Transform Your Office To Help Earth Become A Better Place
10 things you can do at your workplace to contribute to sustainability.
As we go about our daily lives, we often conveniently forget the impact of our actions on the environment. Habits like throwing garbage, wasting electricity, etc, are among one of the biggest threats to our ecosystem. In 2022 WHO mentioned in their article that almost the entire global population (99%) breathes air that exceeds WHO air quality limits, and threatens their health. Along with this, in the same year, there was another article by UN News stating, that 4.2 million people died globally from exposure to outdoor air pollution. These statistics are growing at an alarming rate. These numbers point out the urgent need to change our ways and take action to protect our planet.
Spitting, littering, and burning waste are some of our daily actions, which lead to polluting the surrounding area and degrading the health of human beings. This makes it difficult for us to survive.
Similarly, wasting electricity not only contributes to climate change but also leads to an increase in air pollution. The more energy we use, the more greenhouse gases are released into the atmosphere. It has devastating effects on Earth like depletion of the ozone layer which causes the harmful radiation of the sun to reach us.
Significance of Earth Day
Every day is an opportunity to make a difference in our lives and others too. One such day to make a difference is Earth day that is celebrated worldwide across all the nations on 22nd April, in honor of our planet for providing such an incredible environment and exceptional biodiversity. On this day various events are conducted across 192 countries as a reminder to keep the Earth safe, pollution-free, sustainable, green, and clean. The main significance of the day is to protect the plants, animals, and the environment.
Earth Day promotes various ideas to increase awareness among people. Some of them include convincing people to buy green products, focusing on the concept of 4 R’s – Reduce, Recycle, Refuse, and Reuse, and pledging friends and family to fight against global warming.
One of the recent updates that many of us must have come across is that Mars Wrigley chocolate bars are to be packed in recyclable, reusable, or compostable material by 2025.
Similarly many corporate entities are taking steps to help the environment and educate consumers to adopt habits that help to reduce carbon footprints. Companies are responding to sustainability every day. Several companies have risen to the challenge to help save the planet and restore healthy living. They are consciously adapting ways and making sure everyone in the organization is following them to reduce carbon footprints. Corporates are either choosing ways to be sustainable in their daily activities or they are making things that are eco-friendly in nature, helping themselves and others to take up sustainability.
On the same note, Ginny’s Planet is a company that educates parents and teachers to help children develop and learn values to face the world better and stronger at an early age and also contributes to the mission by selling environment-friendly products with valuable thoughts. Check out our motivating products. You can also take a step towards cultivating a sustainable habit to help the planet be better.
10 things you can do at your workplace to contribute to sustainability
1. Change the way you commute
Are you using your car to commute even for short distances? If yes, please try to replace it with a walk or a bicycle. Along with maintaining a healthy lifestyle, we can maintain a sustainable environment.
If you drive/or take a cab to your office due to the distance and you are the only one traveling in the car then try to inculcate the technique of carpooling.
What is Carpooling? Carpooling is a way in which 4 to 5 employees working in the same office travel by the same car, instead of each person commuting in a different vehicle. Carpooling can be a step to green your office. Public transport is not a bad idea either. It saves a lot of time and money.
What Office can do to promote this? For shorter-distance employees, the office can tie up with a rent-a-cycle company to keep a stand in office premises. For long-distance travelers, there can be a team-building game for people from the same location. This will help the employees know each other better.
2. Use reusable bottles, mugs, and reusable containers for lunch
Pack your lunch in a reusable box instead of using a plastic box. Throwing plastic boxes after the food is done adds a lot of non-recyclable garbage and using the sample plastic box over and over again for food is harmful to the health as well. Hence, start using reusable tiffins. This makes your office an eco-friendly workplace.
Also, if you buy food from the cafeteria, dispose of the packaging in a recycle bin. As this contributes to a good workplace culture.
Further, avoiding sipping coffee in a disposable cup and replacing it with a reusable cup from home will make a big difference in the long run.
3. Be cautious about the printing practices
Try to use a printer that has an option of double-sided printing. If you do not have that option, at least use the blank side to write some information that you need. This reduces the wastage of paper.
Another effective way to help the planet is to replace using a fax machine with an electronic method to send messages, this promotes an eco-friendly workplace.
Nowadays, there are many means of virtual communication. Even if you need a signature on a document, e-signatures help you sign off without the use of paper.
4. Upgrade your office decor
Make this one of the initial steps to green your office. Try to upgrade your workplace with real plants that provide pure oxygen. Go green with placing the plants, as Carbon is stored in plants which takes off the excess heat and pollution. Planting greenery in the walking tracks and outside the office can be considered a good idea for the office.
5. Reduce unnecessary usage of lights
During break time, we tend to use more light and electricity unnecessarily. This should be avoided to maintain workplace culture. Restrict the use of lights when not in use in order to avoid wastage of electricity and make it more environment friendly. There are many creative and thoughtful ideas that make the workplace look attractive and save energy. Technology has grown and replaced the use of standard light bulbs with LED lights. This can be considered as one of the good ideas for the office. They consume less energy as well as brightly illuminate the room. However, be careful to dispose of LED lights in an environmentally conscious manner.
What Office can do to promote this? Invest time to find some interesting and creative design for common rooms that saves light. This way, people will love to work from the common areas as it is attractive. An attractive environment also promotes productivity. Also, less use of private rooms unless absolutely necessary.
6. Ditch the plastic bags
Avoid using plastic bags to carry your things. They might be easier to carry, use and throw but, do you know how harmful it is to the environment? Try to be more sustainable and generate some cool ideas for the office. Instead switch to cloth or jute bags, the best alternative to maintaining a sustainable environment.
7. Don’t trash useful materials & items
In an organization, there are people using different materials for reference or systems to work on. As we grow, we upgrade ourselves to a new system or new materials for reference. Whenever we upgrade, our first instinct is to discard the old one by trashing it.
Did you know: According to the Central Pollution Control Board, India generated 1.71 million metric tons of e-waste as compared to the worldwide e-waste generation which stood at 59.40 million metric tons ( As mentioned in this article )
They say e-waste is one of the fastest-generating municipal solid waste. In order to remedy this situation, we have to start small. These systems or materials that you have upgraded from can be passed on to someone else who requires it. Someone or the other in your organization will need it or someone they know will need it. This way we save our environment and help someone else get the material easily.
Offices can have a communication channel where colleagues can post about their materials or put a request of what they are looking for. This will make it easier for everyone.
8. Take the stairs instead of the elevator
Stairs can be a good idea to help save the planet and stay aligned with your health goals, considering taking stairs is recommended. Taking stairs instead of going to and fro in the elevator can save a lot of electricity being wasted, this practice should be adopted given your health allows. Since it cannot be a mandatory practice for all, offices can encourage the ones who can by putting up funny yet motivational posters near the elevator.
9. Get everyone involved
Incorporate go-green sustainability initiatives and incentives for the contribution. Get them involved. Let them organize a cleanup effort or take up composting the office food waste. Give them the challenge and watch them take the baton and run.
10. Engage in Responsible Business Practices
Another practice that Companies can follow is safety measurable to improve their community, environment, and economy. If you are a product-focused enterprise, then you can be mindful of the following:
- Where is the production taking place?
- Is the production of goods harming the environment?
- How is the raw material sourced?
- Is the workplace of the team clean, healthy, and people-friendly?
Taking care of our people also contributes to taking care of the planet. The ultimate goal of sustainability is that we can create a healthy environment for all of us and for future generations.
Earth Day can be considered a good initiative for all companies to go green. This helps to maintain sustainable practices in their workplace. By putting the above practices into action, all the companies can serve towards achieving a green and eco-friendly workplace.
About Ginny’s Planet:
Ginny’s Planet is a social enterprise. We aim to build a world where no one feels odd one out, where being different is Okay, and where empathy & respect for diversity is practiced as a way of life.
We believe that disability is also a part of human diversity. We believe that everyone should have opportunities to flourish. We hope to share these beliefs with others around us, especially children