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!
The opinions and recommendations are my own, but there are some advertisements within this post.
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. I’d recommend buying your plants from PLNTS, a company that actually grows houseplants sustainably.
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 »
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I work from home all the time so it’s up to me to make sure I’m doing my best when it comes to planet friendly choices but these are such great tips. We can all make small changes that add up massively x
Sounds like you’re making a lot of effort already, nice! And indeed, it’s the small steps that’ll get us there!
We haven’t returned yet to our office (still a long way to go), but I believe it’s also sustainable working from home – lesser carbon footprint, no more printing, etc. 🙂
Definitely! It can be done anywhere, we just have to take it with little steps to a more sustainable future.
Amazing post! I love these tips especially the bringing a plant to work. It’s such a great idea!
Thank you! Maybe it’s just that I’m addicted to plants anyways haha, but I love some ‘natural’ vibes in my office.
These are great tips! I always try to bring my own food and drinks in reusable cups! I wish I could cut down on transport more but it’s just not possible where I currently work. Fingers crossed it will be in the future though!
That would be a great next step indeed, but it sound like your doing great already within what’s possible for you!
Great tips for me as I am working from home last 6 months. you can visit my blog also for some tips on work from home
I already work from home since the end of last year! Food and drinks is very important when I spend hours sitting in front of my laptop 🙂 Thank you for these great tips!
Thank you and I think so as well! They can get you through the day!
Such great tips. Even as I work from home these tips can still apply, I know turning my business paperless meant a lot to me, and I am so happy about it. The lifestyle I lead lands itself well to beinn sustainable and it’s a value we try to pass on to our kids. Thank you for sharing these great tips.
Thank you so much and it sounds like you’re doing amazing already! I think the biggest thing isn’t doing it ourselves, but also inspiring others to take steps, especially to your children! Together, we can achieve what needs to be done.
I work from home so sustainability at work really is all down to me. Luckily I don’t have to commute so the transportation point isn’t an issue for me!
Not having to travel already has so much benefits! And luckily, I guess most tips work at the home office as well.
Good to learn about so many products that we can use and contribute towards a happier earth.
Walking has always been my preferred way to commute wherever possible. I am trying to incorporate a habit of cycling too.
Thanks for sharing this inspirational post. Cheers!!
Sounds like you’re well on your way, good job! It’s all about those little (literal) steps we take.