Earth Day is an annual celebration of efforts made to protect our planet’s natural resources. In recognition of Earth Day on April 22, take a moment to explore ways you can support the environment through your workplace practices.
Environment is one of GHACF’s six areas of focus for grantmaking. We believe that effective outreach should extend not only to our social community, but to our physical community as well.
Continue reading to discover several simple practices that support environmental sustainability in the workplace. There are many opportunities to educate your team and act together in preserving the environment.
Team Building & Social Responsibility
Consider the role you and your team play in your workplace’s impact on the environment. From printing practices to shutting down computers and copiers at the end of the day, many things contribute to the health of the environment.
Educate your coworkers on environmentally friendly practices they can weave into their daily work routines. Give back to your community and the planet by volunteering as a team for an earth-friendly activity. This type of environmentally mindful culture creates more intentionality in your work and contributes to your organization’s social responsibility.
Reduce & Recycle
Make recycling easy. Place recycling receptacles in convenient and accessible areas. Clearly label them and feel free to post tips and reminders of what can be recycled.
Conserve energy. Consider phasing out inefficient lighting systems as they need to be replaced. LED lighting is 80% more efficient than CFL (fluorescent) and lasts an average of three times longer. Turn off equipment when it’s not in use, including when you leave for the day. In an office setting, printers and computers are common culprits of wasted electricity when no one’s there to use them.
Think about your paper use. Explore free and affordable digital file storage solutions and document collaboration software for editing. When you do use paper, look for recycled paper or sustainably sourced Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified paper.
Recycle old electronics. Many workplaces hang onto old equipment long past the time it’s useful. Unearth those retired electronics and donate them to be refurbished for others or bring them to an electronics recycling center.
Additional Eco-Friendly Ideas
Change up the work commute. Encourage carpooling, biking, or walking to work.
Be intentional about the nourishment you provide. Seek out local, sustainably sourced food and beverages. Choose items with less packaging or recyclable packaging. Use serving wear that’s reusable, recyclable, or compostable.
Literally go green. Numerous studies have proven office plants improve air quality, reduce stress, and increase productivity.
Put your money where your purpose is. Your investment strategies, including retirement plan portfolios, can include supporting businesses and funds that have a positive environmental impact.
Think outside the building. Your landscaping can provide biodiversity for birds, insects, and pollinators. Utilize native plants that naturally require less resources while benefiting the local eco-system.
Share these ideas with your team and determine what can be implemented. Then create a plan to execute your ideas. Doing so will improve your workplace and the environment!
Elizabeth Huisman is the Grants & Program Associate at GHACF. You may contact her at email@example.com.