Pack your lunch in a reusable container. Packaging is one of the biggest culprits of plastic waste. Reducing our dependence on plastics is a good way to safeguard our health – and the planet. While very few of us will ever entirely eliminate plastic from our lives, we can day by day and lunch by lunch eat a little cleaner. We can avoid foods pre-packaged in plastic and pack healthy, organic meals in non-toxic food containers made from stainless steel, wood, glass and other natural materials that are healthy for people and the planet. Not only does packing your lunch in a reusable container cut down on packaging waste, but food waste as well. More food in your lunch box means less food in your trash bin at the end of the week. It’s a win/win for the environment and your pockets. Check out Eco Lunch Box for some ideas.
Use a reusable water bottle. Along with packing your lunch in a reusable container, it’s also a good idea to carry along your own reusable water bottle. Get your hands on one of these sleek, ecoChic Define bottles and fill it with your favorite fruit infusions. We guarantee that your bottle will be the star of the water cooler discussion and may even inspire your colleagues to do the same.
Use less paper. The average office worker uses 10,000 sheets of paper each year. Paper is a staple of the workplace. It’s so available, so easy to use and so easy to toss into the trash. It’s also one of simplest areas to focus on when working toward a more eco-conscious office. Think before you tear a new sheet from a notebook. When jotting down a phone number or reminder, use the back of an old letter or piece of scratch paper. Instead of printing notices for the entire staff, skip the photocopier and set up an office bulletin board. Instead of flip charts, opt for erasable boards or powerpoint presentations. One of the most effective ways of reducing paper in the workplace is using both sides of each sheet and buying recycled/recyclable paper.
Reduce waste. Rather than nonchalantly dropping items in the trash bin, take a moment to think about how you might reduce your environmental impact. Determine if any of the products you are throwing away could be reused, recycled or replaced by non disposable versions. Replace all of the disposable items in the kitchen with washable dishes. Encourage your colleagues to bring their own mugs for coffee so that they’re not wasting plastic, foam or paper cups. Set up an office recycling centre.
Shop smarter. When shopping for office products, look for items that are durable, reusable or returnable to stores. Toner cartridges are a prime example of a product that’s easily recycled. Make a point to buy paper and office supplies made of recycled materials. If you are looking for some inspiration, Guided products makes some amazing environmentally sustainable office supplies from recycled cardboard. This is an easy way to impress your clients and customers, while letting everyone know that you an eco-conscious brand.
Be water and energy efficient. Slimming down on excess energy and water use is a key element in raising environmental standards in the workplace and money saved on utility feels will also make management happy. There are some waste-cutting efforts that are simple and available to anyone on the staff. Take notice of leaky water faucets and report them to the building maintenance office. Turn off lights and office equipment at the end of the day. Also use energy saving features on computers when not being used.
Build a team. Share your eco-enthusiasm and join forces with your colleagues to make your office a greener place. Working as a team, you’ll be even more likely to accomplish some of your bigger sustainability goals. Grab the bosses and the staff, sit down with some fair-trade organic snacks and discuss ideas for establishing a healthier workplace and environmentally responsible business practices.
Many best practices and techniques that are good for the environment also offer financial benefits for the business and health advantages for the workers. Simple activities, such as turning off lights, using less paper, recycling and reporting leaky faucets are valuable tools in the effort to boost green practices in the workplace. If we all commit to making small changes in our everyday lives, we can secure a sustainable future for generations to come.