5 Things Your Business Can Do For Earth Day

“You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.”

Jane Goodall

In anticipation of Earth Day, we here at WiseStamp are taking a good look at our work space and our office culture to see how we can become more environmentally friendly.

After searching high and low for ideas on greening our office, and looking at other businesses to see what they are doing right, we came up with a list of our favorite five tips.

We’re sharing the list with you, and letting you know how we’re doing with each tip.

We hope you’ll share with us, too!

1. Decorate With Plants

Benefits to the Environment:

By turning toxic chemicals in the air into food, plants act as natural air purifiers.

You’ll find a more scientific explanation here.

Benefits to Employees:

In the words of Mary Poppins, “A thing of beauty is a joy forever.”

Plants add color and cheer to the office. That much is obvious.

But did you know that plants lower stress, increase creativity and improve health?

“Buildings and office environments appear more calming and simply a nicer place to be when plants are present. They are more interesting, colourful and relaxing. The effects aren’t just psychological either, physiological effects such as lowered blood pressure are also proven benefits of a greener office. Plants also enable us to perceive our surroundings better, we feel more comfortable and this, in turn, reduces stress.”

Amazing, right?

How’s WiseStamp Doing?

See for yourself!

Meet Avi the Avocado, “The Other Avocado” (we’re working on a name) and Dudi the Palm:

WiseStamp Plant 2

WiseStamp Plant One
2. Green Your Commute

Benefits to the Environment

In the U.S., people spend a combined 3.7 billion hours driving to and from work which translates into 23 billion gallons of gas, resulting in astounding amounts in greenhouse gasses and other pollutants. 

Imagine how much cleaner our air would be if more people walked, biked, took public transportation or carpooled to work. 

Benefits to Employees

Not sitting in traffic makes for less stressed employees who get more exercise. 

In addition to that, fewer cars on the street makes for less noise.  

Depending less on cars may feel like a big change for some, but a little encouragement goes a long way.

How’s WiseStamp Doing?

We’re doing pretty well.

Many of us telecommute once or twice a week, which has its own environmental benefits, and most of us depend on public transportation to get to work.

Here’s Lev, Customer Happiness Hero with his bike:

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Lev and his Bike

No wonder he shows up at work energized and ready to help you with your signature! 

3. Depend on Natural Light and Energy Efficient Lightbulbs

Benefits to the Environment

Fluorescent light bulbs are somewhat energy efficient, but the mercury they contain makes their disposal harmful to the environment.

Incandescent light bulbs are less energy efficient and also contain mercury.

This comparison speaks volumes.

Benefits to Employees

Dim or artificial light can cause headaches, eye-strain, and drowsiness, none of which belong in the workplace.

Bright, artificial light isn’t much better and is linked to higher anxiety and fatigue.

The research on the connection between natural light and productivity in the workplace is astounding.

The best kind of light comes through the window (skylights are fantastic, when possible), but energy efficient bulbs with the proper wattage are the next best thing.

Cool, white lights increase serotonin in the body, which helps keeps employees stay focused and awake.

How’s WiseStamp Doing?

We’re looking into lightbulbs, but we do appreciate our natural light:

Windows in WiseStamp Office
4. Bring Your Own Lunch in a Reusable Container

Benefits to the Environment

Food deliveries and take-out mean more disposable packaging. Not good.

When food deliveries involve cars, the problem gets even worse.

Reusable lunch bags and containers, like the ones made by reusit.com, are a great help to the environment:

“Well before the problems associated with massive over-consumption of use-and-toss bags had hit people’s radar, ReusableBags.com® was launched to wake people up to the issue. We’ve been instrumental in thrusting this issue into the public consciousness – from inspiring hundreds of news stories to empowering individuals with practical products and activist tools.”

While you’re at it, you can cut down on even more waste by using real dishes (which has the added benefit of making the office feel more homey), using a water cooler or metal water bottle and brewing full pots of coffee instead of using pods for individual cups.

Benefits to Employees

When it comes right down to it, homemade lunches save you money:

More importantly, because you decide on the ingredients, lunches you make yourself are usually healthier.

Need some menu ideas? Here you go.

How’s WiseStamp Doing?

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Well, we like lunch deliveries and take-out. But we do have a kitchen, which helps us cut costs and eat healthier.

WiseStamp's Kitchen

Now that we’re more aware of the facts, we’ll try to do better.

5. Switch to Eco – Friendly or Homemade Cleaning Products

Benefits to the Environment

It takes over 6.2 billion pounds of chemicals to clean commercial buildings in the U.S. each year.

The chemicals spilling into rivers, streams and oceans are bad enough for the environment, and their landfill clogging packaging only adds to the problem.

Luckily, eco-friendly cleaning products, like Seventh Generation, are a great alternative.

Making cleaning products from scratch is even better.

Here’s how:

Here are more recipes for cleaning products.

To take this a step further, switch from paper towels and disposable wipes to reusable rags and sponges.

Benefits to Employees

The research on the link between chemicals used in common cleaning products and health is a little frightening.

It’s true that eco-friendly cleaning products can be expensive. But healthier, more productive employees save companies money in the long run.

How’s WiseStamp Doing?

We’re working on this one.

But we do use rags and towels instead of paper towels whenever possible.

The Takeaway

If you’re a small business, you might not be able to completely follow in the footsteps of larger companies like Samsung and IBM.

But even following one or two of the suggestions mentioned here will benefit you, your business, your colleagues, and the earth.

Happy Earth Day!

What are your favorite tips for greening your office? How do you plan to make your office more eco-friendly before Earth Day, 2017?

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Written by Melissa Fragiadaki
Melissa is WiseStamp’s blog administrator and loves delving into topics of interest to small businesses. She’s an audiobook fiend, podcast connoisseur, and adventurous traveler who enjoys writing lines of code as much as she enjoys writing pages of fiction.