8 Things I Do at Work I Didn’t Realise Are Green
Many articles encourage companies to become environmentally friendlier.
From using energy-saving lights and recycling to installing motion-activated light switches etcetera.
This article is not one of those.
It’s just that I think there are plenty of things you can do yourself without having to rely on anyone.
Change starts with you.
When I read about ‘eco-friendly workplace’, I realised that I’ve been green before they even had a name for it.
It’s partly because of my upbringing in Post-Soviet Estonia, where we just had to survive with limited resources, but also because it just makes sense to me now.
So below are 8 incredibly simple things I do at work without even realising they are green.
#1 I avoid printing paper unless absolutely necessary
I bring your laptop to meetings to illustrate my point during or jot down notes in my notebook instead of defaulting to printing paper.
If I really need to print, I use both sides of the paper.
Companies can do a lot to encourage their staff to print less. You can sign documents online, keep your files in the cloud instead of shelves, send digital payslips and invoices etc.
#2 I ride my second-hand bike to work every day
Cycling to work is the quickest, cheapest and healthiest way to get from A to B in London. Plus, it keeps me in shape and is environmentally-friendly.
Companies could encourage and incentivise cycling to work more often.
#3 When I can’t cycle to work, I take public transport
I don’t own a car because I don’t want the hassle that comes with finding a free parking space, pay for car insurance and all the rest of it.
If I really need a car, I can use Zipcar or other on-demand car hire service that is way more convenient than owning a car.
Besides, taking metro is the best way to catch up on reading and it gets you to a destination quicker.
#4 I prefer to take stairs over the elevator
This is mainly because it’s an excellent booty workout, but it also happens to be good for the planet – as it takes a large amount of energy to travel back and forth between floors using an elevator.
#5 I pick an environmentally-friendly place to work
Even though my workplace is environmentally-friendly, its purpose is to generate revenue for our clients rather than to make a world a better place (I work in a digital marketing agency, btw).
If you want to make a difference on global and local scale and improve health care, environment, immigration, urban development or social policy in your community or country, then the Master of Public Administration at the University of California could help you to land a position in nonprofits, government agencies, public policy organizations and private sector businesses in UK, Europe and US.
#6 I pack home-cooked lunch in reusable containers
When you buy lunch, it will likely be packed in a bag you’ll have to throw away, which is unnecessarily wasteful.
I also like to bring my lunch as I tend to be healthier if my meals are planned. If I don’t have a pre-made lunch, I give in to my cravings and grab for sugary or greasy food.
Taking lunch to work is not only healthier and cheaper, but it’s also a great way to help reduce waste.
#7 I try to eat less meat
Raising animals for food requires massive amounts of land, food, energy, and water and causes immense animal suffering. Read more about it here.
But what can you do if you love meat too much to go 100% vegetarian or vegan? You can start eating less meat. It’s a small (and a healthy) adjustment for your body and a positive difference for the planet.
#8 I use mugs instead of plastic cups at work
Some offices have plastic cups next to a water cooler. I never use them.
Disposable cutlery has a devastating effect on landfill and wildlife. We can easily avoid this horrific impact by just choosing to have a glass cup or a mug instead of a plastic cup.
I also carry bottled water with me everywhere, so that I don’t have to buy new disposable plastic bottles every day.
With reusable water bottles, you save money and won’t have to ingest the invisible residue that is known to come from throwaway plastic bottles.
What do you do?
We spend a lot of time working so it makes sense to make it a more eco-friendly space.
Being more mindful and kinder to the planet isn’t difficult or costly. Actually, it turns out to be even cheaper.
Do you have any more ways to make your working life greener? I’d love to hear your thoughts!