Being a more sustainable individual means revisiting and/or redesigning parts of your life to fit a more eco-friendly agenda. This approach not only entails innovation, it requires consistency to be performed at impactful levels, and this means you will need to find ways to be sustainable all day. Since almost all of us follow a typical weekly work routine, you will need to find a way to be more sustainable during work hours. This process can vary in difficulty, based on your location of work, but it is easily achieved with the right mindset.
To help you make the switch to sustainable working, here are a few tips to keep your work habits as green as possible.
Pay attention to waste
In the midst of a stressful, chaotic work day, it can be very easy to lose track of your disposed waste. After all, a plastic bottle can quickly become an afterthought when competing for your attention with important documents or angry customers. However, be sure to keep a close eye on your waste disposal habits during work. If your office has a recycling bin, for instance, make sure you are disposing the proper materials into this bin. Otherwise, collect recyclables in a bag and take them somewhere else to properly dispose of them.
If possible, cut back on your paper use in a given work day. If you have to give a presentation to your company or management team, for example, utilize screen-based assets like powerpoint projection and Google suites to share information otherwise displayed on handouts or poster material. In many cases, this approach will save you time and liven up your presentation anyway. Your paper-free habits may even become infectious amongst co-workers, leading to a more sustainable office in general.
Look into sustainable commuting
Though it does not apply to in-office sustainability, you can also be a more sustainable worker by investing in more efficient means of travel. If you live within a reasonable mileage of your workplace, cycle or walk to work instead of driving (the added exercise won’t be a bad thing either). Otherwise, look into mass public transportation options like trains or subways. Try to make driving your absolute last resort for the morning commute.
Be mindful of electricity
Like waste disposal, electricity use tends to fall on the backburner when weighed against common work day obligations, but overuse is one of the easiest ways to hinder your sustainability goals — both in the workplace and at home. With the former location in mind, take measures to keep electricity use to a minimum. Unplug appliances if they are fully charged, turn off your computer if you are not using it, or simply turn off as many lights as possible (with your co-workers’ approval, of course).