Shared economy, shared burden: why coworking spaces can become trailblazers in green working environments
Did you know that Americans use 2.5 million plastic bottles every hour? At Bond Collective, we’ve experienced the overuse of plastic first hand when we noticed that one of our locations went through over 1,000 cups in one week alone. Once we realized the environmental footprint that we left each week, we immediately knew that something had to change in the way that our spaces were being run.
It’s easy to go on with your day and not remember that each and every move you make affects the environment. That thought is multiplied by over 1,000+ of our community members, so it’s important to for our staff to keep being environmentally conscious top of mind to minimize the harm we are doing to our environment.
Recently, we’ve taken this from an important thought with mediocre action, to a full on initiative across our 150,000 square foot (and growing!) shared workspace portfolio. This can be a challenge in office buildings that have certain code restrictions, need to reach commercial standards and that can house upwards of 500+ people in any given day. How do we encourage our community at large and our own staff to think before printing that email, to not use paper plates/cups, or to flick the light off when they leave the room? While there’s still admittedly a lot of work to be done, we feel proud of the steps taken thus far to create a more environmentally friendly office environment and continue to look for new ways to improve our efforts.
If you think about it, coworking and shared workspaces are in themselves helpful to the environment. Instead of companies each taking individual commercial space, we lessen the environmental impact by providing a luxury workspace where our staff pushes the office to “go green” while you focus on your business. All of our locations are in close proximity to the subway, Citi bikes, bus, ferries, PATH, etc. creating environmentally friendly commute options rather than needing to drive your car to work every day. Need some environmentally friendly ideas? You can find coworking-specific tips from our of resident members at Flatiron, Sara Weinreb, here!
Our community shares printer centers and kitchens, creating a shared economy and mini ecosystem within a few floors. At Bond Collective, our staff and members share the responsibility to actively work to improve the environment; we are in this together. Specifically, we have some important initiatives in place that our members can take part in:
Using mugs & glassware instead of plastic and styrofoam
After noticing the huge amount of plastic and paper cups, dishes and bowls that were being used daily across all Bond locations, we decided to take action. Every location now has branded glassware and mugs set out in prominent places to encourage usage of the reusable option versus plastic or paper. We have already seen a significant, positive shift from our usage of 1,000 plastic cups in one week at just one location. Now we see more members grabbing the glassware (it's a better option for beverages anyways!)
Every Bond Collective location features recycling bins not only in the kitchen, but also next to every copy center. Our Facilities staff is especially proactive in ensuring the recycling and waste created in the space is sorted in the most environmentally friendly way. Recently, we launched a hugely successful Compost Program at Bond Gowanus. In just 2 weeks, we diverted about 420 lbs of food waste! That 420 lbs (190.509 kg) is the equivalent of about: 361.97 kg of CO2 emissions & 32.32 days of electricity consumption for one household (over a month). This idea was sparked from our community members themselves, so it really is a team effort!
Gowanus Green House
Our location in Gowanus, Brooklyn has been at the forefront of creating an eco friendly community and space. Thanks in large part to a wonderfully active and environmentally conscious community, several efforts have launched at Bond Gowanus and gone portfolio wide. We are very excited to announce that our outdoor space in Gowanus will soon feature greenhouse installations.
Switching to Wine & Beer on Tap
When Thursday afternoon rolls around, often times than not, our members are reaching for a nice cold beverage to round out the week. We completely understand! However, beer glasses/cans, wine bottles, etc. don’t always end up in the recycle bin (we’ve all been there). So, to alleviate the risk of not recycling the frequently bought six pack of beer or case of wine, we’ve switched to kegs all around! Now, you’ll find either beer, wine and kombucha kegs at every single one of our locations. This is an environmentally friendly alternative that produces no waste what so ever!
We are excited to continue to announce more environmentally friendly initiatives across Bond Collective locations. One amazing benefit of coworking and shared office spaces are the collaborative ideas that form from communities working actively together for a cause. We enjoy working with our communities to better the environment and welcome ideas of all shapes and sizes! Swing by Bond location for a tour and we can show you some of the initiatives mentioned above first hand. If you have ideas on how we can continue improvement, we would love to know, comment below!