6 More Essential Secrets to a Healthier Office & Happier Hours
Are you still suffering from the 9 to 5 GRIND? Do you suffer from any of these symptoms: headaches, eye, nose, or throat irritation, cough, dry or itchy skin dizziness and nausea, difficulty in concentrating, depression or fatigue? Then, be sure to read Part I of this article and let’s move you from the GRIND to the GREENED.
- See the light.
Artificial lighting accounts for more than 25% office energy use. Reduce office electric bills by using light‐emitting diode, LED, bulbs instead of the more popular energy efficient, compact fluorescent bulbs: CFLs. Although LEDs are initially more expensive, swapping out incandescent bulbs can save $700 over its lifetime!
- Conserve Paper.
Paper makes up 40% of trash – more than any other type of landfill waste. Printed proposals, emails and documents cause the average employee to use 10,000 sheets of paper a year. Also the paper making process in itself causes deforestation, water pollution and demolishes habitats of thousands of animals. When buying paper look for recycled products like the post‐consumer recycled content paper that does not rely on newly cut trees. Also, go digital and be sure you only print what is absolutely necessary. Finally, pay your office bills online and avoid printing unnecessary handouts.
- Avoid Electromagnetic Pollution in your Office.
With the increased use of wireless office laptops, wireless mouse & keyboards and cell phones and PDA’s, many people are literally becoming ill from the 21st century office. Make sure to utilize cable modems when ever possible and implement air tube wireless head sets or speaker phone during extended cell phone use. Remember, distance is key!
- Use Eco‐Friendly Cleaners.
The National Research Council estimates that fewer than 30% of the roughly 17,000 petrochemicals available for use have been tested for their effects on human and environmental health. This is why it is important to use healthy organic cleaning products. Recommend to your facility manager that he or she should utilize cleaning companies that use greener cleaners. If this can’t be changed, at least make sure you’re wiping down your office with eco‐friendly, healthier multi‐purpose cleaners.
- Beware of the Office Break Room.
To often people like to watch their food cook in the microwave and unknowingly subject themselves to harmful microwaves. Make sure to be at least six feet away from the microwave when it is in use. Also another concern is unfiltered water from the kitchen sink. Tap water is poorly regulated and most water public utilities test for only 100 chemicals out of potentially 1,000’s that can be present. Convince your office manager to invest in a reverse osmosis or carbon based water filter. This will provide you with a better source for cleaning fruit brought to the office and better drinking water.
- Don’t trash it.
When throwing out old office electronics make sure to dispose of it in the proper manner. In many states in the US it is illegal to throw out old electronics and you can incur a fine. Instead, look for community recycling events or local drop off stations that will recycle and reuse salvageable materials. In addition to electronics, be careful in the disposal of your Ink cartridges. They can take up to 450 years to decompose. Instead, recycle your old ones and on your next purchase, opt for refilled cartridges, which cost up to 75% less than new ones.