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How to Green Your Office In A Trashy Way

Tom Szaky | Monday December 13th, 2010 | 1 Comment

If you’re a green company, should you likewise have a green office?

Some would say it depends on how public facing your company is, how curious your customers are, and how much they care. Others would say that no matter how visible the “behind the curtain” aspects of your company are to the rest of the world, having a work environment that walks the talk just as much as the rest of your company and its offerings do is a crucial thing.

Why?

Because employees, especially the upcoming millennial generation, will be that much clearer that your company is one they can deeply invest themselves in, be proud to be a part of, and tell others about. When they do this, It’s a powerful, authentic endorsement of your business that, via the social media channels that are becoming an everyday part of people’s lives, can be amplified and spread broadly. A no cost form of marketing if you will.

And I don’t have to tell you that stability of your employee roster is just good for business.

We as a company have always been about seeing more and better ways to reuse what otherwise would have been waste. After 9 years in business, it struck me: Why don’t we turn our upcycling talent towards our own work environment, and in showing others, inspire it happening in their work environment too?

Take a look:

As you can see, we took our valuing transparency a bit literally with our new conference rooms, whose walls are made entirely from stacked plastic bottles! It’s been a bit of an adjustment, but interestingly, having any sort of of delineation of a space and its use tends to have people comfortably adjust to using it as normal, still having the space they need.

When we looked at redoing our work surfaces, we found that not only can it be done sustainably, but also affordably.

Take our desks for example: They consist of reclaimed doors, stacks of former cat litter plastic containers for legs, bolstered by the sturdy core roll that we get our pre consumer packaging waste from companies, and scalloped LP vinyl records for dividers. All of these resources didn’t take any additional energy to produce, and their cost was trivial.

The flooring was likewise reasonably procured, squares being cut from remnants, creating a cohesive, professional look, that can easily be maintained over time, squares of carpet being swapped out after wear and staining have had their way.

It’s my hope that by sharing this, you see that “going green” at the office need not be a stale, costly, burdensome affair. I say, involve your staff in submitting ideas, and depending on the company culture, helping implement them!

Readers: What’s your thoughts on the value of greening office spaces, and what ideas do you have to do it interestingly and affordably?


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  • http://www.recyclingzychal.com Taryn Zychal

    Looks great Tom, very organized and clean! a big improvement from how I remember it looking a while back when I was freelancing there :)