the idea that it doesn’t really take that much effort to participate.
For instance, a simple energy saving sign that tells people to turn the lights off after use, and not flick the switch for more lights than are actually necessary, will compel workers to think twice about how they typically waste electricity. A similar sign for electrical appliances does the same for all that equipment that stayed plugged and operational long after people have checked out for the day. Computers may at last be turned off after use, or placed in sleep mode if they are going to be left running, to be returned to afterwards.
One may not think that recycling saves energy, but it aids just as capably in overall resource conservation. Consider that one of the essential components of plastic is oil, which even the most optimistic of scientists will admit is a resource that will eventually run out. If the disposable plastic bottles and packaging that are routinely thrown away are instead rotated back into circulation, that saves on the amount of plastic that has to be manufactured anew. Consequently, that means less oil that has to be expended to make new plastic. A recycling sign will help people remember to put their plastic trash in a recycle bin, especially if placed in the breakroom and other common areas.
The power of sign suggestion cannot be denied. University research has shown that people are more susceptible to performing an act if they see a sign instructing them to do it on a regular basis. In this manner, a couple of well-placed energy saving signs would do well to promote a green workplace.