7 Tips for a Sustainable Day at the Office
/ Category / Sustainability
There are so many ways to be more sustainable at the office. It might not be realistic for us to do everything every day but worthwhile to challenge yourself to do at least one.
- Dress to impress: second hand clothes are my first choice. Where I live there are great thrift and consignment shops or plenty of nice women’s options online at Thredup. Not your style? Then I’d recommend choosing high quality, long-lasting clothes that you really love rather than cheap disposable fashion. Less is more when I feel good about almost everything in my closet.
- Clean commute: When it’s possible, I love biking to work! It guarantees that I have a workout built into my day, which keeps me feeling sane. Are you up to give it a try? It’s also fun to hop in the car with a coworker who lives nearby. Set one day a week to commit to carpooling and take turns driving.
- Lunch: Homemade food in reusable containers is a good way to go. Although, you’ll reduce your footprint so much more if you also commit to a meat free meal. It turns out that drastically reducing or eliminating meat has the largest impact of all our daily choices. Meatless Monday is an easy way to experiment. You can always keep an Amy’s burrito in the freezer in case you need more!
- Organics: Most offices have plenty of coffee grounds, tea bags, banana peels and apple cores to dispose of (paper towels too). If it’s possible to compost, that is a fantastic win for the environment. When organic materials are sent to the landfill, they break down without oxygen and create methane: a potent greenhouse gas. Aside from minimizing emissions, the other win is that organic materials are essentially recycled into nutrient-rich soil. Ask your facilities manager if they could set up daily compost collection.
- Tidying up: I bring a cloth napkin to work. It feels more homey and pleasant, works better and prevents sending disposable paper products to the landfill.
- Sharing: Share a trash/recycle bin with your work neighbors. Oftentimes cleaning services change the bag each night, so sharing means at least one less plastic bag in the landfill every day. Are there other items that you could share too?
- Adjust settings for long-term impacts: Depending on your role at work, you may be in a good position to shift some of the following settings to use resources more efficiently in the future. These are some examples of measures that we’ve put into place at Amy’s headquarters.
- Could IT tweak printer settings so they default to double-sided printing? Coworkers can opt out and print single-sided as needed.
- Check heating and cooling timer settings so they’re only running when needed.
- Motion sensors are an inexpensive way to ensure lights are off when we’re away, enjoying life outside of work.