As humans, we exist as daily inhabitants of Planet Earth and as active participants in this phenomenon known as life. As such, every single one of us bears the responsibility to play a part in protecting the planet's resources. We all have the power to minimize our environmental impact and live a more sustainable lifestyle, and it's as simple as implementing smalls acts of eco-consciousness throughout our days.
Furthermore, organizations both small and large are becoming increasingly aware of their responsibility to cultivate more sustainable practices in the workplace, from the architecture of buildings themselves to the basic operations of day-to-day meetings.
Entrepreneurs, consultants, and small business owners can also harness the power of these sustainable business practices. And it’s easy: it takes nothing more than being a little more thoughtful in your daily decisions, and occasionally taking an extra step to choose the eco-friendly alternative.
Below are some simple ways you can incorporate greener practices into your work ethic, and encourage employees and colleagues to do the same. Will you jump on the bandwagon and go green in 2018?
· Ask your local coffee shop if they’ll pour your morning brew into a personal cup or thermos rather than a paper cup. At the very least, support coffee shops that use cups made from recycled materials and serve fair trade coffee.
· Do you have a physical office space? Design your space so that it makes the most of natural light, and use energy-efficient bulbs when natural light isn’t enough.
· Buy office supplies (think notepads, printer paper, etc.) that are composed of recycled materials. Use double-sided printing as often as possible to save paper.
· Consider ordering printing supplies from local suppliers to reduce the effects of long distance transportation utilized by “big box” companies.
· Hosting a meeting or event? Choose a venue that recycles. Better yet, choose a LEED certified venue!
· If you’re catering food for a meeting or event, choose a restaurant or catering service that sources their food locally and sustainably.
· Minimize food waste – don’t order more than you need! If you do have leftovers, make sure they are put to good use: have attendees take them home for dinner, freeze them to be eaten later, or donate them to a local food charity.
· Bike or walk to work. Encourage event or meeting attendees to carpool or take public transportation.
· Use natural and biodegradable soaps and cleaning supplies.
· Bring your own lunch in a reusable container. Minimize the amount of takeout you consume – the amount of paper/plastic bags, cartons, plastic utensils, and napkins that composes a takeout order adds up very quickly.