Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. A common phrase drilled into us when we were younger and yet, how many of us actually follow this undervalued motto in our everyday lives?
Apart from being my favourite colour, green is good in an environmental sense. It’s common practice to fill the recycling bins at home, so why shouldn’t we think about this more when we’re at work? Looking after the environment is a very current, and important, topic in the world, so it is my thinking that we should endeavour to make sure that we are being as environmentally friendly as possible in the workplace.
If, like me, you’re concerned of the environmental impact that plastic waste is having on our planet, then you’ll understand why this is a topic that we should all be starting to take more seriously.
So, what can you do to help make sure that you and your team are being as green as possible in the workplace? Apart from forcing them to read this blog of course, here are 5 ways to go green in the workplace:
1. Get senior management involved: Their buy-in sets a precedent for the rest of the workforce.Surveys suggest that millennials would rather work for a company that has a core mission, purpose and morals in what they do, even if it means they take a pay cut. So it’s also great for the business.
2. Remove individual ‘under desk’ bins and install rubbish waste and recycling points, this increases the amount of material recycled by removing the temptation to easily throw away recyclable items- otherwise known as ‘laziness’.
3. Reduce the amount we use in the first place: set your printer default to double sided, bring lunch in tupperware rather than buying plastic wrapped sandwiches and have a reusable water bottle, why not go company branded?
4. Communicate with your staff, remind and repeatedly inform them!
5. Make it as simple as possible, name and colour code your bins … disperse your staff as 007 agents to see if the cleaner actually does recycle the bins!
Just to hit the point home, here are 6 not so fun facts spur your office into action:
1. The UK uses a forest the size of Wales every year in paper
2. To create 1kg of consumer goods, manufacturers create 5kg of waste
3. In less than 2 hours the UK produces enough waste to fill the Royal Albert Hall
4. You alone create your body weight in waste rubbish every 6 weeks!
5. The energy saved by recycling 1 aluminium can is enough to run a TV or 3 hours
6. Since 1950 we have consumed as much as all the generations before us combined
During my travels abroad, I witnessed first-hand the quantity of plastic waste and its consequences, whether it be washed up waste on the beaches of Central America, or the plastic lined streets of India, it is all having an unprecedented impact on the environment. My most devastating memory has to be the plastic ocean in the remote islands of Indonesia – for as far as the eye could see there was a floating blanket of plastic and rubbish.
Those plastic milk bottles and yoghurt pots that we throw away a few times a week may seem minor, but when we look at the bigger picture, and when there are 100 people doing the same thing in your building, it’s significantly adding to the problem at hand. Plastic is now so inherent in everything we do, it’s microscopic particles may not be visible to the naked eye but they are ever present in the aquatic, terrestrial and airborne environments. So basically, what I’m trying to say is #savetheplanet not just for our ocean pals but also for ourselves – and start this crusade at work!
If you are not convinced by all of the above facts – you must surely trust in the beloved David Attenborough… ? The recent Blue Planet 2 was approached in a brilliant format, showing not only the beauty of nature but also the reality of what impact humans are having on it. This series had a significant impact on viewers, as 80% of viewers stated that they learnt something new from the show and following on from the shows finale the recycling of plastic increased by a staggering 55% – the legendary Attenborough strikes again!
I hope that if you didn’t watch Blue Planet2, that you have at least learnt something new from this blog and you will think about Reducing, Reusing, Recycling – both in the workplace as well as at home.
If you wish to #savetheplanet with us or hear about what projects we get up to when we’re not trying to save the world, do not hesitate to drop us a line at either our Marlow or Nottingham offices.