It’s Earth Day and maybe you’ve participated in a marathon for the environment or you joined this year’s Earth Hour, but you still want to do more. If you segregate your waste, thank you. If you reuse and repurpose containers and product wrappings, you’re doing a great job. If you’ve reduced your plastic consumption by taking reusable bags to the market, you’re on the right track.
Calculating your own personal ecological footprint is another good start. Zero Footprint’s website helps you compute your environmental impact based on lifestyle, eating habits, household setup, and travel patterns. After your own footprint is computed, you will be given suggestions on reducing your impact individually or even as a household. You can even stamp out your footprint by participating in their offset projects.
Now, since many of us spend a great amount of our time in the workplace, it’s a great idea to make a few minor changes to how your office operates daily. Here are a few simple tips to help get you started:
- Green your office. If you’re running your own business then green-izing your office would not only benefit the environment, it will also help reduce your electric bills. Whenever possible, use green energy like solar, wind or hydro. If this is too big of a project to take on, then switch to energy-efficient light bulbs and pick eco-friendly appliances that don’t use up too much energy and water.
- Reduce paper use. As much as possible, send correspondence electronically. And if everyone agrees, print on both sides of the paper. Or why not go completely paperless once a week? Think about it.
- Bring Your Own Stuff (BYOS). Encourage employees to bring their own stuff like coffee mugs, plates, and cutlery for use in office parties instead of providing plastic cups and paper plates.
- Telecommute. With some or even most of your employees on telecommute you can keep your overhead minimal. Less people in the office means less requirement for office space, equipment, and utilities. Not to mention less people driving to work clogging up the streets and our lungs.
- Make a stand. Talk to the cafeteria owner in your office building and enlighten them on the health hazards of using Styrofoam as well as the environmental dangers of using plastic. Encourage them to use real plates, glassware, and cutlery and to source their food locally for fresher, cheaper, and healthier food.
Going green has always been demonized by naysayers as a more expensive way of living. As you can see from this short list alone, not only is that a cop out but businesses and even individuals can save a lot from subscribing to eco-friendly practices.
Happy Earth Day!