Sustainability at work
Lots of us have been returning to the office, part-time or even full-time. And I really hope you’ve found some new ways to be more environmentally-friendly! But, whereas going green at home is hard, implementing things to be sustainable at work can be even tougher. Here are some tiny adjustments to be more sustainable at work!
Food and drinks
Let’s start with my favourite subjects: food and drinks. This is something you can make a huge difference in, especially if you need to commute to get to work. The first thing? Bring your own food in a lunchbox! This will likely save you money, but food on the go is often packaged in a lot of plastic. In addition, food bought on the go or in a restaurant often contains a lot of sugar and salt, so bringing your own is cheaper, healthier and better for nature!
If you want to get rid op plastic entirely, you can also buy a bamboo lunchbox. I also bring my own cutlery with me anywhere I go, since I don’t know if there will be ‘normal’ cutlery or plastic. If you know your office has normal cutlery, you can just go for that. Another thing to consider is that hand washing dishes tends to use up more water than a dishwasher. So, if you have a dishwasher at home and not at the office, this might be a reason for you to bring your own as well (or the other way around).
Print no more
I also bring my own, foldable cup (mine is from Stojo). Since it can be folded, it doesn’t take up much space. Most coffee companies (at least in the Netherlands) give you a small discount when you bring your own. I use it throughout the entire day. Then, I wash it at home so it again saves a lot of water if you drink multiple cups. In addition, it saves huge amounts of disposable cups, that are almost always lined with plastic.
I also try to print as little as possible. Most documents can be read and edited online and an e-mail can be read just as easily (and it’s easier to store, opposed to papers that you can lose).
However, if you do like something tangible, which is more practical when you need to for instance take notes in meetings, there are reusable notebooks on the market. My favourite is called ‘Correctbook‘, since they also donate an amount of their profits to charity. They hand out free Correctbooks in developing countries to children to use in school. This way, you don’t waste pen and paper and they get an education!
Greenery all around
If your boss will let you, bring a plant to work. It increases job satisfaction and has beneficial effects on concentration and stress levels. Also, many plants clean the air around you and make oxygen out of CO2. In addition, they also make people tend to feel ‘at home’. This might be good when you have a job that involves people.
Another tip is, when you finished eating a banana, to put the peels in a jar of water and to let it soak overnight. The next day, the water is full of nutrients for your plants and your banana peel has had an extra purpose.
A huge source of negative effects on the environment is caused by the way we transport ourselves. Of course, walking or cycling is preferred over the other options, but it’s often not a very practical solution if you work far away from your home. In that case, you have a couple of options, starting with taking public transport. This way, only one vehicle has to move, which is a good, sustainable alternative to taking the car.
If public transport is no option, due to time restraints or if you work in a more remote area, you can also see if there are ways to share a car. Can you use services like ‘Blabla car’ or even better; travel with colleagues? Another option if you work far away is to ask if there are days you can work from home, since a growing amount of companies are open to this nowadays. It will save you a trip entirely!
Be an inspiration
Last, but not least, inspire! If people see you using your reusable cup and be aware of your impact, chances are they will follow. This is something else than shaming people that are not yet there, which I would never recommend, since it is first of all not the most effective way and second, it is just mean. However, talking enthusiastically about steps you are taking personally might inspire your colleagues to do the same. This will not only effect their behavior at work, but hopefully also at home and maybe even their surroundings as well! This domino effect is probably the strongest effect you can have on the environment and probably also the most fun, because you can share tips amongst each other!
What steps are you taking towards a more sustainable work environment? Let me know in the comments below! And if you liked this, please subscribe to my blog or follow me on Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter, so you’ll never have to miss a new post!
Lots of love,
Ps. I have put a couple of affiliate links in this article. This means that I earn a small commission if you buy something. This way, I can keep this blog going. However, if you don’t want to buy from my link, don’t feel pressured to do so!Home » All posts »