There are many ways to encourage more green work habits. We’re often at work more than we are at home, and due to sheer numbers in the workplace, there is often more waste produced.
Here are 7 I’m focusing on this year.
1. Take your lunch
I need to do much more of this. Not only does it save you money as well as cutting down on single use items, it’s often healthier to know exactly what’s in the food we’re eating, by making it. It can also help reduce food waste at home as leftovers are a great take to work lunch item.
2. Have reusables on hand
I have a stash in my work locker. They need to be on hand to remember to actually use them! I have my takeaway coffee cup and juice cup, as well as a container if I do get takeaway, and of course a shopping bag.
3. Repair work clothes and shoes, or get second-hand
There are often so many great items being gifted in your local Buy Nothing group that can be perfect for work, such as, bags, lunch boxes and even clothes and shoes. And op shops are stocked full of great items as well.
Repairing is something I got into last year and had a couple of work pants with some small holes and tears repaired, as well as the soles of my go to winter ankle boots. They’re all still in great condition to wear this year and for a fraction of the price of replacing.
4. Take the bus or ride or walk
This isn’t always feasible, and everyone has different commitments before and after work. However, you might be able to alter your travel to and from work even a little bit to be on the road in your car less (and save money and get more exercise!).
For example, I’m going to look at parking not far from school drop off one morning a week and catching the bus and/or walking into the office and back, on a day I don’t have before and after school commitments with my kids.
5. Think before you print
This seems like an obvious one and with many workplaces going paper light considered not worth a mention. However, I still see so many people printing off items to look at briefly and then put in the recycling or shredding bins. Every time you go to hit print, have a think about whether it’s really necessary.
6. Have indoor plants
Not only do they help clean indoor air, and let’s face it, many offices don’t have a great supply of fresh air, but they are also very calming to be around. Of course, check if it’s ok to bring them in, or even be bold and suggest your workplace use one of the many companies that are around now that supply and care for office indoor plants.
7. Have recycling stations
A lot of workplaces put at least basic kerb side recycling collection facilities in place (if yours hasn’t, get them on board, it’s one of the simplest recycling systems you can introduce). One thing that often isn’t promoted, however, is what NOT to go into the kerb side recycling bin. People often ‘wishcycle’ and throw all kinds of non recyclable items in the recycling bin, hoping they’ll be recycled, so some signs and education around this is often really useful.
Some workplaces take this up a notch and become a collection point for a range of more difficult to recycle items like, plastic lids, bread tags etc as well as a soft plastics collection point for RedCycle. If your office uses a coffee pod machine, you could look into a coffee pod recycling scheme that’s available in your area. There are also numerous recycling collection points for printer toner cartridges, light globes and batteries, among other things that workplaces go through regularly.
Even in the current climate of people working from home more, the workplace is still an area where some simple, yet really effective changes can be made.