Green Book Fairies #22: let’s talk about… The Workplace!

Today’s #GreenBookFairies are looking at ways to make our workplaces greener. Remember where many of us used to go to before the lockdown? But no worries, we also talk about working from home!

Let’s talk about…the workplace! 

The Problem:

We often don’t think of the workplace as somewhere we have much control over in terms of how green it is. We wonder how we are supposed to go green unless we’re the big boss! However, even small efforts can reduce our eco-footprint. Maybe the powers that be will be inspired by your green efforts. 

The Solutions:

  • As more and more companies make promises to listen to their employees and make their workplace a positive place to be – harness this to your advantage! Whatever level you are at, you have the power to make where you work a greener place. Here are some tips for you to do yourself, and also ideas for the wider workplace.
  • Use both sides of the paper for any printing that must be done and reuse paper that has only been printed on one side. 
  • Use your bike, your feet or public transport for deliveries, as well as for your commute to and from work. 
  • If a uniform is required, rent it. 
  • Keep digital files and copies instead of paper. Try to take digital notes instead of a notebook, or choose a pad that’s made from recycled paper with no plastic cover or rings. Some places even recycle old newspapers to make pads and pens!
  • Turn out the lights and the computer monitors when they’re not in use. Putting a monitor to sleep saves very little energy. 
  • Buy refills of anything that can be refilled…pens, tape, cleaning supplies, highlighters, white board markers, etc. 
  • Buy green cleaning supplies or hire green cleaning companies to clean your office. 
  • Bring your own mug to work, as well as your own cutlery for office meals.
  • Prepare and bring your own meals, too – leftovers make great lunches! Bring a bag to put your dirties in if there is no dish washing facility.
  • Spearhead projects for making your workplace more eco-friendly, for example introducing recycling bins, switching to a milk delivery service in glass bottles, pushing for real crockery / cutlery, suggesting monitors are shut down every night – as we always say, you have a voice!

Fairy verdict:

“For me, I have been pleasantly surprised at how easy it has been to conduct business from home because of the pandemic. As an attorney, I used to travel for meetings all over the world, as well as to the office each day. I can see that it will make sense to approach meetings that require travel as well as office time in a more eco-conscientious way in the future when this pandemic ends.”

Chris, Toronto

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