5 ways to help your workplace go green

16 October 2017 4 minute read

All our urban projects – from planting an new community woodland, or orchard to building Edible Playgrounds in schools to inspire the next generation – are all centered on the belief that we are happier, healthier and more connected when we invest in our cities green spaces. But when we put down our trowels and rest after a busy planting day, how can we make sure the rest of our day encompasses our passion for green cities? Our partners, Bulb, know a thing or two about being green. Not only are one of the UK’s leading green energy suppliers, they are  always on the lookout for ways to go green at work. Here, they share their top tips for being a climate change hero at work:

1. 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.

2. 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 at Bulb:

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. We have one which invites members to help develop our app – you can see it here.
Typeform – this is brilliant for surveying your team or getting information ahead of an event.

3. 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.

4. 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’ choice (sorry!) 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.

5. 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.

Donate to Trees for Cities and together we can help cities grow into greener, cleaner and healthier places for people to live and work worldwide.