Is sustainability is on your mind? Everyone else is talking about it, doing something about it and while you might have stopped using straws and plastic bags, you might be wondering what else you can do at home and at work to help the environment and generally make sure you’re doing your bit.
At home and at work, you don’t need paper anymore. According to Vince Digneo, sustainability strategist at Adobe, corrections, revisions, and updates on printed documents contribute to 90% of all office waste in the US, and remaining 10% is taking up space in storage facilities. Even if you like things the old fashioned way, it’s that which has contributed to the damage in the first place, and now we don’t have to, if you can do it digitally, then do it. Don’t bother with filing cabinets; it’s just as easy to keep the digital files on your computer and mobile device. Also, it’s a good idea to get in the habit of looking at documents on-screen, rather than printing them out.
According to a 2014 study conducted by Catalog Spree and PaperKarma, if the US alone cuts its office paper use by just 10% by moving to digital, it would reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 1.45 million metric tons—the equivalent to taking 280,000 cars off the road for an entire year, Digneo said.
At both home and at work, opt for e-statements from the bank and paperless bills from your energy suppliers. It’s also easier for everyone if you set up automated payments as then you won’t forget, and it reduces paperwork overall. Using the technologies available to us in work and at home will mean that we can all reduce our carbon footprint and help other companies to do so too and this will also improve the efficiency of businesses too.
One of the best ways to make your home and business more environmentally-friendly is to practice green procurement. Green Procurement means sourcing goods and services that are produced and supplied in a sustainable fashion. Don’t worry; it won’t mean your home will look like a rubbish dump, for example, sustainable wooden shutters are a beautiful feature, but try sourcing from local suppliers rather than those produced from far away. Also have a look at your business and personal spending, make sure that what you buy is manufactured in a sustainable fashion, does not contain toxic materials or ozone-depleting substances, can be recycled and/or are produced from recycled materials, is made from renewable materials, does not make use of excessive packaging and is designed to be repairable and not “throwaway”.
Get Some Indoor Plants
Plants at home and at work are a great addition as they can help filter the air indoor as they absorb CO2 and as well looking beautiful, houseplants are good for your health because they eliminate harmful toxins and freshen up the air. Research from NASA shows that houseplants can remove up to 87 per cent of air toxin in just 24 hours. It has also been found that indoor plants can improve concentration and productivity, reduce stress levels, and boost your mood — which makes them perfect for your workplace. Plants with broad leaves, they will help to regulate humidity and increase levels of positivity as seeing greenery and nature help you to feel more relaxed and calm. This benefits your everyday mood and means they serve as a practical and aesthetic purpose which will enhance your working day. Plants with broad leaves will help to regulate humidity and will also increase levels of positivity in your home because seeing greenery and nature helps you to feel more relaxed and calm. This means that a few plants in the house can benefit your everyday mood and also means that plants not only serve as a beautiful thing to have in your home but a practical one too.
We’re all guilty of keeping old devices in drawers thinking that one day we will need them or alternatively, we’re just not sure where to put them. If you are replacing computers, monitors, tablets or smartphones that are less than five years old either at home or at work, the chances are that they can be re-used by schools or charities in your local area. Also, companies such as Dell and HP now have technology recycling programs which allow credit for trade-ins on used equipment and donation programs for charities. Make sure you remove all sensitive information from any devices before you recycle them and just generally remember to keep your surplus electronic equipment out of the landfill.