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If you’re like me, you work outside of your home. This can create roadblocks when you’re trying to live with the earth in mind, but your Eco-Friendly lifestyle shouldn’t stay home while you’re at work.
My husband and I are fortunate enough to work at the same company with our offices next to each other, so we have worked together in making our office greener.
Below are a few tips to help bring your sustainable lifestyle to work with you.
Bring your own
The company we work for has a Keurig in the breakroom. I’ll admit when I first started working here I used it… (face palm)
I didn’t think about the huge impact those little kcups have on the planet. They are not recyclable and don’t decompose.. Once I realized this, I stopped using them and haven’t touched it since. I try to inform my coworkers, but my efforts unfortunately are not paid attention to.
I no longer drink coffee even at home, but I bring my tea in a reusable to-go mug.
As far a the water at work goes, they use a reverse osmosis system for the drinking water, so we bring our own water. Sure we get made fun of bringing a reusable gallon jug of water to work, but it’s so much healthier!
If your place of work uses reverse osmosis, consider bringing your own water from home.
Why? Read my post about sustainable water filtration here.
Pack your lunch
This is Eco-Friendly for many reasons.
One: You won’t have to worry about recycling or throwing out food packaging, so it’s zero waste!
Two: You won’t be traveling to get something to eat, so you won’t be creating ozone by driving your vehicle to get lunch everyday.
Also Read: 10 Ways to reduce plastic waste
We keep a set of dishes at work so that we don’t have to use paper plates or bowls. This has reduced our waste quite a bit!
Does it really need to be printed? – There are some things that do need to be printed, but if at all possible, try to save a document on your computer or email that spreadsheet instead of printing it. – I know this might sound crazy, but stop and think about how many pages needlessly get printed everyday. It adds up.
If you do need to print, try printing on both sides of the paper. In my line of work printing on both sides of the page isn’t always doable, but I try to do this as much as possible or just keep it digital.
Recycle pages that aren’t needed anymore and look for other items to recycle as well. Highlighters, pens, and cardboard boxes are commonly used office items that can easily be recycled.
If your place of work doesn’t already, try to encourage recycling. Ask about getting a recycling bin from the company who does your trash pick-up.
Bring the Outdoors in
Bring a plant to work with you. Some houseplants help to purify the air, others are just pretty to look at and will help keep you feeling happy during stressful days. If you’re able, use your break time to go outside and clean up litter or plant flowers to spruce up around the building.
Use natural cleaners instead of harsh chemical cleaners that are usually found in offices. I’ve asked the cleaning crew to skip my office when they come to clean, because I have an allergy to the chemicals used in conventional cleaners. I keep a spray bottle of water and Castile soap in my desk. This is awesome because I can use it to keep my office clean and in a pinch use it as hand sanitizer.
Don’t shame coworkers
Not everyone will agree with your Eco-Friendly lifestyle. You might even get some weird looks for talking about how plastic water bottles are terrible for the environment or how we need to stop using kcups. Don’t shame them by telling them they are ruining the planet, even though it can be frustrating that not everyone cares. Rather lead by example. Sometimes people change without you saying anything at all.
You will have some who want to know how they can do their part in saving the planet and might come to you for advice.
Share these tips and ways that you bring your eco-friendly lifestyle to work.
Even if only one coworker works toward living eco-friendly, it’s better than no one doing it at all.
What if you don’t work in an office?
The same principles apply although you may have to make a few adjustments.
Before I worked in an office, I installed flooring and unfortunately this was before I started my Eco-Friendly Lifestyle.
Looking back I could have easily packed a lunch, brought my own water and used cleaners that were environmentally friendly.
No matter the industry you work in, try to think of ways to reduce your carbon footprint and bring your eco-friendly lifestyle with you.
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How have you brought your Eco-Friendly lifestyle to work with you? I’d love to hear in the comments!