Going “green” does not refer to a color but rather an attitude about the environment. Its scope is wide as there are many ways for humankind to negatively impact the environment. In a nutshell, it is really all about the sound utilization of resources and preserving natural elements. On a daily basis, people may or may not knowingly participate in going green through simple activities such as using recycled paper bags instead of plastic bags and turning lights off when not in use.
While going green may seem like a campaign for environmentalists, it has tangible benefits when implemented in a commercial office setting.
- Appeal – Deciding to create an environmentally sound workplace can boost a company's appeal to both employees and clients. It may not be obvious, but due to growing environmental and energy concerns, a large percentage of the population feels very strict about this subject. A green office space can help gain the approval of individuals who support such a cause.
- Spending – Another tangible benefit of going green is to help reduce company spending by improving efficiency in the usage of resources as well as energy. Things like using recycled paper, using natural lighting and turning computer monitors off when away are a few things that could eventually lead to expense reduction.
- Environment – Last yet equally important is it helps the environment. No matter how it is looked at, most resources are non-renewable such as fossil fuel which is still the most common source of generating electricity. While there are some renewable sources such as trees, it take decades to restore one tree. Utilizing resources can easily lead to more efficient usage of non-renewable resources and sustainability for the renewable ones.
Improving building efficiency requires competent utilization of energy-consuming appliances, lighting and water.
- Appliances – Most appliances today such as televisions, computer monitors and air-conditioning units are equipped with energy-saving features that can automatically shut off when not used for a certain period of time. Upgrade older appliances since technology is much more energy-efficient than decades or even years ago. If such an option is not possible, the most effective way of saving energy is to simply turn off appliances when not in use.
- Lighting – Illumination is a critical element in any office space; it is also one of the most wasteful ones. When changing light bulbs, choose CFL bulbs that are the most efficient in terms of light intensity per watt of electricity. Another way to improve efficiency is to use natural lighting. If an office space is fortunately enough to have large windows, using natural light along with artificial light to get the right intensity could be ideal for working while decreasing energy consumption.
- Water – Improve water efficiency by using auto shut off faucets for sinks, waterless urinals, and low-flow toilets. While these upgrades have a high initial cost, such an action will be beneficial over time by reducing the amount of the water bill.
In conclusion, going green is not just a fad; it should be a part of everyone's lifestyle – even at work. It is possible to implement office changes that can have a great environmental impact. While some steps may require an initial investment such as upgrading to energy-efficient appliances or waterless urinals, it is a wise investment that will benefit a company financially and most importantly preserve the environment!