8 ways to make your workplace greener

Global warming and climate change is at the forefront of our daily lives, which is making a lot of people be more environmentally conscious in their daily actions. This does not just have to be done in your personal time either, you can even apply the concepts of sustainability while at work too.  

No matter which sector or profession you work in, there will always be something you can do to make your workplace a little more earth-friendly. This can range from smaller changes such as recycling and taking your own lunch or drinks to work, to bigger changes like using eco-friendly supplies and energy sources.  

If everyone applied slight changes at work, we could make a huge and positive impact on our environment. Here are our top tips to going green at work ⬇️

Recycle, recycle, recycle 

Shockingly, in the UK, we recycle just under 44% of our plastic waste. Plastic waste can last centuries when sent to landfill or ends up polluting our soils, rivers, and oceans, as well as harming animals that live there. 

By recycling, you are conserving resources and protecting the environment. This reduces the amount of waste sent to landfills and combustion facilities as well as reducing pollution by reducing the need to produce new plastic. 

If you do not have a recycling facility at work, it is worth raising the importance of them with your employer or set your recyclables aside to properly dispose of later at home or in a recycling bin. 

Pack your own lunch and use reusable bottles 

While meal deals are a convenient way to grab your lunch and go, the packaging they come in is certainly not convenient for the environment. Make sure to meal prep the night before work and take your lunch in reusable containers. Not only are you helping to save the environment, you also get to enjoy a home cooked meal at work. 

This also goes for drink bottles. Most single use drink bottles end up in landfill or in our rivers or seas, so it is worth investing in a reusable drink bottle – why drink out of a boring single use bottle when you can have your own stylish one instead? 

Print less 

While most paper is recyclable, the production of it is harmful to the environment, with each person in the UK using on average 4.5 trees’ worth of paper each year alone! Paper mills also release harmful CO2 and nitrogen dioxide into the atmosphere during production.  

There are many digital alternatives to printing on paper such as emails, notes on word documents and document e-signatures which you can utilise where possible. 

When you do need to print, ensure you use double-sided options or reuse sheets of paper where you can. 

Change the way you commute 

Did you know that by using public transport, you are not only cutting down on emissions, but also it saves you money in the long term (especially with the prices of fuel going up)?

Do you live near colleagues? If so, you could look at setting up a car-pooling system, or if you live nearby to your workplace, you may also want to consider walking or cycling. Not only will you be saving the environment, but you will also get healthier too.  

Buy eco-friendly workplace supplies 

While it is impossible for workplaces to completely phase out items such as paper and printer ink, you can ensure that they are sourced from eco-friendly businesses – these are more widely available than you may think! 

These products are created with the environment in mind, most having been made from recyclable materials and produced using renewable energy sources. Once used, they can then either be recycled again such as ink cartridges or are biodegradable such as paper and pens. 

Not only does this help the environment and preserve trees and other natural resources, but you will also be supporting businesses that value sustainability.  

Turn off lights in rooms that are not being used 

Lighting accounts for nearly 5% of global CO2 emissions. By turning off the lights when you are not in a room, you not only save on energy, but also help to reduce carbon emissions. This is a really simple way to help protect the environment.  

Turn off electronics when they are not in use 

Not only do workplace electronics make up 1/3 of energy usage, but they also contribute to overheating of workplaces. Did you know that it takes up to 300 trees to absorb the yearly carbon emissions that are generated by a single computer or laptop for an entire day.  

So, when you finish work, you deserve a break, and so does your laptop or computer – so give them a little break of their own and shut them down completely.  

Get involved in our climate change work 

We know change will not happen overnight. However, the impact on our environment will affect every worker in every profession and it is vital that we get this right by putting the voices of workers (that is you!) at the forefront of change.  

At Community, we are campaigning for a just transition which will see workers and industries supported through the journey to a low carbon future.  

Find out more about our climate change work and how to get involved here. 

If you are a member of Community and need help or advice, please contact us at help@community-tu.org or on 0800 389 6332.

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