- The time to adopt sustainable practices in the workforce is now.
- Every sustainable effort, both big and small, is appreciated.
- Not only can you do sustainable practices in your personal life, but also in the workplace.
- Companies like IKEA and Patagonia set great examples for their involvement in sustainability.
What Is Sustainability, And Why Is It Important?
According to UCLA, sustainability is “the integration of environmental health, social equity, and economic vitality. The sustainability practice recognizes how these issues are interconnected and require a systems approach and an acknowledgment of complexity.” The overall goal of sustainability is meeting present-day needs while not depleting future resources.
If harmful non-sustainable practices are in use, it’s more than likely that we will all run out of sources like fossil fuels, damage the ecosystem for current species, and create irreparable damage to the atmosphere. Unfortunately, some of these side effects have already come to fruition. However, it’s not too late to make changes for your future and future generations.
Why Daily Sustainable Practices Are Essential
A study by Tanjena Rume and S.M. Didar-Ul Islam with the US National Library of Medicine and National Institutes of Health shows that the environmental effects of the latest pandemic, COVID-19, have proven potential strategies for sustainability. Due to many people being quarantined, the air quality improved significantly in various cities worldwide. In addition, it reduced emissions and water pollution and assisted with the restorations of the ecological system.
Now, it’s up to us to create sustainable practices and bring them into our daily lives to make other positive impacts. One can adopt various sustainable practices into everyday life with minimal efforts, such as recycling, using less single-use plastics, growing your vegetables, etc. However, according to Gettsyburg College, “the average person will spend 90,000 hours at work over a lifetime”. Since the average person will spend roughly a third of their life at work, many individuals urge their employers to maintain sustainable methods.
Businesses Adopting Sustainable Methods And How You Can Too
Companies like Patagonia and Ikea are great examples of businesses that strive toward sustainable practices. For instance, Ikea makes efforts both big and small, like aiming to phase out plastic from consumer packaging by 2028. Additionally, Patagonia has 94% of its line made of recyclable materials. If your business is new to sustainability, these efforts might seem overwhelming. However, if every company adopts sustainable methods, the power to change is more significant. So, we’ve placed eight easy ways to create a more sustainable work environment.
8 Easy Sustainable Practices In The Workplace
1. Save energy by turning off lights when not in use. You can utilize motion-detecting sensors to turn lights on when needed, provide signage for employees to turn off lights when not in use, or have timed lights for office hours.
2. If the business provides promotional materials or swag to vendors and employees, opt for recyclable tote bags or stainless-steel tumblers with reusable straws.
3. If your office is in a city, encourage public transportation or bikes for those that live nearby with secure places to place their bikes.
4. Encourage more paperless opportunities. Instead of printing off agendas for meetings, try the documents with all attendees through email.
5. Create volunteer opportunities for employees to go green. Various environmental causes need volunteers, including beach cleanups or restoration of local parks.
6. Contact a waste management vendor to create a recycling program for everyone at work to use.
7. Eliminate all non-recyclable dishware (including coffee cups) and install an energy-efficient dishwasher.
8. Provide eco-friendly snacks like apples, bananas, and oranges, rather than plastic packaged bags of processed snacks.
While donating to environmental causes is beneficial and much appreciated, we must also adopt these practices to make a difference in our future. If you’re looking for more articles related to sustainability, read What One Small Business Is Doing For Sustainability.