We all know that indoor air contains all the pollution you have outside, plus the one produced inside by activities such as cooking, washing with cleaning products, smoking, and building materials. But, how can we play our part in tackling office pollution?.
The Woman Post | Catalina Mejía Pizano
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As reported by The Lancet, 800,000 people die every year due to the poor air quality in their workspaces. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, the term “sick building syndrome,” describes situations in which the people that inhabit a building face acute health effects that are linked to the time spent in a building, but no specific disease is diagnosed. The causes of sick building syndrome may be inadequate ventilation, chemical contaminants from indoor sources, chemical contaminants from outdoor sources, biological contaminants, or the combination of these elements.
It is worth noting that currently there are no strict rules that regulate the standard of air we breathe in workplaces around the globe. However, during 2009, the World Health Organization developed guidelines for indoor air quality. The UK’s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence developed guidelines for indoor air quality and homes, and in the USA, the EPA developed guidance that is not mandatory. The Woman Post gives you some insightful tips to make your office more eco-friendly and efficient:
1. Stop the Use of Plastics
Instead of using single-use plastic cups, be sure to always bring a reusable water bottle and encourage your colleagues to do the same.
2. Use Non-Toxic Cleaning Products
Various cleaning products contain dangerous chemicals that can be harmful to our bodies and the environment. One way to use non-toxic ones is to ask the cleaning company hired to use green products. If this is not possible, consider changing to a cleaning service that does.
3. Go for Renewable Energy
Nowadays there is easier access to wind energy by wind farms or solar energy by rooftop installations. If this sounds like too much work, you can always ask your electricity supplier to offer a green energy plan which includes energy generated by renewable sources.
Also read: 5 JOBS THAT WILL BUILD A SUSTAINABLE FUTURE
4. Limit the Use of Heaters and Coolers
It may seem like a difficult task to provide the perfect temperature to suit all employees. However, you can always make small adjustments such as implementing a casual dress code in warmer times of the year. Making your HVAC systems are in optimal conditions, can also help you save energy.
5. Create a Green Committee
Organize a group of employees that will lead the office towards making more green decisions. They can also be helpful by instructing the other members to implement sustainable practices.
6. Bring a Desk Plant
This is a great option to improve indoor air quality and to bring nature to the office atmosphere. Plants can produce more oxygen and increase the well-being of people.
7. Select Offices With More Natural Light
According to the World Green Building Council, employees working near sunlit windows have a 15% higher production rate. Relying more on natural light also saves energy.
8. Unplug Devices at the End of the Day
Remember to always turn off computers, printers, copiers before leaving to reduce energy usage. Another helpful tip is to set monitors to shut off after periods of no use.
So what are you waiting for to implement some of these insightful tips? Besides improving your health, future generations will be thankful.