In advance of Green Business Week (April 11-13) and World Environment Day (June 5), we decided to outline some simple steps that all of can take to lessen our carbon footprint. There are numerous steps that can be taken on both individual and office levels, and their impact is wide-ranging. Becoming environmentally conscious now will contribute to the creation of a healthy living space; the reduction of global warming; elimination of plastic from our oceans and the maintenance of biodiversity.
So, what are some of the most immediate and impactful actions we can take right now?
- Get an Eco-friendly Reusable Coffee Cup
Currently, a staggering 3 billion disposable, non-recyclable cups are used in the UK each year. This waste goes directly into the landfill. The government is aiming to make all coffee cups recyclable by 2023, but in the meanwhile, we can benefit both the environment and our own pockets by investing in the eco-friendly coffee cup variety. Did you know that many coffee shops currently offer a discount on your takeaway drink if you bring your own cup?
- Take Care of your Computer
Turn it off when not in use; keep equipment updated as the latest monitors are often the most energy efficient; and recycle old computers.
- Bring your own Lunch
This cuts down on plastic waste and packaging from takeaways and is of much better value. Taking this one step further would involve using organic ingredients during food preparation. Organic food production lessens soil and water contamination as it avoids the use of synthetic chemicals, whereas regular faming uses many artificial fertilisers and pesticides.
- Use Green Web Hosting
The cost of switching from regular web hosting to green web hosting is minute, but the result is significant. It helps us reduce indirect emissions from our carbon footprint as well as promoting the notion of “eco-friendly” IT in general (you can do this by using an eco-label on your website).
- Save Paper
Use double-sided printing and buy recycled printing paper and stationery. It is also worth noting that 90% of all office waste can be recycled. To ensure this is carried out to its full potential, it is worth removing personal waste bins and general waste units from offices and replacing them with well-labelled specialised bins.
These are just a few of the simple and immediate steps we all—both as individuals and as a collective—can take to ensure that the planet remains a healthy and sustainable place for future generations. In order to create a more eco-friendly system, we must design with the environment in mind and implement a strong plan where incentives are offered to get as many people as possible committed to supporting this important goal.