Although many people may be model green citizens at home, new research has revealed that when we arrive at work we tend to leave our environmental consciences behind. Cora Lydon shares 12 ways offices can start making a difference.
© George Doyle
At home, it’s second nature to pop your newspaper in the recycling bin and switch off lights as you leave the room. But a November 2009 survey by Tickbox.net/Opinion Matters has revealed that we’re failing to undertake these simple actions when we’re at work.
When surveyed, just over 40 percent of people admitted that while they recycled plastics at home they failed to do so in the office. In addition 33 percent of people were guilty of leaving on electrical items in the office at the end of the day, something they say they would never do at home.
So why are we dragging our feet in the office?
As Vikki, 28, a secretary in a firm of chartered surveyor, puts it: ‘When I’m at home it’s my responsibility to deal with my waste and be as environmentally-friendly as I can be. Choices I make at home, such as turning my heating down and reusing paper, are also partly driven by the need to save money.
'In the workplace, though, I feel it is not just my responsibility to go green. My company doesn’t have an eco policy in place so few of my colleagues make an effort to be greener. Plus, any cost savings are for the business and as I know I won’t benefit there’s less of an incentive there.’
James Strawbridge, eco expert and co-presenter of the BBC series It’s Not Easy Being Green, agrees. ‘I think at the moment a lot of people are struggling to convert how green they are at home to how green they are in the workplace,’ Strawbridge said.
‘They might recycle at home and be conscious of their waste but as soon as they enter the workplace environment they’re not sure how to proceed with environmental practice.’
So what can you do to help put a stop to all this green lethargy in the office?