The workplace can be a big source of waste. No matter how large or small your company is, there are plenty of opportunities for you to become more sustainable at your workplace. With a little effort, you can reduce landfill waste, carbon footprint and preserve our planet. So, by adding these tips into your workplace habits, you can know you're doing your part to be more sustainable. And you knows? You might just inspire your colleagues to follow your footsteps.
1) DITCH THE DISPOSABLES
An estimated 2.5 billion cups are thrown away in the UK each year with less than 1% of these recycled. Most single-use coffee cups are lined with polyethylene, which makes them difficult to recycle. With a reusable cup, you can still have your daily coffee at work without hurting the environment. Plus, many businesses now offer discounts if you bring your own cup - so it's a win-win situation.
If you haven't got one already, the office favourites are KeepCup, Stojo and rCup. Here's a list of their pros and cons.
- Made from tempered soda-lime glass, BPA and BPS free
- Comes in various size4s
- Not leak-proof
- Compact, lightweight and convenient to carry around as they are collapsible
- Made from soft silicone that might cause liquid to spill out if squeezed
- Sleeve slips off if not held
- Made entirely from used paper cups, BPA free
- Unique design with a push-close seal that allows for 360° drinking, which can be dangerous if you're not paying attention
2) GO DIGITAL
Before you print out that document, ask yourself if you really need to. Paper waste adds up quickly and you can do your part to reduce it by keeping things digital whenever possible. Keep your files on computers and review them onscreen rather than printing them out. If you do need to print something, consider setting it to print on both side of paper. You'll automatically cut paper costs by half.
3) TURN OFF OFFICE EQUIPMENT AT THE SWITCH WHEN YOU'RE FINISHED
Office equipment like your computer and printers can eat a lot of energy even when left on standby mode or turned off. Many electronic appliances have a "standby" setting that continues to draw power even when we think they're turned off. So make sure you turn if off at the main plug before you leave for the day. Also make sure you turn off lights when you're not using a room.
4) GREEN YOUR COMMUTE
Instead of taking the taxi to work, lower your commuting emissions by walking, biking, carpooling or taking the public transport. Daily commuters spend an average of 42 hours in traffic every year. Help to ease some of the strain on the environment by taking the greener route.
5) GREEN THE OTHERS
Share your journey to a more sustainable workplace with your office. Speak to your managers about changing office supplies like pens and hand wash to sustainable, bio-degradable options. If your office uses paper, opt for recycled, chlorine-free paper. Suggest that everyone in the office has a small recycling bin to make recycling easy. Encourage your colleagues to get a reusable cup. Arrange an office carpool or a group bike commute.