Tag Archives: work habits

Climate Action Program – Company wanted it – I wrote it

_MG_4308Today my boss and I introduced our office’s new Climate Action Program Policy. I wrote it in a jiffy, and promoted myself to Climate Action Program Manager immediately.

Yep. That’s me.

My focus when when writing this, hopefully successful program, has been to introduce eco- initiatives that take very little time, require very little effort, and cost as little as possible for the company. So, yes, we could have gone bolder, but my goal was to encourage sustainable behavior without anyone thinking it is “so much work”. Also, management had to approve it :)

Here’s what we’re doing:

  • Every flight taken for business will be carbon compensated, ton by ton, thru tree planting or other carbon offsetting programs.
  • Each person will get one work-from-home day per calendar month to reduce emissions from driving.
  • Prohibited to cater beef, lamb, farmed fish for company events. Cheese and pork strongly discouraged. (Showed a video on beef, link here)
  • All office coffee organic and fair trade. Milk: organic or plant-based.
  • Educate personnel on how they can avoid single-use-items. I held a presentation, and moved all single use items into one cupboard (on which I put a sticker that says “no excuse for one time use” LOL).
  • Recycling program for aluminum, electronics, batteries, print paper.
  • All paper products for office made from 100% recycled fibers.
  • Allow each employee to expense a reusable water bottle to be used when traveling and at the office.

Now, I will never understand how anyone can have such a strong emotional attachment to beef, that they feel targeted and uncomfortable when asked to not eat it on company dime. It’s mind blowing. One guy didn’t even come to the meeting because the lunch I had catered was healthy and vegetarian. *Brain exploding * So disrespectful.

Anyway. Get comfortable with being uncomfortable folks – change is coming!

The sustainable community is always talking about how “systematic change” matters more than individual actions, but let’s be honest: individual action and pressure create systematic change. I am sure the company where I work wouldn’t be asking each branch to take action on climate change hadn’t it been for activists like Greta Thunberg and employees asking upper management to do something. We all matter and I am super excited about finally being able to force some changes in behavior on my colleagues.

Have you suggested a Climate Action Program at your work-place yet? If not, what are you waiting for?!

Talk to me – let me help you write a simple program!

More on office eco-habits here.

Five ways to eco-boost your day at the office (every day!)

As the kids are gearing up for school, adults are gearing up for going back to work after our summer vacations. Oh wait, some of us never left. Either way, it’s a great time to kick start some new, sustainable habits along with that new, hopefully better, fall wardrobe you’re about to show off.

Most of us spend just as much time at the office (or other workplace) as we do at home. Therefore, what environmentally friendly choices we make during working hours certainly matters!

Here are five easy ways to eco-boost your day at the office. EVERY day!

1. Ditch the disposables

Using disposable cups for office coffee and water is a nasty habit. There is absolutely no reason to add cups to landfill every day, because you’re too lazy to wash up. If your office has a dishwasher, all the better, if not, there is no shame in taking your cups home now and then to give them a deep clean. If you’re a stir stick fan, use that plastic piece of nonsense multiple times (or how does over 500 years in landfill before it degrades sound?).

Disposable water bottles don’t belong in the office either, since most offices have a water cooler you can use. And if not, ask your employer to invest in one (or maybe water filters for all kitchen faucets).

cup
Scarf + coffee mug = match made in office

2. Be eco-smart about lunch

Lunch is the one meal a day that you get to control 100%. No boyfriend, wife, family or friends cooking for you or suggesting what’s for dinner. Use this opportunity to eat vegan meals, or at least put beef and dairy on the “forever forbidden lunch food” list. Avoid places that use disposable dishes and cups.

Pack your lunch now and then too (in reusable containers) to save the car trip, napkins, unwanted straws, receipts and cash.

3. Trash belongs in the common area (not your office!)

If you have a personal trash can in your office or cubicle, ever notice how the trash bag is changed almost every night? Throw a banana peel in there and I guarantee you the cleaning crew will change the bag. This behavior wastes so much plastic! 100 employees, 220 workdays, that’s 22,000 (half empty) plastic bags going to landfill every year! Take your trash to a common area, like the kitchen. Bonus! You’re less likely to sit on your butt all day.

4. Turn that light off

Just because you aren’t footing the electricity bill doesn’t mean Mother Nature isn’t. Unless you’re working in a building powered 100% by solar panels – a turbine, coal plant or nuclear reactor somewhere is making energy for you. Turn off your office lights, bathroom lights, fans, heaters and electronics when you leave a space. Help your forgetful colleagues by turning off their lights too (hey, only when they’re not there!).

If you have access to the A/C thermostat, great, set it to a comfortable (higher) level to save the building electricity! Plus you and your colleagues don’t have to use personal space heaters (to warm those cold feet). [Reader tip!]

5. Reduce, reuse and recycle

80% of office waste is paper, so being mindful about paper use is key. Only print when you need to, use both sides of the paper and collect all paper for recycling. I bet your office has a secure shredder bin or recycle collection bin, and if not, encourage (hmm, more like demand) that your employer gets one. Help your colleagues remember to recycle by setting up local paper collection trays in your specific work area. If you see a piece of paper in a personal office trash can (see point 3) give the person the evil eye. It’s effective.

recycling tray
Three people at work use my collection bin :)

That’s my list! I do these things every day and I promise it’s so easy! We can all make a difference while we’re on the clock. Quite the win-win.

Do you have more ideas on how to maximize our eco-friendliness at work?! Leave me a comment :)