How to be Sustainable at Work this Earth Day

Industry Resources
Professionals putting their hands together in support of being sustainable.

It’s that time of year when we dust off our compost bins and flex our eco-muscles—it’s Earth Day, and the office is about to get a whole lot greener! In today’s world, businesses increasingly recognize the importance of sustainability and make strides for a greener future. Sustainability and going green at work benefit the environment, contribute to a positive company culture, and can even lead to overall cost savings. We can work towards a more sustainable future by adopting environmentally friendly individual, community, and societal practices.

Are you looking to save the planet? Or make healthier and greener choices to help future generations? Give back to the Earth this Earth Day by making intentional switches to a more sustainable life. So, grab your reusable water bottle and follow along with some tips to make your workplace greener!

5 Ways to be Sustainable at Work:

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Reducing consumption and reusing items helps to conserve natural resources such as water and other materials like wood and minerals. By extending the lifespan of products by reusing and recycling, we reduce the demand for new raw materials. Also, by reducing consumption and reusing items, we can lower our cost of living by limiting the need for new purchases. For most businesses, the biggest obstacle to implementing recycling and reducing waste in the workplace is a lack of a plan.

You can adopt this popular saying into your workplace by providing easily accessible recycling bins for paper, plastics, glass, and other materials. You can also encourage employees to minimize waste by using reusable items like coffee mugs, water bottles, and food containers. Adopting a “reduce, reuse, recycle” approach can lead to cost savings for individuals, businesses, and communities. This mindset will help your workplace significantly decrease its carbon footprint and help conserve resources!

Go Digital

In a digital world, we have a whole host of technology at our fingertips. Ditch the paper trail and embrace digital tools and technologies that can significantly reduce paper usage in the office. A mind-blowing 70% of total waste in offices is made up of paper alone, and 30% of print jobs are never even picked up from the printer. Avoid the printer as much as possible and encourage electronic communication, document sharing, and online collaboration platforms to minimize the need for physical copies. Implementing paperless processes saves trees, streamlines workflow, and improves efficiency. By going digital, your workplace can reduce its reliance on paper and embrace more sustainable practices.

You can also try limiting printing to essential documents only and opting for digital versions whenever possible. If you must print, use double-sided printing, and reuse paper for notes or drafts. Recycling paper waste is also crucial, so make sure to use designated recycling bins for paper products.

Conserve Energy

Conserving energy is another vital aspect of making your workplace greener. Conservation reduces the demand for fossil fuels, resulting in fewer greenhouse gas emissions and mitigating global warming and its associated impacts, such as rising sea levels, extreme weather events, and disruptions to ecosystems. Easy and practical ways to do this around the office are to turn off lights, computers, printers, and other equipment when not in use, especially overnight. Adjust your computer settings to go into sleep mode during breaks. Use natural light whenever possible and invest in energy-efficient appliances and lighting fixtures. By conserving energy, your workplace can lower its carbon emissions and contribute to a healthier planet.

Commute Smarter

Although removing your morning drive to work may be impossible, there are ways to conserve energy around it. Commuting is a major source of gas emissions and carbon dioxide pollution. It also contributes significantly to climate change. Yet, there are sustainable transportation options that positively impact the environment, such as carpooling with coworkers, using public transportation, biking, or walking to work when feasible. For those who live too far to commute without a car, consider adopting a hybrid work schedule to minimize the frequency of commuting, or try to run errands all in one go so you can prevent any unnecessary emissions into the world. By reducing reliance on single-occupancy vehicles, employees can help minimize overall traffic congestion and air pollution.

Participate in Green Initiatives for Sustainability

Sustainability is fun! And there are plenty of fun Green Initiatives to implement in the workplace or in your local community to give back to the Earth. Get involved in the company or community’s green initiatives and sustainability programs. Volunteer for recycling drives, participate in tree-planting events, or join employee-led sustainability committees. Share ideas for eco-friendly practices with colleagues and management, and advocate for greener policies and initiatives in the workplace. Create a plan of ideas and activities for the month or year ahead to be more sustainable at work with your coworkers. By actively participating in green initiatives with your coworkers, employees can foster a culture of sustainability, inspire positive change within the organization, and also add to the workplace. What makes a top workplace? It’s creating a connected community… what better way than to unite over making work a little more environmentally-friendly for the Earth?

You can also set an example for your coworkers by consistently practicing eco-friendly habits and encouraging others to do the same. Demonstrate your commitment to sustainability through your actions, whether it’s by bringing reusable containers for lunch, biking to work, or participating in environmental advocacy efforts.

Save the Earth and Go Green at Work!

Employees play a crucial role in making the workplace greener. By adopting simple yet practical eco-friendly practices into their daily work routines, workers can collectively make a positive impact on the environment. And remember, going green isn’t just about reducing waste or cutting costs—it’s about creating a healthier, more sustainable future.