Reducing carbon footprint in the office

Climate change has been in the centre of national discussions in recent years, especially during big catastrophes. Various documentaries were created that discuss this topic.

These documentaries may have varying angles but one focal point can be seen across all of them – we, human beings, are the reason and solution for global problem in climate change.

Scientific background

Meanwhile, several studies reported that excessive carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions were found to be the primary cause of climate change. The studies conducted carbon foot printing in order to trace down the increase in carbon emissions and its corresponding impact in the environment. It was also found that the significant increase in CO2 emissions started during the Industrial Revolution where burning of coals, oil and gas pertinent in the production of energy. One would only imagine the amount of carbon dioxide human beings have produced overtime.

Studies conducted reiterated that as we are the ones liable for the increase in carbon dioxide emissions, it is just right that we provide the solutions. And the best way to do this is by decreasing carbon footprint.

First, what is carbon footprint?

Carbon footprint is the total of carbon dioxide emissions being generated by an activity, a person, or a company. Carbon footprints can be from industrial emissions of carbon dioxide through industrial burning of fossil fuel, from consumption in transportation like automobiles, and from domestic power consumption like water heaters and furnaces.

Climate change is very real and its effects are currently being experienced. Decreasing our carbon dioxide emission will dramatically help in solving the problem. All efforts, even seemingly futile, will help in the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions.

How your company can help

The good thing is that your company can do its part. The following tips can help you reduce carbon dioxide emissions in your office.

  • Switch off electricity. When you leave the room, make sure to switch off all electricity like lights, this will help in decreasing power consumption which in turn help in the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions.

  • Conserve paper. If you can email the file or have it copied on the USB, the better. The file need not be printed; you can instead email or have the file copied in your USB. If printing cannot be avoided, print on both sides to help in minimise paper usage.

  • Use natural light and ventilation. If natural light is sufficient, try to use it. Likewise, get fresh air by switching off your air conditioning unit or by lowering its temperature.

  • Unplug all unused gadgets and appliances. Even if you are not using them plugged appliances are also using minimal power.

  • Exercise. If you don’t need to or if your body permits it, take the stairs as much as possible. This will not only save power consumption of elevators, also serve as an opportunity for you to exercise.

  • Switch to energy efficient appliances. Switch to appliances with lower energy requirement. For instance, use compact fluorescent light bulbs instead of incandescent lights.

  • Promote proper waste disposal. Improper waste disposal also contributes to carbon dioxide emission. Do this by placing well labelled trash bins for metal, paper, cans, and biodegradable products.

  • Carpool. An effective way to reduce automobile carbon dioxide emission is by carpooling. Using one car instead of 10 is a great way to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

  • Bike or walk to work. If your house is near your place of work, you can opt to ride a bike or walk to work instead of using public transportation or bringing your own vehicle. With this, you help reduce CO2 emissions at the same time have your daily exercise.

  • Minimise plug load. The lesser the equipment that need to use energy, the better. As such, you could share printers or copier with your officemate.

  • Reuse. Practice re-using of equipment. Refrain from buying many equipment if a computer or printer still functions properly.

  • Get the employees involved. Reduction of carbon dioxide emissions will be significant if many people would join in. Engage employees by making them understand the various ways they could help.

Cooperation is indeed the key to reduce our carbon footprints. The above examples may seem too simple and quite insignificant. However, if more people will practice these, the goal of reducing C02 emissions is a lot more possible.

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