How To Be Sustainable At Work

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If you don’t think that you can do a lot about sustainability from your desk at work, you might want to think again. Yes, it’s about time someone bursts your office bubble, reclaiming your sense of stewardship. Ultimately, we are all responsible for the space around us and today, we will help you with that responsibility.

Here are some  ways that you can make your office greener:

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle:

Yes, that’s nothing new but it’s important for a reason. Employers need to encourage a no-waste policy, quite like the zero-tolerance bullying policy employed by schools. When you pollute, you might be taking on the role of the aggressor, making the world victim to your actions. But you can change this, and here is how:

  • Ah, the beloved office photocopier. Before you hit continuous print, try double-siding copy print.
  • Postage stamps are some of the most used stationary items in the office. Start by collecting used postage stamps and donate them to a place that recycles them. Employers can recycle used printer and toner cartridges, as well as establish a reuse system (Staples in Canada offers an ink recycling program). Workplace policies should include collecting used binders, and broken staplers or stationary.
  • To encourage recycling, it’s important to give recycling bins a chance. Many workplaces don’t have enough recycling bins in the right places, discouraging their use.

Electricity:

Investing in signage that reminds employees to turn off their computers during lunch hours, or before leaving the office is the best means of encouraging awareness. Disabling screen savers on the computer is more effective than dimming monitors because they consume more energy.

Using multiple applications will slow your computer down and consume more power. Manually placing your device on sleep during short periods of inactivity is additionally effective.

If you’re in an environment surrounded by windows, opt to open one rather than running the air condition. If you decide to run the air-condition, ensure that all doors and windows are closed when the air condition is running.

Investing in Green Awareness:

It’s important to communicate the importance of sustainability and low energy consumption to employees. Companies should implement training sessions on environmental impacts and potential means of reductions. Inclusivity in program management is important and crucial to reaching environmental mandates. Creating monthly team challenges will be a fun means of combining competition with green practice.

Promote cycling to staff members who live within close proximity to the office. Point them to the nearest cycle storage facility, as well as the nearest shower and changing facilities where they can still ride their bikes but be comfortable for the rest of the work day.

Opt for More Environmentally-Friendly Office Products:

It might not be economically feasible to invest solely on green products, but looking into greener electronics is the first step. Company budgets should include green products. Make the switch to renewable energies. Partnership coalitions are a great way to balance the cost of green tech.

Clean up After Yourself:

If you wouldn’t do it at home, don’t do it at work. Tidy up your workspace, and make sure that you sort your garbage from your recyclables.

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About Author

Nadia Zaidi

Nadia Zaidi is a freelance multimedia journalist whose work is featured in several print and digital publications. She previously developed and hosted a show on youth issues for community television, and produces short-documentaries for public outreach. She holds a bachelor's degree in Journalism from Ryerson University.

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