Staying Green When Going Back to Work
Whether you’ve enjoyed working from home or have been itching to get back into the office, it’s time to set your alarms earlier, put some real clothes on and get yourself out the front door in time for your train, as many companies are beginning to work from the office again. Whilst the (hopefully one-way) ticket to normality is great news, we need to stay conscious that going back to the office doesn’t mean falling into unsustainable habits. So how can you stay eco-friendly when you return to work? Read on for Go Eco’s top tips on remaining sustainable whilst going back to working in an office.
Take a reusable water bottle
It may seem simple but it is certainly effective. Taking your own water bottle reduces the need for single-use plastics and often encourages you to drink more water – it’s a win-win! Chilly’s bottles do a great job of keeping your water cold all day, or try H2OSQD whose rectangular bottles will fit just about anywhere.
Take a reusable coffee cup
Similarly to the reusable water bottle, this one is really simple and really effective. Most coffee shops now sell reusable cups so you can either support your local favourite or check out Keep Cup who offer stylish glass cups.
Consider your commute
Could you swap driving for public transport? Or maybe cycle instead of taking a taxi to the station? Changing up your commute can be a really easy way to reduce your carbon footprint. Road transport is the most polluting mode of travel after flying, emitting 158 grams of CO2 per passenger kilometre, compared to 14 grams emitted by rail travel. If catching a taxi is unavoidable, try making it an eco-friendlier taxi, many companies now offer the opportunity to travel in an electric car.
Change up your stationary
When it comes to eco-friendly stationary some options are better than others. We would always recommend a refillable pen to avoid plastic waste and try to source your notebooks from sustainable brands.
Get a desk plant!
Plants are beneficial in so many ways! Despite the obvious fact that they absorb CO2 and produce oxygen, plants have been shown to boost productivity and concentration! They freshen up the air whilst eliminating harmful toxins and are also shown to boost your daily mood! Just be careful where you get your plants from. Some companies overpackage using unsustainable materials and some source from far away countries increasing travel emissions. There are a few eco-friendlier companies who can deliver straight to your door. We recommend The Stem.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle!
You’d be surprised the volume of paper that gets printed unnecessarily. Try to share documents digitally instead and if you do print make sure you get it right first time to avoid paper waste. Once you’ve reduced your consumption of paper, make sure you are reusing whatever you can, making notes on scraps of paper and not throwing sheets with one word written on them into the bin! Finally, recycle whatever cannot be reused.
Turn things off!
Make sure that you turn off lights when you leave a room and computers when you go to lunch or leave the office. Do not just let them go into standby mode as they will still be using energy unnecessarily.
Watch what you (m)eat
Animal agriculture is responsible for 14.5% of global greenhouse gas emissions. Cutting back your meat intake can drastically reduce your carbon footprint, but it’s not always easy to give up meat. We think a great place to start is by making your lunches plant-based and, if you feel the need, eating meat only at dinner.
We also suggest taking your own packed-lunch. This can help you not be tempted by meat options at the shops/cafeteria, use up your food at home to avoid waste and stops you purchasing food in single-use packaging.
Use reusable cutlery
Whether this means taking your own cutlery to work or encouraging your workplace to swap single-use cutlery for reusable cutlery, it really helps to reduce waste at the office.
Think about your work outfits
The fashion industry contributes to 4% of global emissions and research shows that without drastic action the industry will fail to meet the Paris Agreement’s target for 2030. Currently only 60% of garments are sold at full price due to intense overproduction. There are so many complications with the fast fashion industry, both social and environmental. Make sure you’re not giving the problematic industry your hard-earned cash and shop at sustainable clothing brands or buy second-hand.
Ditch the lift
Taking the lift where stairs are possible is an inefficient use of energy. Instead swap the lift for the stairs and your body might thank you too!