Sustainability is something that is no longer a buzzword for niche product designers and architects – it is a concept that has slowly become ingrained in our daily lives.
However, as environmentally minded as we try to be (turning lights off, not having extra-long showers) when it comes to the workplace, it can be difficult.
But it doesn’t have to be. Here are Bayut.com’s tips on how to recycle and reduce waste in your Dubai office:
Watch the printing!
One of the top ways that people tend to struggle when it comes to the workplace is with indiscriminate printing. We print everything from memos to emails to spreadsheets (that often require a second print since we didn’t size the paper correctly the first time!).
While it’s easy to simply say, “print less”, we know that it’s not always possible. Sometimes you just work better from a printed sheet than a laptop screen! Or you have that one colleague who needs to print everything out before he can work.
We recommend buying recycled printer paper. Green Planet Recycled Paper (in your standard 80gsm) is a good way to kick-start some sustainability from the get-go.
We also suggest actually learning how your printer works…! What we mean is, learn how to print double-sided, both from your machine and by feeding paper in. If you’re not particularly tech-savvy, ask someone who is – from the IT support staff to a colleague.
Of course, the best solution would be to go paperless. And if you choose this route, you’re in good company. At a Smart Dubai initiative launched last year, Shaikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai announced that the city’s government would become completely digital in a few years, conducting “its last paper transaction in 2021.”
Lose the paper cups
You show up to work at the same place every day, and probably knock back a few cups of coffee and water before you leave in the evening.
Do you really need a new paper cup or plastic cup each time? Once again, it would be a good idea to switch to recyclable cups if you really must use a new one, but a far easier (and better solution) would be to simply get your own mug or thermos from home and refill it as you go. Yes, it involves a little extra effort on your part to wash up, but is that really worse than contributing cups to a landfill each week?
Install Recycling Bins
By far the most obvious of the options, a lot of offices tend to struggle with actually kick-starting their recycling. However, thanks to the city’s vision and commitment to sustainability – it really couldn’t be easier!
You have two options when it comes to recycling bins:
- Head to a supermarket and pick up some large bins. Label them accordingly (paper, glass, plastic) and have a well-meaning staffer be responsible for taking to a recycling station in the city. This, however, works best for small offices or if your company has smaller departments or teams.
- Call up an office recycling service in Dubai, and get them to do the heavy lifting. From paper to electronics, you’re not short of options for commercial entities. Dulsco will come to your office, perform a complete waste management audit, provide colour coded bins and collect the bins on a regular basis. They’ll even provide you with a monthly report so that you know your efforts are not going to waste! Another company, EnviroServe will recycle old or unwanted electronics for you (or organize donating them to a charity), in a safe and internationally certified manner.
- Remove personal bins at everyone’s desk or workspace, but install central recycling bins or dustbins. While this may sound counter-intuitive (and will probably evoke some annoyed sounds) from your team, by making people get up to throw their waste away, they tend to produce less of it.
- If you are shifting offices and have a large amount of furniture that you plan on throwing into a skip, don’t. TakeMyJunk is a fantastic service that will come by to your office, load up your unwanted furniture, sort them, repair them and either donate or sell them at attractive prices to low-income communities. Best of all, it’s completely free!
- Schedule a recycling awareness day in the office. If you opt for a recycling company to handle your waste, then they will probably have a service where they can come in and educate your staff.
- Consider offering initiatives for teams or departments that produce the least waste each month – from free lunches to being able to leave early on a Thursday, the notion of competition is sure to kick-start something sustainable!
We hope these tips help you and your office lead a greener, healthier life that’s good for the environment! For some tips on how to make your life at home a little more sustainable, check out this article on how to make your house green or better yet, simply rent a villa in The Sustainable City!