Global Warming in the Office
November 18, 2011 @ 02:46 PM | By Anusha Karnad
What is global warming? It is often debated, but lately even scientists who said it wasn’t real are changing their views. Global warming is when the earth heats up (the temperature rises). It happens when greenhouse gases (carbon dioxide, water vapour, nitrous oxide and methane) trap heat and light from the sun in the earth’s atmosphere, which increases the temperature. This affects people, animals and plants. Those that cannot take the change evolve or become extinct. There are lot of contributors to global warming, and it is increasing day after day.
It is November here in India. Winter arrives every year with chilling waves of cold air and sprinkles of water from the sky most days. For the past two to three years, we’ve seen warmer days, even in winter, which is alarming to many of us and indicates that the earth heating up.
Can we avoid this? Maybe not, but we can surely try to make a difference.
Regardless of your opinions on global warming, there’s no denying that we can all do things to at least save our resources, starting in the office where we spend most of our days.
Here are some tips to get started:
- Educate yourself and others about global warming.The more facts that you have, the more you can persuade others to make simple yet effective changes in daily behaviour.
- Influence your colleagues and management to replace old phones and email instead of printing documents.
- Encourage your company’s facility team to provide recycling bins, composting, etc.(15-25% of people do not recycle).
- Use compact fluorescent bulbs, are better for the environment. And, when a room is empty, remember to turn off the lights.
- Before you print, decide if it is really worth printing or maybe you can save an electronic version to your desktop. If you do have to use paper, go with those generated from recycled paper, then recycle it when you’re done.
- Switch off ovens, microwaves or coffee pots when you’re done and unplug them when not in use.
- Speaking of unplugging devices when not in use, that goes for electronics. Even when they are turned off, they use energy. So make sure to unplug chargers, laptops or speakers when you aren’t using them.
- Place a few indoor plants in your cubicle, entrances or pantry areas to get some extra oxygen flowing, not to mention adding a decorative touch.
- Cut back on plastic by bringing your lunch in a paper bag (instead of plastic) and get a refillable water bottle. In my office, our HR team has given out metal water bottles so we can reduce our use of plastic ones.
- And last but not least, cut your carbon emissions by working from home a few days a week or replace a trip with audio conference calls or online meetings.
Have you ever experienced the calmness, the coolness and the serenity of nature? Do you take a week off to relax in the lush green nature? Help preserve that by implementing even just a few of the tips listed above.
How does your office treat the environment? Do you have recycling policies in place? How about travel guidelines that ask you to consider conferencing instead of travel?