Your retail space for rent in NJ may be optimized in terms of space, storage and operations, but is it energy-efficient and eco-friendly? While many businesses are starting to become eco-friendly, many have still not caught on – and that’s okay! As long as you’re willing to learn and make a change, there’s no time like the present.
So for those of you who own brick-and-mortar businesses in NJ, here are some tips that will help you make your retail space more eco-friendly. These tips are mostly geared towards businesses that are renting, but there are a few sprinkled in there for property owners as well. And of course, these will work great for a home office. Continue to read to find out some of our best tips.
Eco-friendly tips for your retail space for rent in NJ
Here are some ways to make your office space greener, so it has a smaller environmental footprint. A key benefit of this process is that it enables you to cut costs in the long run!
- Switch to LED lights
Replace all light bulbs and tubelights with the newer LED lights. Not only are they eco-friendly, but they’ll cost you a lot less while lighting up the office space better. You’ll see the difference as soon as you switch one on – the illumination they provide is extremely bright and pleasant, which is perfect for offices.
If you can afford it and your landlord doesn’t mind, consider making the switch to renewable energy. Solar energy used to be expensive, but that isn’t the case anymore – so consider making the leap! The set up costs a little bit, and then you’ll have no more expenses to worry about in the future! That’s a big chunk of your expenses gone, just like that. You’re also eligible to tax saving benefits when you switch to solar energy.
- Use natural light to the fullest
Why use artificial lighting when natural light can do the same job better, and for free? Exposure to natural light has also been linked to several health benefits. So, for the benefit of your employees’ health and your company’s bottomline, let in as much natural light into the office as possible. Choose a space that has light colored walls and large windows to increase the brightness inside the space.
ZoomInfo offers some suggestions to let in more natural light: “There are several ways to increase natural light in your office. For example, an open floor plan will allow light to travel throughout your office space. The same goes for using energy-efficient glass walls instead of drywall. Even your office furniture makes a difference: you can immediately increase natural light by moving any large furniture that obstructs your windows.”
- Make sure your HVAC system is functioning well
If your retail space for rent in NJ has started to feel too hot or too cold of late, and if your electricity bills have skyrocketed, your HVAC system may be to blame. A creaking old system isn’t just bad for your pocket, it’s also terrible for the environment. That’s because firstly, an inefficient system will use more energy, which is unideal. Secondly, an old or damaged HVAC system may cause more emissions, which will have a direct impact on the environment.
Talk to your landlord to get the system looked at, and if necessary, discuss replacement. Newer HVAC units are energy efficient and come with more features that allow you to control the indoor temperature better. Make sure you go with an energy optimized unit, and get it serviced regularly.
- Recycle all e-waste
If you’re purchasing new electronics, make sure you go to the trouble of finding a place that recycles old electronics, so all your outdated electronics don’t end up in the landfill, where they can leach toxic chemicals into the soil and water supplies. Around 90% of electric waste in the US is dumped legally – be the exception that makes the change! It won’t take long, and it’ll make a huge impact.
ZoomInfo suggests: “Instead of throwing out all those old computers, jump online and search for your nearest e-Steward. If you’re unfamiliar, the e-Steward initiative was developed in response to concerns about the e-waste of wealthy nations being dumped into poorer countries. An e-Steward will take your old electronics, disassemble them, and then recycle the materials in a safe and ethical way.”
- Go paperless
Millions and millions of trees are cut down each year to fulfil our growing demand for paper. This is creating lots of problems – climate change, pollution, desertification, species extinction, and much more. If you own a medium to large scale business, you can make a huge change just by going digital. It will save you lots of money, simplify operations, cut back on storage space needed, and be tremendously good for the environment. You can then use all that freed up space in your retail space for rent in NJ for decorating with plants and such.
Going paperless is a complex process that requires planning and time, and you may want to hire someone to supervise the process and make sure it goes smoothly, to reduce the amount of disruption. We have covered this subject in detail in a past blog – feel free to go through our blog archives to read up on the subject!
- Introduce plants to the office space
Not only do plants look great and improve your mood, but they boost the oxygen levels indoors by a substantial amount, while removing air pollutants. A study conducted by NASA found that houseplants can remove up to 87% of air pollution in an office space over 24 hours. Plants in the office space have also been linked to lower stress levels, increased productivity, and reduced sickness in employees.
Most indoor plants are very low maintenance, so you can get a bunch of them without any worry. All they need is regular watering, and pruning and fertilizing once a year. Place them in a sunny spot, and they will be happy. You can place a glazed saucer under the container so the water doesn’t run out and ruin your office floors. We will write a guide on houseplant care next month, so stay tuned!
- Unplug electronics before heading home
In most offices, computers, lights and other electronics stay on throughout the night, using up massive amounts of energy. While it’s understandable that at the end of an exhausting day at work you’re in a hurry to get home, just taking a couple minutes to turn off and unplug your electronics will save a lot of energy, and help you cut costs and become greener. If you teach all your employees to build it into their routines, you’ll see a tremendous change in energy usage.
From ZoomInfo: “The U.S. Department of Energy reports that 75% of the electricity used to power electronics is consumed when they are turned off. Make it a company-wide policy to unplug appliances before leaving the office, and you’ll immediately save energy and money.”
- Go for eco-friendly office supplies
The supplies you provide at your office may not contribute a ton to your carbon footprint, but it all certainly adds up over time. So if your employees throw out pens, paper, coffee cups and other such items on the regular, it will all add up. Luckily for you, just about all office supplies have sustainable alternatives: from refillable pens to recycled paper, low-energy monitor screens, chemical-free ink, reusable coffee cups and glasses, and much more.
You can also gift some supplies that don’t quite fall under the ‘office supplies’ label to your employees – examples include coffee cups, reusable straws, water bottles and lunch boxes. Encourage them to use these, and to avoid using disposable cutlery and cups while working at your retail space for rent in NJ.
- Involve your employees
The best way to make any change to your office space is by getting your employees involved and excited for it. So, tell your team what’s happening, why you’ve decided to make the changes, and educate them about the environment. Tell them why there’s a need to be green, and suggest ways in which they can become eco-friendlier.
Finally, ask them for suggestions to improve the office space. Incorporating their suggestions will make it feel more like a team decision, and not like something imposed by you, so they’ll be likelier to stick to the new guidelines and use the eco-friendly items. Encourage them to educate people where they can, so more and more people are made aware of the problem (and its solution)!
Finding the perfect retail space for rent in NJ
Since its inception in 1932, The Blau & Berg Company has held a leading position in the New Jersey and Tri-State commercial real estate market. Headquartered in Short Hills, New Jersey, Blau & Berg is an independent, full- service commercial real estate brokerage firm providing services in the industrial, retail and office spaces, including: site selection, acquisitions, dispositions, leasing, tenant representation, portfolio sales, asset repositioning, and property & construction consulting.