Our new office assistant, Queena, has recently taken charge of helping our Hong Kong office reduce its waste and go greener—so being environmentally friendly has been at the forefront of our minds.
Working in communications can make it especially difficult to stay eco-friendly. Printing a piece of copy can give tired eyes a much-needed screen break during tasks such as proofreading and editing, and physical proofs are an essential part of the design process.
However, there are many simple ways—both big and small—to go greener.
1. Only print what and when you need to
Obviously, the best case scenario would be for everything to go 100% digital. However, sometimes that aim is impractical, so the next best thing is to lessen your impact as much as possible. Only print when you really need to, use single-sided paper, and recycle the sheet once you’re done.
2. Eat an eco-friendly lunch
Rather than advocating a vegan lifestyle (although that’s certainly no bad thing for the environment!), we mean the very act of eating lunch. Don’t rely on plastic and packaging from local stores or restaurants; bring your own tupperware, cutlery, and refillable water bottle, reduce waste by taking leftovers home, and—if possible—recycle food waste in the office.
3. Turn off appliances when they’re not in use
Everyone will remember their parents getting angry over lights left on in unused rooms, and that life lesson continues to the office. Turn off any unnecessary lights, printers, computers, dehumidifiers, and other appliances, use energy-saving and standby modes where possible, and keep your air conditioning to reasonable level (even when it’s humid and muggy, don’t set it too cold).
4. Buy green to begin with
Every part of the office cycle can be affected by a green mentality. By buying eco-friendly and sustainable office supplies and stationery and supporting environmentally-conscious brands from the get-go, you’re making a difference with no discernible change to your normal routine.
5. Appoint someone to keep everyone on track
Finally, think long term. Even the best intentions can quickly fall by the wayside. To ensure your office is on a permanent track to a greener future, appoint someone to implement and promote green practices, continuously assess compliance with green office guidelines, and even organise staff training workshops to promote environmental awareness.
For us, this eco-warrior is the aforementioned Queena, a Personal Assistant in our HK office! This step is recommended by the Hong Kong government, so is an excellent way to commit to making a difference.