Former Chief Scientist Officer

Martin Lloyd Sanders | Creating a Green Workplace

Martin Lloyd Sanders | Creating a Green Workplace

Adopting sustainable practices in the workplace does not only help save the planet or mitigate the devastating effects of global warming; going green promotes your employees’ health and safety too, says Capt. Martin Lloyd Sanders, Chief of Safety for the Department of Health and Human Services. From improving air quality to preventing work-related injuries or illnesses, there’s a lot to be gained from going green, insists Martin Sanders.

The best part about making the office more environment-friendly is that you don’t need to make drastic changes, spend a lot of money (you’ll actually be saving), or put in a lot of effort. Adopting sustainable practices and living a greener lifestyle requires very little effort, says Martin Lloyd Sanders; the key is to be more aware of your daily habits and actions that contribute to pollution.

Image Source: Biofriendly Planet Magazine

If you haven’t yet adopted sustainable practices in the workplace, here are five easy ways to help you get started.

1. Go paperless

Documents piled on tables, stored in filing cabinets, or stashed in boxes are a fire hazard. They can also affect air quality as they gather dust, says Martin Sanders. Moreover, reams and reams of paper are a waste of money. For the planet, your employees, and your business, go paperless. Emails, presentation and documentation software and apps, accounting and invoicing software and e-payments are just some of the ways that can help you reduce your paper waste. Whatever your business needs or whichever areas in operations that you rely on paper for, you can be sure to find a digital application for it so make sure to check, says Martin Lloyd Sanders.

Also, when you go paperless, you are reducing or even altogether eliminating your use of the printer which means you won’t be buying toners anymore. Toners contribute to air pollution as they release a toxic pollutant called volatile organic compound (VOC). VOCs can cause headaches, nausea, and asthma, among others.

2. Let more natural light in

Open the curtains and let more natural light in. Studies show that natural light helps regulate the body’s circadian rhythms, and is also a good source of vitamin D. Sunlight may also help improve mood, boost mental health, and enhance productivity, says Martin Sanders. If you want to create a happier, healthier workplace ambiance, let the sunshine in.

3. Replace fixtures, equipment, and appliances with energy efficient counterparts

Replace light bulbs with LED bulbs as not only are they more environment-friendly, they’re more energy efficient too, which means lower energy costs and longer usage of the bulbs. Office appliances and equipment that have been around for years need to be replaced too. Your old office equipment and/or appliances may not be Energy Star certified yet, which means they are using more energy than their modern counterparts. Energy efficient appliances that are Energy Star certified means they have undergone and passed strict tests and regulations, which were put in place by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to help protect the environment, shares Martin Lloyd Sanders.

Stay tuned for more occupational health and safety posts from Martin Lloyd Sanders.

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