THIS POST INCLUDES:

1. Environmental impact of an office
2. Help the environment
3. Save money by being green in your office
4. Free Download Help the Environment – Office Checklist

ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT OF AN OFFICE

We all have an impact on our environment through the resources that we use. A modern day office has its unique challenges when considering the environmental impact of our activities. We try to run our office efficiently, effectively, and to help our clients. We also must consider operating costs and the impact that decisions we make in the office can affect our ability to make an income.

Below are five primary ways an art therapy practice can impact environmental resources:

1.Office operations and waste
2.Energy
3.Transportation
4.Water
5.Art therapy practices

Simple actions can add up over time. If you are not undertaking any active measures in your practice at the moment, you can choose a few simple changes to make in your office. This might be as simple as turning off all equipment once you go home each night.

Engaging in green practices in your business has the benefit of making a positive contribution to the world around you. It also provides you with the opportunity to assess your therapy practice operations to see if any cost savings can be made by engaging in more green focused activities.

As art therapists, green activities can focus on operations of the office, however, it can also refer to the activities undertaken when carrying out art activities.

SAVE MONEY BY BEING GREEN IN YOUR OFFICE

Undertaking environmentally conscious activities can sometimes create an additional cost to the way we conduct our business, however, much research indicates that undertaking environmentally positive activities can often save money for businesses.

For some businesses, the largest impact comes in the form of making behavioural change to environmentally friendly activities. Examples of this include turning off all electronic equipment as you leave the office each night instead of walking out the door and leaving everything running. However, this is also an example where behavioural change (turning off equipment), can save operating costs (reduced electricity bill).

Below are some environmentally friendly activities you can undertake in your private practice. The list is not exhaustive and only serves as a starting point to the types of activities you can undertake in your private practice. You can choose to add your activities to make the list specific to your private practice activities.

You can also download these activities in a downloadable checklist:

OFFICE OPERATIONS AND WASTE

  • Add plants to the office or a garden area outside the office
  • Avoid single use dishware
  • Compost office foods or donate to community composting groups
  • Encourage green behaviour. Eg make recycling bins accessible
  • Implement paperless office strategies
  • Print on both sides of paper when printing
  • Purchase products with minimal packaging
  • Recycle or donate electronic devices
  • Recycle paper, metal, plastic, and glass
  • Use green certified cleaning products
  • Use rechargeable batteries
  • Use recycled products for promotional materials

ENERGY

  • Ensure windows and doors are appropriately sealed for energy efficiency
  • Monitor energy use
  • Set computer monitors and printers to sleep mode after 10-20 minutes of non-use
  • Turn off computers each night
  • Turn off non-emergency lights each night
  • Turn off or reduce thermostats outside of office hours
  • Turn off your computer monitor when not in use
  • Undertake cleaning activities during business hours where possible
  • Use appliances with Energy Star ratings
  • Use energy efficient lighting
  • Use laptops instead of desktop computers where possible
  • Use renewable energy systems where possible
  • Use sunlight instead of electrical lighting where possible

TRANSPORTATION

  • Implement carpool strategies for staff where possible
  • Incentivize staff to carpool, walk, bike to work
  • Shop locally to reduce transport impact
  • Use teleconference and videoconference technology
  • Work from home on non-client days

WATER

  • Assess exterior hoses and interior taps for leaks
  • Introduce water saving (low flow) strategies
  • Measure water use
  • Replace paved areas with landscaping and green alternatives
  • Reuse any water run off for plant watering
  • Use cold water where possible instead of hot water
  • Use tap water instead of bottled water

ART THERAPY PRACTICES

  • Avoid aerosol products
  • Explore the use of digital art making where suitable
  • Reduce use of plastics
  • Reuse household products for storage, art effects etc
  • Use art materials with long shelf life to reduce throwing out
  • Use containers to clean brushes instead of running water from the tap
  • Use items from nature where suitable eg. leaves, twigs, flowers etc
  • Use natural based art mediums
  • Use raw materials where suitable
  • Use recycled art materials, eg. papers, pencils etc

FREE DOWNLOAD: Environmental Office Checklist

SIGN UP below to download the FREE Environmental Office Checklist to help you identify areas in your office that you can implement or improve to make your office more environmentally friendly.

Environmental Office Checklist
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Reduce the Environmental Impact in Your Office
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