Changing the environment for the better will often be triggered by the behavioral change of one person, acting as the catalyst that will trigger mass change. Making a change at home is getting progressively easier, especially given the accessibility of solar panels, but you may well be wondering where else you can make a difference.
This article will provide you with a few pointers learned from a recent post by Friends of the Earth. It may lead you to become the environmental hero your office needs!
Setting up a ‘Green Action’ Team
Know other people in the office who are as environmentally conscious as you? Form a group or committee of green enthusiasts who can spread awareness of green responsibility. Set some achievable recycling targets whilst providing simple steps that your co-workers can take to help in your green mission. Remind your colleagues of the energy that can be saved by proactively turning off lights and electric appliances when not in use, and perhaps adorn the office with posters that feature green facts and ways to reduce waste.
Does it need printing?
At the bottom of company e-mails you will often see a short message advising that the e-mail should only be printed is absolutely necessary in order to save waste paper. In addition to this, there are other simple ways to coerce your colleagues to a greener way of working. See if you can encourage the office to only use recycled paper, whilst also letting your co-workers know that double-sided printing and photocopying is considered to be a lot more environmentally friendly. Recycling facilities are also very important, making effective waste paper management a lot easier.
Walking to work
Another effective way to boost an office’s green credentials is by providing an incentive to find more environmentally responsible ways to and from work. Do you or any of your co-workers live within walking or cycling distance? Could some staff members be using public transport instead of a car, or car share if this is unavoidable? If you change your habits to start with, it could serve as the catalyst!
A huge amount of money is wasted every day due to the sheer number of tea and coffee that is consumed in the average office. Many workers will boil a full kettle just for themselves, which will waste a lot of energy. Suggest that your colleagues only use the right quantity of water for their hot beverage. Accurately estimating the amount of water needed can be made easy by marking the correct quantity on the side of the kettle.
To make the changes that will result in a better environment, we need to individually take control and spark the required behavioural changes. However, this doesn’t mean continuously badgering your colleagues, as this could soon grow tiresome. Make sure to remain suggestive and not too overbearing, and remind them of the positive impact that their efforts will have on future generations.
Dane Cross writes on behalf of UK based solar installers Ardenham Energy.