Ever since the industrial revolution, we have been drastically altering our climate by spewing millions of tonnes of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Scientists have predicted that by around 2040, we’ll have entered a danger zone, where the effects of climate change will cause serious global impacts. Some even argue that there’s nothing we can do now to prevent it – it’s already too late! But would you rather sit back and watch the world burn or at least try to save it? Any decent human would opt for the latter and this is what you can do to help in your London workspace:
A simple way to help save the environment is to switch off any electrical equipment when not in use. This could be by turning off lights in empty rooms, using programmable thermostats that only run when the office is occupied or switching off unused computers. On average, around half of the energy that enters our buildings is wasted so making these small changes can have a huge impact.
Purchasing energy-efficient appliances is another simple way to help the environment. People are often put off buying such appliances because they tend to cost more, but because they waste less energy, they last longer and therefore actually work out to be more cost-effective. A good example of this is light bulbs. The more energy-efficient ones have a higher sticker price than their less efficient counterparts, but the difference in average lifespan more than makes up for this.
With the recent improvement in technological infrastructure and the ability to work remotely, telecommuting is a great way to reduce air pollution and fuel consumption. As well as reducing your carbon footprint, it has been scientifically proven that a change in scenery can help improve your concentration. You should, therefore, consider working away from the office at least once a week.
For all the other times when you need to commute into the office, consider your mode of transport. If you’re fortunate enough to live close to your workspace, walking and cycling are the best options to reduce your environmental impact. One of the worst options is driving. If you absolutely have to use this method of transport, try to rideshare.
Reuse and recycle
In this day and age, a lot of information is stored electronically. This means workspaces are now able to use much less paper, but there are still other improvements to be made. A simple way to help the environment is to recycle your waste. Rather than having one bin for your entire rubbish, consider having two or three separate bins – one for paper, one for plastic and the other for general waste. This ensures that any items that can be recycled are sent to the appropriate places, rather than being dumped in our already overflowing landfill sites.
Although recycling is actively encouraged, it still consumes energy. Before you throw an item away, consider reusing it. For example, water bottles can be used several times before recycling. If you need to purchase items such as workspace furniture, look out for sturdy recycled goods. Sturdier items tend to last longer, which means they can be reused many times, and recycled goods are obviously more eco-friendly.
Although our planet’s surface comprises about 70% water, only a very small amount of that is freshwater. This means we have an extremely limited supply that is drinkable. It’s therefore important to remember not to unnecessarily waste it. There have been many droughts in recent years, even in London. Although dirty water can be cleansed at a water treating plant, the process takes time and consumes a lot of energy.
In the workspace, examples of ways to save water include switching taps off after use, only filling kettles up with as much water as you need, and not continuously running water when washing any dishes. Propelair is an example of a company that has created a great product to conserve water. They’ve essentially reinvented the toilet and made it a lot more eco-friendly.
Lastly, an unusual but highly beneficial way to save the environment is to go green – literally. Adding houseplants to your London workspace decor is a great way to get rid of air pollutants and toxins, making the air a lot fresher and therefore healthier to breathe. They’re also proven to help stimulate ideas and create a more attractive work environment. The rubber plant and the spider plant are particularly good at improving the indoor air quality. You should check out The Stemm for a whole range of great indoor plants.
There is a lot more we can do to become more eco-friendly and help save the world from climate change. For starters, most of these practices can be extended to our lives outside of the workspace, so integrating them at home is highly encouraged. Spreading the word about the dangers of climate change and promoting an eco-friendly way of life to family, friends and colleagues is also a great idea to consider. You’d be surprised at the impact simple word of mouth can have.
The problem with climate change is that because the dire consequences are not yet evident to the majority of people, and because we cannot be 100% certain what will happen, not enough people are convinced to change their daily behaviour. It is important that as influential businesses and also as individuals, we each encourage eco-friendly changes, however small these may be. Local actions add to global solutions.