The weather may be getting warmer and sunnier, but you don't have to wait until summer is in full swing to enjoy and contribute to nature in your facility. In fact, there are many simple ways you can update your building to bring a bit of nature and eco-consciousness inside. There are a host of office hacks that can be implemented to make your facility more sustainable. Not only is this good for those who are looking to live a greener lifestyle, but it can provide benefits to efficiency and your wallet as well.
Your building probably already has a recycling program. But did you know that recycling can extend far beyond the familiar blue bins your tenants are used to seeing next to the garbage can? Recycling paper is certainly a good move for the environment, but if that's all you're doing, you're just scratching the ecologically sustainable surface, and potentially missing out on some important benefits in the process. You can't recycle food scraps, but you can compost them. Setting up a bin in common areas to encourage tenants to start composting is environmentally conscious and provides you with useful compost-based fertilizer that is excellent for maintaining your outdoor grounds.
You can also recycle energy. Boston University recommended putting lights on a timer or motion sensor in less-trafficked areas of your facility to keep you from burning power while nobody's around. This can help with your energy efficiency management. Installing electric dryers in bathrooms to replace paper towels can help you cut inventory costs, since that's one less item to have to buy.
Going green - literally
One step you can take in being more environmentally conscious is bringing part of the environment into your building. More than an aesthetic boost, certain plants and flowers have demonstrated air filtering qualities, which can supplement or even obviate your conventional air filters in some areas. According to one source, plants can not only filter out carbon dioxide and provide stimulating oxygen, but some plants are even capable of filtering harmful or carcinogenic particles in the air - all without the need for expensive mechanical air filters.
Green walls, also known as living walls or vertical planting systems, are becoming more popular in recent years. They can climb the entire length of the interior of your building, offering the natural filtration benefits of plants to every floor. What's more, such walls can be planted with ivy or other types of creeping vines, which don't need soil to take root and save substantially on upkeep time, effort and money.