Be Green: 10 Steps to Keep Your Employees Healthy

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Article written by Barbara O’Brien,  20 July, 2011

Being an employer is more than just providing an energetic and productive work atmosphere; it is setting an example.

The environment in which your employee’s work is actually more important than the type of job they are doing. Regardless of whether your company is in a high-tech, eco-friendly industry, providing a healthy work environment is more important than any output.

Being green is more than just providing an eco-conscious product but ensuring that those staffers working in your offices remain healthy. Beyond your company’s output, it is critical to ensure that your office is as eco-friendly.

The health impacts of these important changes are partially short-term: they provide an environment that ensures the long-term health of employees but also the relative impact on the Earth.

Ultimately, by being a role model, by providing an environmentally conscious work atmosphere has more influence than just producing low-impact products.

  • Filter Your Office Water
    Stop providing bottled water. Stop providing water coolers. You are contributing to the already high plastic pollution. Instead, install water filters on your taps. Even better: install water-saving faucets with filters. This will ensure that your employees are drinking healthy and uncontaminated water but also reducing your waste output.
  • Reduce
    Technology is our friend and an environmental savior. By reducing the amount of paper used throughout your office will, clearly, reduce the amount of paper recycled. Further still, by reusing old paper will be a cost and environmental saver. Encourage your employees to reuse or even not use paper. Of course, if it is necessary, use recycled paper.
  • Recycle
    Virtually every thing in a typical work environment can be recycled. From ink cartridges to old copiers, there is an eco-conscious life after relative expiration. Encourage your employees to recycle everything from paper, ink, batteries, keyboards and even cell phones. Set an example.
  • Compost
    In most large companies, there are on-site delis or cafeterias. Beyond just the waste and recycle bins, provide a container for biodegradable products, like banana peels and tea bags. This vital compost can fertilize gardens, and even encourage your staff to grow a garden that can be used for internal use.
  • Update HVAC Units
    Surprisingly, circulating polluted air is a silent killer of your employees. According to the EPA, air pollution still runs rampant. By updating your HVAC units, you are not only providing clean, healthy air to your employees, but saving money. For your return-on-investment, not only do governmental agencies – local, state and federal – offer financial incentives to update outdated units. Allow your employees to breathe safely and freely.
  • Replace Hazardous Materials
    With older commercial spaces; there is a prevalence of asbestos products. From ceiling and floor tiles to insulation and wiring systems, these products put your employees in a health crisis. As buildings age, products and systems fail, allowing toxins, including asbestos to leak and circulate through the HVAC systems. By replacing these items, not only protect your employees but also reduce your overall energy usage. Not only do these hazardous toxins cause mesothelioma, a disease that is common to constant exposure, the treatments are far behind the epidemic.
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