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Environmental protection in the workplace

08/06/2020 ARTS as employer

Pollution before work

The environment is already being harmed on the way to work. Every second professional worker travels by car in Germany. So that the environment is spared from the exhaust gases, the public transport or bicycle alternative can be used. However, if the commute takes a lot of time, it is advisable to start a carpool. Ask colleagues who live in your neighbourhood or on your way home when they finish their work, and agree a fixed time. By carpooling, you can not only reduce carbon dioxide emissions, but you can also save petrol costs. By carpooling, you can not only reduce carbon dioxide emissions, but also save cash. Even with a commute of just 30 km, you could save around 45 euros a month. (With consumption of 5.6 l per 100 km and a petrol price of 1.27 euros.)

When you get to the building, there is the next problem - the lift. What is that all about? At the beginning I didn't know either, until I got involved with the issue. For three floors, lifts use as much CO2 as a car that travels a distance of 500m.

The solution is obvious. You get moving, and you have done something for your health. Speaking of cars - it is also an environmentally friendly thing, rather than going on a business trip, to use Skype instead, provided that it is of course possible. The wallet is spared, you save time, and the CO2 emissions are reduced.

Environmentally friendly power saving

Every day the computer is used and yet there are some things that can help the environment.

Screensavers waste a lot of energy. When the screen saver is activated, both the screen and the graphics card is charged, and consumes energy unnecessarily. If the computer is not used for a while, it should either be off or in standby mode. Turn off all connected equipment after work and over the weekend. To ensure that all devices really are switched off, the so-called master-slave sockets are an advantage

but with these the equipment must not be switched off manually.

Even with the overhead lights there is potential for power-saving. On a summer morning the ceiling light is often not needed - it is in the winter. But during the day it is lighter outside and the lights can be left on inadvertently, thereby much energy is used by the overhead lights. Make sure that the lighting is only on when it is needed.

Frequently switching the lights on and off can also lead to increased electricity consumption. Energy-saving lamps, in particular, need more electricity when they are switched on. The reason for this is that a ballast unit is installed in the base of the energy-saving bulb. The energy-saving bulb is illuminated by a brief discharge of gas - without the ballast unit, the bulb would explode. If you leave a room briefly, it is recommended that you leave the lights on; if you are away for a longer period, switch the lights off.

Even in winter you can contribute to environmental protection in the workplace. Especially during the cold season heating plays a central role; after all, it should be warm in the office. But do not overdo it, and don't turn the heating on full. As little as 1°C less can save 6 to 10 per cent of heating costs.

It is to do with the little things

Some everyday office activities can lead to environmental pollution, even if many see this as a trifle. Especially a thing that I do every day in office really surprised me. It's about "googling". According to Google, by inputting the proper known Internet address in Google, 0.2 grams of carbon dioxide is produced. Scientists even assume that values could be higher.

When you google something, several servers are used, and they are often in far-flung data centres. This speeds up the search - but often also uses more energy. So in the future the exact Internet address should be entered directly in the address field.

The next step for a green world is to save paper. Because paper lands in the bin mostly because of misprints; on average every German uses about 250 kg of paper per year. Simply use the printed sheets, and wastepaper such as envelopes, as scribbling paper; so less paper is wasted, and the purse as well as the environment is protected. A tip from me would be for example to have a box installed near the printer. Keep used papers in it, and then you and your colleagues can reuse the paper as notepad. Then printing is also to be considered. Is it necessary to print everything, or it could simply be processed digitally? Act in line with the motto: "Think before you print". If it is unavoidable, it is advisable to print on both sides with small font sizes.

Since some waste does accumulate in the office, it is advisable to sort it. If everything is thrown into the residual waste bin, valuable raw materials are burned. This would mean that by incinerating the refuse more greenhouse gases are produced, and this contributes to global warming. Therefore, it is environmentally friendly for the world and for us, if waste sorting is observed in every household and business - again a reminder: plastic goes in the yellow bin, paper in the blue, organic waste in the brown and residual waste goes in the grey bin.

Environmental Protection at ARTS

Environmental protection is of greatest importance for ARTS. We have been acting for many years on the SCC rules (safety, health and environmental protection regulations). In our office we have a so-called solid ink printer. The text can be printed with wax or Colorsticks that become liquid through the heat on the paper instead of toner or liquid ink. These Colorsticks are non-toxic compared to toners and printing costs are low.8 However, we use electronic documents mainly in order to use less paper. So we save not only on paper but also on energy. Because we always work with modern, energy-efficient appliances. On top of that there is with us a special light switch at the reception area which switches all the other lights in the office on and off. So only that switch needs to be used in the evenings.

Briefly, small measures can actually have a big effect. Thus, we contribute not only to protecting the environment but also save a lot of money and time, and do something good for our health. Have you already made arrangements for environmental protection in the workplace? Or do you have still more environmentally conscious tips?

Sources: n-tv | oekoside.de - Umweltschutz | co2online | AVERY | heise online | oekoside.de - Stromsparen | Wikipedia 

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