Tips for Sustainability At Work
Sustainability is a “hot” topic in workplaces at the moment (global-warming-themed-pun intended), with employers, and individual employees being increasingly interested in ways that they can reduce their impact on the planet. Here are some easy changes you can make day-to-day to reduce your waste.
1.Bring your own lunch
Takeaway meals are often packaged in ridiculous amounts of throwaway, single-use materials. A plastic container, plastic cutlery, napkins and a carrier bag; one meal can generate a huge amount of plastic and paper that is used once, and then binned. By preparing your meals at home and bringing them in your own reusable container, you can hugely reduce the amount of waste you’re generating—and save yourself some cash, too!
2.Bring reusable food containers for takeaways
We all have days where we simply haven’t had time to prepare lunch. In this situation, why not bring along a reusable container to your local sushi shop, instead of using the takeaway cartons provided.
3.Use a real cup
Takeaway coffee cups generate a horrifying amount of waste every day, with the majority —approximately 295 million (!!!) —ending up in landfill every year in New Zealand. Instead, invest in a keep cup that you leave at work for that mid-morning coffee run. Alternatively, take a look at https://www.againagain.co/ – a reusable cup lending system that is rapidly growing across cafes and coffee shops throughout New Zealand.
Unfortunately, recycling is one of the least effective ways to lead a sustainable life, just don’t use the plastic in the first place! However, if it can’t be avoided, the least you can do is make sure you’re putting plastic, glass, card and paper in the correct recycling bins.
Again, while recycling is still worth doing, it’s much better to simply reduce the amount of waste in the first place. Often we click print without really thinking. Take a moment and consider whether you really do need to print it and if you do, make sure it’s double-sided and not in colour.
6.Walk to work
…Or to the bus/train/ferry stop. Not only is reducing your car use great for your carbon footprint, but also your waistline, and mental health.
These were six small changes I made to reduce my personal impact on the environment—why not give it a go in your workplace, and get your colleagues involved, too! The Ministry for the Environment has some more useful information on making your workplace sustainable, why not have a read and see what you can implement today.