Simple Everyday Actions You Can Do To Become More Sustainable
After working from home for a few months, there are some habits that people picked up on that are beneficial to take into the office. These sustainable swaps, choices and conversations are creating a change in how office workers operate daily. Below are some examples of how to get started.
Is your morning pick-me-up sustainable? Fairtrade coffee ensures farmers receive a fair price and their communities and the environment are supported as well. Encourage local coffee shops to buy fairtrade coffee beans, and look into Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC)-owned coffee shops in your area! This is an easy swap that requires little change to your routine.
Screensavers are another sustainable choice you can easily make. Whenever you leave your computer and it switches to the screensaver mode, it is still using up unnecessary electricity and energy that goes to waste. Opting to remove your screensaver and instead changing your settings so that it automatically goes into hibernation/sleep mode when you’re away will save energy consumption.
When we’re in an office, it’s easy to lose track of the waste created, as the area is not under individual responsibility. But between the printed papers, coffee pods used, water bottles, single-use coffee cups and office supplies thrown out – we’re responsible for creating a lot more waste than we realise. To fully grasp the level of waste you might create, try to measure it for about a week. And then filter through to see where it’s easy to swap out something for a more sustainable option.
Instead of buying single-use water bottles, you could buy a metal reusable bottle and have it on hand. It’s the perfect way to stay hydrated without having to spend an extra few dollars every time.
If you’ve spilled a drink on your desk, you would probably grab some paper towel to mop it up. As an alternative, try using a cloth – better than single-use items wasted every time there’s an accident.
Within the working calendar, there are around 220 working days in a year. Now imagine having two coffees per day – that equates to around 500 single-use cups wasted. So imagine how much waste could be avoided if all coffee-lovers in an office switched from single-use cups to one reusable they can take with them everywhere.
When it comes to lunchtime, people don’t realise how much food and plastic they waste. If you’re ordering lunch to the office, considering doing it as a group. If you’re in a space with 20 other people and every person orders from a different place – it just multiplies the number of plastic bags and containers, as well as travel for delivery drivers.
If you decide to make your lunch from home, be conscious of how much you are bringing. If you make too much, store it in your fridge for dinner later that night. There are plenty of ways to cook leftovers in creative ways.
Starting a conversation
What is more motivating – talking to someone about the effects of climate change or showing someone the little ways you are sustainable in your day to day life. The latter one? By promoting the changes you’ve made to those around you could motivate others to join you or inspire them to evaluate their own lives to see what they could change.
When starting a conversation about in-office swaps, eco-friendly office supplies are worth considering. These include recycled paper, pencils and refillable pens. Limiting printing is another way to reduce waste in an office – especially when ink cartridges and paper is wasted daily.
Some of the benefits of becoming more sustainable in your daily routine include lowered daily costs (no single-use items, no food bought without thought etc.), and less waste for the environment (no wasted plastic or paper), so it’s a win-win.
Choosing sustainability isn’t always achievable. So doing what you can where you can is a great way to ease into a lifestyle more beneficial for you and the environment. For more ideas on how to bring sustainability into your office, get in touch!