Last weekend I had some extended family and friends stay over for a belated birthday celebration. I always love to have a house full of people, and this time was no exception, but what struck me this past weekend was how I found myself doing things like continually switching off lights in empty rooms and unplugging phone chargers still connected to the outlet sans phone.
What has become an energy-saving second nature for me, both at home and at ARTEMIA HQ, is obviously not the same for everyone. Yet being a little more aware – and vigilant – to the everyday opportunities of energy efficiency can make a big difference. And I can tell you that from a business point of view, these minimum effort tasks make a positive difference – not just to electric bills, but to the office mindset overall.
So, in the interest of sustainability and carbon footprint reduction, here are my 6 quick tips to help your business save energy:
1. Turn off energy-sapping devices. Whether it’s the cell phone that’s already charged, or a laptop that stays permanently, unnecessarily, connected to the electricity supply, don’t let these devices be a drain on your energy supply, or on your finances.
2. Invest in indoor plants. Bringing a little nature indoors not only creates a more aesthetically pleasing, reduced-noise work environment, it also helps combat “sick building syndrome” as plant-filled rooms contain 50-60% fewer airborne molds and bacteria than rooms without plants. Plants also act as nature’s humidifiers, making the air feel cooler.
3. Take things down a notch. By lowering the thermostat by just one degree, you can make a marked difference to your company’s energy bill. Here in San Francisco, the rolling fog makes the temperature pretty unpredictable no matter the month so we always have extra layers of clothing on hand. Treat air-con the same way and layer up to save on cost.
4. Ditch the screensavers. Really, what’s the point of them anyway? It is far better to use the power down settings, or make sure staff members simply turn off their monitors if they are away from their desks for a length of time.
5. Incentivize staff to walk or take public transportation to work. Limit your company’s carbon footprint by encouraging your staff to find a more energy-efficient way to reach the office. Clearly this depends on the office location, but finding a way to replace a stressful commute with a more healthful alternative can pay dividends.
6. Turn off all office equipment at the end of the day. Yes, the lights go out, but what about the copiers, printers and so on? All these sap energy and therefore cost. A few moments extra at the end of each day add up to big savings in the long run. What’s to lose?