Clementine writes for Bulb – the renewable provider making energy simpler, cheaper and greener. Bulb came to my attention because they are a B-Corp (watch out for a blog on that later) – a company that operates by strict ethical standards accredited under the B-Corp certification. They’re on a mission to make green energy a mass movement – you can find out more here. Clementine has provided this guest post on 5 ways to help your workplace go green. With September marking a return to work mentality for many, why not make some ‘new year’ resolutions? Over to Clem –
At Bulb, we’re always on the lookout for ways to go green at work. We won’t bore you with what you already know but here are our top tips for being a climate change hero at work:
Get everyone a KeepCup
Coffee: however you like it, there’s a good chance your day starts with a cup of the good stuff. There’s also a good chance you get it from a coffee shop in a disposable cup. Most paper cups are coated with a plastic resin, such as polyethylene. This helps to make the cup more sturdy and convenient to hold. But, it also makes composting or recycling the cup pretty much impossible. Most end up in landfill.
At Bulb, we found a way to kerb our paper cup addiction: we got every member of the team a Keepcup. They’re the best reusable cups out there and we promise they don’t compromise the quality of your coffee. They even have fancy glass ones for true coffee snobs. And for the bean counters among you (see what we did there?), you could even save some cash. Bring yours to your coffee shop – they might just give you a discount.
Go green with digital tools
We all know we can reduce our paper consumption by printing less, but the greenest paper is no paper at all. At Bulb, digital tools help us to be as paperless as possible. We use Google to go green. We don’t do filing cabinets; we use Google Drive to store our files. We don’t print files when we’re working on something together; we use Google Docs to share and collaborate.
But it’s not just Google who make it easy for companies to go green. There are tons of great apps which help avoid a trip to the printer. Here are a couple of our favourites:
Trello – this is great for working with people who aren’t in the building with you. It saves them from journeying in all the time. And you can invite people to join on a large scale with open Trello boards.
Typeform – this is brilliant for surveying your team or getting information ahead of an event
Green up your office space
When we said we wanted to help your workplace go green, we meant it. Literally. In our building, there are over 3000 plants. It’s a veritable forest in here.
Plants have multiple superpowers. They purify the air around them by getting rid of toxins from fuels, furnishings and clothes. They also improve your concentration, memory and productivity. Just looking at them makes hospital patients heal faster. You are basically a better version of you with plants around. Unsurprising really, when you think where we came from.
We recommend Patch – they know all about what plants will thrive in your work space. Even if it’s a tiny box with little light.
Set up a ‘cycle to work’ scheme
The Department for Transport did something quite cool in 1999. They made it possible for you to get a bike completely tax-free and pay for it over time. If you purchase a bike through the ‘cycle to work’ scheme, you can save up to 42% on its high street price. And, it’s free to join for both you and your employer.
This wasn’t just a present they fancied giving us – it is better for you and the planet if more of us get around by bike. At Bulb, we went for the Evans cycle scheme because they have an en-cyclo-pedic (sorry!) choice and do lots of discounts. The scheme is open to any employer, big or small, in the private or public sector. You can get set up in a day – send your boss here to sign up.
Switch to renewable energy!
Switching to renewable energy is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint. In fact, it has a big impact. Every year, the average Bulb member saves 1.9 tonnes of CO2 from entering the atmosphere. That’s like taking 1.3 cars off the road! Imagine what impact you could have if your workplace switched. After all, the business sector is the largest consumer of power in the country. It purchases over half of all the UK’s electricity.
Take inspiration from giant multinational Unilever who went green across the UK this year. In their Marmite factory, thousands of tonnes of Marmite waste is even converted into methane. This generates 50% of the onsite gas usage – you’ve gotta love it now!
There’s plenty of good suppliers out there who can supply green energy to your business. But just so you know, Bulb is about 20% cheaper than the Big Six so could help your company save money too! You can get a quote here.
As ever, we’d love to know your thoughts on our tips. Reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org or drop in on the Bulb Community.