10 Tips for a Greener Healthier Office

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Receptionist

Green Office

Have you thought about finding ways to go Green at the office? Going green can do wonders for the environment and it can also be better for your health.

Think about it: Someone with a desk job sits in the same spot for a third of the day, five days a week, and is regularly exposed to certain elements such as stuffy air or fumes from chemicals. The result can be the development of periodic drowsiness, allergies or even physical ailments.  

Here are 10 tips to improve the overall office setting as well as keep production flowing:

  1. Toxic cleaners: They do the job but can release harmful fumes into the air that can cause sickness due to poor ventilation. Whether commercial cleaning services are hired by a company or employees take turns doing the chores, the use of eco-friendly cleaners should be encouraged.
  2. Air filters: Because of regular usage filters from heating or air conditioning systems can get clogged.  When dirt collects and they are not cleaned the filth gets re-circulated throughout the indoor space and efficiency is reduced. Filters should be changed or cleaned every few months to assure fresh indoor air.
  3. Recycling: It’s no secret how much waste offices produce, which is why recycling stations for paper and plastic should be set up near easily accessible locations.
  4. Reusables: Employees should be encouraged to use non-disposable utensils and cups and taught to be aware of water conservation when washing.
  5. Lighting: Using compact florescent light bulbs (CFLs) will reduce energy costs and eliminate the heat generated by incandescent bulbs. It will also discourage the production of incandescent models which have more of an environmental impact than CFLs.
  6. Natural Light: Too much sun isn’t good for people but natural light can be an important mood enhancer that can make the difference between working through a stressful project and getting stressed out. When remodeling or building additions,  rooms with more natural light should be prioritized for employees.
  7. The Commute: If possible encourage employees to carpool or take public transportation. Although it’s nice to sit back in one’s own car, if more of us traveled together pollution could be reduced.
  8. Plants: Studies have shown that plants can purify indoor air. For this reason, and the fact they make nice decorations, add plants to the office.
  9. Smoking: Cigarettes are still on the market which means people still smoke. Make sure smoking zones are outside and away from entrances and windows so the smoke doesn’t enter the building and non-smokers don’t need to walk through the zones.
  10. Pest Control: Snacks are often part of the workplace but sometimes this also brings bugs and insects with it. For example fruit will often attract fruit flies. If an infestation develops find eco-friendly ways of fighting them rather than spraying toxic substances that could be harmful to everyone.

Jakob Barry writes for Hometalk.com, a growing community of homeowners and contractors getting the most from their resources by sharing and monitoring projects together. He covers various eco-friendly home improvement topics including Green living   and Housecleaning services.

10 Comments

  1. These are great tips! I definitely need to work on the commuting one more, for my health and that of the environment’s!

  2. Thanks for sharing these reminders, Inger. I too have room for improvement.

    “See” ya at the Picnic!

  3. Hi Inger, I just posted the instructions for the Picnic Game. Oh I do hope you can play. If’ you’re thinking about it, hop on over to check it out. The letters are going quick!!!

  4. LoL, And well you should be:) YOU are going on a picnic and you are bringing the letter L. “See” Ya there!!! Awesome!!!

  5. Great list, thanks for sharing! I did a similar post (but for the home, not the office) on my blog recently. I really like this post though because it’s a lot harder to control our office environment, and these are great tips. Check out my post if you’d like: http://healthyheartandsoul.blogspot.com/2011/03/reducing-toxins-in-home.html

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