When I'm at home, I take much more care about turning off lights, recycling, consuming less water, etc., than when I'm at work. Why? I don’t really know…maybe because I'm not paying for the energy and water usage at work (just being honest!). But my attitude is changing! I came to the conclusion that since I ask my kids to recycle when they’re at school, I better be fulfilling my end of the bargain at work! And you can bring some more "green" habits to work with you, too. Here are a few ways.
Do Your Actions Speak Louder Than Words?
Recycle, recycle, blah, blah, blah. I know you’ve heard it a thousand times. But do you do it? It is probably one of the easiest earth-friendly contributions you can make right from your workplace. If your company does not recycle, simply ask them to. Most don't do it because of the hassle of disposing it, but there are special recycling dumpsters you can have placed right in your parking lot, with monthly pick ups for as little as $30 a month. (For a company's budget, that's pennies!) It’s a small investment that offers a big benefit. If your workplace lacks recycling bins and refuses to add them, put anything you can recycle back in your lunch box and bring it home to your own recycle bin. It’s the least you can do and it’s so easy.
A Drop in the Bucket
Ditch the bottled water and get a Brita filter. They attach directly to the faucet and the water tastes great! I mean, for goodness sake, didn’t most of us grow up on tap water? This will surely help reduce the amount of recycling you have to deal with at work. Americans throw out over 35 billion plastic water bottles every year! Yowza! That means if all 40 of us at Pongo had a bottle of water each day, we would contribute more than 10,000 of those billion water bottles in a year. How many would your company add?
Go the Extra Mile—Literally!
Okay, enough with the recycling, right? I will admit openly here that I am by no means a bike rider, but just last week, one of my coworkers rode his bike to work. This is not only beneficial for the environment, but do you know how many calories you can burn on a 13.4 mile bike ride? Double that for a round trip ride. If you don’t ride a bike, carpool with a coworker. Not only does this save on gas and tolls, but the conversation is far better than when you're alone!
Are You Barking Up the Wrong Tree?
This is another example of something I enforced at home, but wasn’t doing at work. I denied my kid’s access to the printer. Give younger kids free reign to a printer and you have 20 pictures of SpongeBob picking his nose to now RECYCLE later that night. What a waste! At work, if you can manage to read that 20 page document on your computer monitor instead of printing it out, do it. I know how tough this is…I am a paper person, so I am adjusting slowly. So if you have to print it, make sure to recycle it…there I go again!
There are companies like Paper Retriever that will work side-by-side with a school or organization and drop off a paper recycling dumpster in the parking lot of your workplace—for FREE. Once the bin is full with all that paper you were going to throw away, the company comes back to weigh it and haul it away. And you get paid for it! The revenue earned from the paper can be spent on a specific project that the organization chooses.
How are you being "green" at work? Do you have any other ideas to add? Share your experience in a comment!
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