On the way to a green(er) office

08/18/2022 12:40

Almost every day we read news about debates on protecting the environment and the climate. A sad truth is that we should have pushed for environmental protection and the expansion of renewable energies much earlier and with greater commitment. Even now, when these issues are more urgent than ever, the political mills grind agonisingly slowly.

But there is also consistently positive news for the protection of climate and environment. Because in the working environment (and of course in private life as well), a number of environmentally friendly measures can be implemented very quickly and with very little effort. cp.max has identified the following simple possibilities and has already implemented most of them:

- Photovoltaics is one of the most environmentally friendly and cheapest ways of generating energy [1]. Another great advantage of solar power generation is that many people can actively participate. Virtually anyone who owns a roof or a balcony can operate a small or a larger system, depending on the space available.

Nevertheless, many company buildings unfortunately still do not have a photovoltaic system. This is actually surprising, since a photovoltaic system is also financially worthwhile and installation is not very costly.

In addition, a PV system can save more CO² than most of the other measures mentioned here.

Simply ask a PV provider to make you a non-binding offer! In the course of this, it will already be clarified how many modules can be installed on the roof. A good solar installer will also calculate how much solar electricity you can consume yourself and what the expected financial return is.

- A photovoltaic system can also be combined well with a charging station for electric cars. These technologies can be used particularly advantageously in the workplace: With working hours from morning to afternoon, the PV system on the company building consistently supplies electricity. An electric car parked here can be optimally fuelled with self-generated solar power during this time.

This "fuel" is much cheaper than petrol and diesel, and due to mass production and improved technologies, solar power is even becoming cheaper and cheaper.

- Electric cars can represent an ecological and financial advantage over cars with combustion engines. But the whole truth is, of course, that it is best not to drive a car at all.

Those who can use public transport or even the bicycle do the greatest service to the environment. And fortunately, there are now also electric bicycles, which can then be charged again with PV electricity. :-)

- It seems to be particularly rooted in the German urge for order that all lawns must always be neatly mown. Natural meadows, however, offer a much greater wealth of species than cut lawns. It is therefore a precious habitat for the dwindling number of beneficial insects.

And the natural meadow offers another advantage: It is much less work than a lawn. On the "Summende Gärten" portal, an article on this topic is very aptly titled: "Biodiversity through laziness" [2].

- In offices, warehouses and workshops, conventional fluorescent tubes are often still in use. As long as they are not defective, they are usually not replaced. Due to the clear superiority of LED fluorescent tubes, however, it makes sense to replace all old fluorescent tubes immediately [3].

The major advantages of LED tubes are that they consume about 50 to 60 % less energy and last much longer than their predecessors. Conventional fluorescent tubes also contain harmful mercury, which is not the case with the LED equivalent [4].

- It is hardly surprising that the use of recycled paper protects the environment. However, the extent of the benefits is astonishing: The production of recycled copy paper saves about 70 % water and 50 % energy compared to conventional paper [5].

At the same time, recycled paper can hardly be distinguished from new paper. It is offered in different brightness grades ("ISO"). For example, recycled paper with ISO 100 is almost as white as fresh paper. Lower ISO values mean a darker paper. The differences in brightness are achieved solely by sorting the waste paper. In order to keep as much waste paper in circulation as possible, it makes ecological sense to use paper that is as dark as possible. This is also cheaper than lighter paper and often cheaper than freshly made paper.

To make sure that the highest environmental standards are met and that no chemical brightening of the waste paper takes place, they should only buy recycled paper with the Blue Angel [5].

Of course, these are just a few suggestions. There are certainly many more useful suggestions. Especially pleasant: there are few obstacles to implementing these ideas and, at least in the long run, they all save money.


PS.: Even though these suggestions were primarily created for a green(er) office, some of them can of course also be implemented very well at home.

If you are interested in environmental and energy policy issues, we recommend the current comments and assessments by Hans-Josef Fell [6]. He has been committed to renewable energies for decades and is considered one of the fathers of the Renewable Energies Act (EEG).


[1] Deutsche Welle: https://www.dw.com/de/faktencheck-ist-atomenergie-klimafreundlich-was-kostet-strom-aus-kernkraft/a-59709250

[2] https://summende-gaerten.de/nie-mehr-rasenmaehen-artenvielfalt-durch-faulheit/

[3] https://www.hochschule-trier.de/hauptcampus/technik/ies/energiegewinnung-und-verteilung/projekte/energieeinsparung-ersatz-von-leuchtstoffroehren-gegen-led-leuchten-in-schulzentrum

[4] https://www.ledlager.de/blog/led-leuchtstoffrohren-lichtwunder-mit-stromspareffekt/

[5] https://www.umweltbundesamt.de/umwelttipps-fuer-den-alltag/haushalt-wohnen/papier-recyclingpapier#hintergrund^

[6] https://hans-josef-fell.de/

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