Greening yor new office - 7 May 2009
The Enviropaedia Team have just moved into new offices, and we have tried to keep our move as green as possible. Here are some tips, based on the simple steps that we took to achieve our green-office goal.
- When painting your space, use environmentally friendly wall paint. As well as benefiting the environment (less polluting by-products in manufacture) you will also be creating a healthier work environment by using paint that does not contain volatile organic compounds (which can cause headaches and nausea when inhaled). For our new office, we used Pro-Nature paints.
- As much as possible, use existing carpeting to prevent wastage. We have left the horrible grey carpets in our office, but added some natural texture and colour with a sisal rug. If you simply cannot stand the existing carpet (there are some pretty hideous ones out there), install new carpets that are made from natural and renewable fibres, such as hemp, coir, jute or sisal.
- Instead of buying expensive, plastic-based office furniture, we found a local company (Restorabilia) who we commissioned to make us desks out of a beautiful alien wood, using local labour. We also re-used an antique African coffee table that had been lying around the garage, and painted it white to give it a funky, contemporary look.
- As much as possible, make use of existing natural light in your office, and make sure that any lights are fitted with compact florescent bulbs, or LED’s, which use considerably less electricity than incandescent bulbs. You can get environmentally friendly lights from Pick and Pay, as well as most good lighting stores.
- To keep your office warm in winter, use an environmentally friendly heat source, rather than an electricity munching fan or oil heater. We invested in two gorgeous Biofires, which are smokeless, and which burn ethanol (made out of the by-products of crops, such as sugarcane)
- And lastly, for the health and happiness of your staff, fill your office with plants. Plants give out oxygen, look lush and abundant, and give our offices a great jungle feel.