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6 Ways to Make Your Office Greener

You’ve heard all about the dangers of climate change among others. Contribute in your way by improving your office practices.

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BY Melissa G. Bagamasbad - 25 Aug 2017

make your office greener

PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images

Making sure your enterprise is environmentally sound may seem like quite an inconvenience, but there are upsides to it. Marla Tabaka, in this Inc. article, suggests that going green in your start-up, while essential for survival, shouldn’t entail too much cost.

Below are tips we gathered from entrepreneurs on how they’ve made their start-up sustainable:

1. Go digital as much as possible

We all know how wasteful it can be to use reams of paper for reports or presentations. Pragmanila Solutions, Inc. in Manila, for example, has almost totally abolished the use of paper and has saved in expenses, too. “We’ve gone paperless on almost anything — HR, payroll, attendance, leave filing, etc. We built our own systems and connected all of them to make the company paperless. Not only does it help the environment but also helps in reduction of expenses,” says CTO Dwight Badua.

2. Use reusable cups, tumblers, utensils

Letting go of plastic straws in favor of metal and paper ones have become a popular practice this year. The same can be done for other items. “Encourage everyone to bring their own mugs from home instead of providing paper or plastic cups,” says Jennifer Non, yoga teacher and marketing head at Tapp Commerce.

3. Make your own meals to work

This will save you from the paper and plastic waste you accumulate from take-out food. Plus, you are also able to see what goes into your food and can save more, depending on what you cook.

4. Attend environmental forums

Green Convergence member, Sarah Lontoco, says that these forums can help teams be more environmentally conscious. Their organization runs this for free, all year round. “It’s a free public forum and we are after citizens ready to listen and be aware of what’s happening in the environment. We don’t do violent actions, just open discussions,” she says. Research around your community for forums of the same nature and try to get your employees to join in. Think of it as another form of team-building.

5. Work from home once in a while

Juan Oposa, Stanford masters student on environmental and energy law, says that while the above practices might work for brick and mortar offices, another thing to consider for entrepreneurs is to work remotely. This can conserve energy as well as transportation expenses and fuel, among other things.

6. Upcycle

A lot of start-ups do recycle, and they do so in quite an interesting manner. For Builtable Coworking in Manila for example, Adriel Tan, co-founder and architect, says that since they are a fabrication lab, they generate a lot of scrap metal from workshops that are usually gathered and reused. “An example would be upcycling the unused wood from our furniture workshop and forming them into smaller objects like pencil holders and bookends,” he says.

On reducing the amount of waste in the office, Tan adds, “We have a rewards system which as of now is a simple reward points on a leader board and give prizes for waste reduction.” He says that through this, the members are made aware of each other’s progress and there is a newfound consciousness that makes members think about ways to reduce waste.

Another enterprise, Rags2Riches, creates eco-ethical fashion and home accessories out of upcycled and overstocked cloth. “As much as possible, we try to create zero waste by using all the resources we already have on hand. This is part and parcel of practicing sustainable processes in everything we do,” according to the write-up on the enterprise’s site.