Many of us are mindful of the amount of waste we create at home, tirelessly separating rubbish out into separate bins, taking old clothing to the local recycling bank. But how many of us follow this through to the workplace?
It’s easy to feel less responsible at work, if there aren’t different recycling bins for example, well then “it’s not my fault”. It’s just as important to be more mindful of waste in the office, especially since so much of it can be recycled.
Here are some ideas about how you can do your bit to reduce waste in the office!
1. Take your own food to work
Bringing your own lunch in containers rather than buying a sandwich and disposing of the packaging, not only reduces the amount of waste but it comes with other benefits.
You can save thousands every year by making lunch at home and you can also aid healthy living by producing nutritious and healthful foods rather than being tempted by bacon sandwiches and cakes at the local bakery.
2. Make purchasing decisions based on a greener mind-set
If you can influence the purchase of office supplies, then encourage buying those that have already been recycled or those that can easily be recycled after use. Purchasing higher quality supplies may be more expensive up front, but they often last longer and reduce not only the amount of waste produced, but the longer term costs of having to replace cheaper items.
If you put your mind to it, there are countless ways you can help, for example if you use batteries, then think about buying rechargeable batteries, or purchase products that are run on solar power rather than batteries in the first place.
3. Travelling to work
We all know that driving to and from work every day has an impact on the environment, whilst cars are becoming more environmentally friendly, we are still a long way from having zero impact.
There are things you can do however, public transport is always an option if you have good reliable and cost effective bus or train services then this also gives you the opportunity to relax, read or catch up on email whilst on your commute. You could look to car share if you have colleagues that live in the same area as you. Thirdly, if your company is open to it, working from home just one day a week can make a big impact over the course of a year. Home working is becoming more and more popular and whilst it may not be something that your company currently offers, it can’t hurt to speak to your Manager or HR Department about the prospect.
4. Use less paper
There are lots of ways you can reduce paper, only printing when necessary, taking notes on a tablet or phone instead of a notebook. Storing information electronically rather that in paper format.
I’m sure you can think of many more, it’s probably the most obvious step we can make but also one of the easiest.
5. Turn things off!
It’s easy to forget to turn lights off when going in and out of rooms but remembering to do so, can not only reduce energy but it can also cut costs.
There are lots of electronic devices, laptops, printers etc. that don’t need to be left on all the time. Make sure you turn them off. Don’t leave mobile devices constantly on charge, this can also fry the battery so is never a good idea, but a very common sight in lots of offices up and down the country.
Why not have a big energy saving drive and get the company to put any savings towards a Christmas night out – sometimes you need an incentive to make people change their behaviour.
These are just 5 ways you can help your office to become greener, there are no doubt countless more that you can think of and champion throughout your office! Oh, and when it comes to clearing your waste, make sure you use a reputable company that is fully licensed to dispose of it. They will make sure as much as possible is reused and recycled!