American office spaces burn a lot of energy, and this causes a smaller bottom line and damage to the environment. Fortunately, there are numerous ways to reduce the energy used at the office. The following are just a handful of simple ways to make your office into a more efficient place to work.
Shut Down Computers
Image via Flickr by louis abate
Many are under the impression that by setting computers to hibernate, or turning monitors off, they are saving a lot of power. Doing this does cut energy consumption, but not by much. To effectively and noticeably cut down on energy consumption, completely turn off all computers at the end of the day. It may seem like a waste of time, but the effect on your office’s power usage will be tremendous. This is particularly true if you have a large number of computers running throughout the office. And beyond the benefit of saving energy, many computers run more quickly and efficiently during the day when then have had the chance to shut down and restart. If at all possible, consider shutting off power strips at the end of the day as well to completely eliminate unnecessary leaking of energy.
Consider New Lighting
The lights in most office buildings contribute considerably to the building’s energy consumption. Florescent tubes are common place in many offices, so if you aren’t already utilizing this energy efficient and long lasting bulb, consider switching as they offer high savings and low energy consumption. Also, many offices have windows that offer a sufficient amount of lighting, and can justify turning off some overhead lights. Consider utilizing natural light when possible, and using other types of lighting, like desk lamps, to reduce the need for overhead lighting and create a more comfortable atmosphere. Natural light in the office has also been proven to improve mood, enhance office morale and be less irritating to eyes.
Make Green Initiatives a Community Effort
The best way to get everyone to take part in any kind of energy saving plan is to make it a community or group effort. Take a look at your office’s energy consumption and determine which areas could be more cost effective. Educate your employees on the process, and what their contribution can do to save the company money, and help the environment. Consider implementing incentive programs for employees to make an effort to reduce energy consumption. When you make it fun and get everyone involved, you may be surprised at the enthusiasm and participation you receive. Sources like saveonenergy.com have more information on ways to save energy and make a community effort.
Implement and Encourage Recycling
Recycling should be an option for employees in every office, and is easy to implement. Did you know every plastic bottle you recycle saves on average as much fuel as it takes to drive to your office for a week? Your employees probably don’t either, so use facts like this to motivate them to recycle in the office and it may carry into their personal lives. Getting many people in the habit of recycling may seem small in the grand scheme of the world, but it will begin adding up immediately and works towards make a global difference. Encourage employees to recyle daily, and try to keep track of how much is recycled weekly or monthly, and share the stats with the office.
Create Motivation to Make Real Changes
Motivation over the long term stems from having something to lose and something to gain. Incentives and competitions are great, but also provide information to employees as to why it is important for your company to become more energy efficient. Yes, the savings are excellent, but the corporate social responsibility you are engaging in is just as, if not more important.
Offer weekly encouragement by posting energy conservation facts around the office, or create a weekly email that will keep the crew motivated to make a difference.
There is a lot you can do to cut energy costs in your office. The above are just a few that you can start immediately. What are some energy-saving practices you’re implementing around your office?