Living a sustainable, eco-friendly lifestyle does not have to stop at the comforts of your home. In fact, you can continue living consciously even in the workplace and have your coworkers live the same lifestyle as you! Here are a few tips to help you turn your workplace into an environmentally sustainable space:
Lead by example
Every great advocacy starts by taking a single step towards doing the right thing. If you’re really keen on being sustainable in the office, it has to start with YOU. Start taking initiative in doing things that you want to be implemented in your office like segregation, recycling, etc. By doing it yourself first, you can begin encouraging other people to join you in the zero-waste movement.
Eliminate Single-Use Packaging
Single-use plastic containers are one of the prime enemies of the environment. They are wasteful and its production cycle is harmful to the environment as well as its after-use. A more harmful byproduct of plastic is the styrofoam, which is used as an alternative to single use plastic containers. There are alternatives to single-use packaging that are more sustainable and are way cost-efficient! Instead of buying food in styrofoam containers, you can bring your own baunan (BYOB). Some restaurants actually prefer this over single-use containers, and some of them even offer discounts to customers who bring their own containers when buying food.
Speaking of trash disposal, proper solid waste management is necessary in order to be able to go fully zero-waste. Before throwing daily items in the trash, check if you can recycle it. There are many “life hack” videos and tutorials that can teach you how to repurpose trash into useful everyday items.
For food waste, you can make a compost bin that you can use to cultivate to fertilizer for your plants! It’s more effective and more cost-efficient than buying store-bought fertilizers.
For hard plastic wastes, you can convert these into eco-bricks. Essentially, eco-bricks are plastic bottles packed to a set density with used, clean and dry plastic to achieve a building block that can be used over and over again. These bricks can be used in garden decorations, building walls, and even making houses. Building your own eco-brick is very easy, and there are plenty of tutorials in the internet that will teach you how to make your own eco-brick if you’re still unsure how to begin. Apart from being decorative and useful, keeping eco-bricks is also a good way of monitoring your daily plastic consumption.
Reducing the use of paper is probably the most easy way to go zero-waste in the workplace. Avoid using paper in the office by opting for a soft copy of the document or a file, especially when a physical copy will not be needed. This saves you from cluttering your work table, and it’s also a great way to save the environment. Apart from its environmental effects, going paperless will greatly reduce the costs of your office supplies. If using paper cannot be avoided, use the clean side of a scratch paper instead!
Be organized and keep inventory
Taking note of your office supplies stock really helps in going zero-waste in the workplace. By keeping a detailed inventory of everything you own, you won’t commit the mistake of overstocking, and ultimately putting a lot of resources (and money) to waste. Buy only what you need and know when you need these things to avoid unnecessary waste.
Donate or sell unused items
Dedicate a day to go through your office stockroom to look for things that are not being used by the office. Instead of letting these things go to waste, you can donate them to local charities near you or you can sell them for the extra office money. By doing these, you’re actually putting these items into good use that just letting them rot away in the stockroom. Just make sure that the items are still in good shape and are still usable before donating or selling them.
Organize an advocacy day
If you want more people to get in on the zero-waste lifestyle in the office, you can organize a day where you talk about such lifestyle to your coworkers. Advocacy days are great ways to invite experts in the zero-waste movement to give a talk in your office to explain more about it in depth. This way your coworkers will actually have a factual sense of the effects of the green lifestyle. You can also invite green businesses to sell some of their products to your coworkers and encourage them to support these and learn more about these businesses.
To learn more about how you can adopt and adapt to the zero-waste movement that is sweeping our country, attend our latest addition to our Eureka Series: In the Green Economy. With the help from our friends from RE/MAX and MUNI Community, we have invited leaders in the green movement to give us an insight on what it is like to live a zero-waste lifestyle in the Philippines. We also invited green business owners to give us an insight on the economics of green businesses in the country. This talk will happen on November 15 at our Acceler8 center in 111 Paseo.
Photos from Unsplash.