Now that you’re an adult, you practice GREEN techniques all the time right? Recycling, turning off lights, unplugging appliances…
Well, if you aren’t, I went to someone I know who is passionate about this to light the fire under all of us and give us tips for work and home to be more green.
Enter: Becky Benishek. One of the first people I met on Twitter who will light up your every day.
Five Quick’n’Dirty Ways to Be Green At Work
Kermit said it best: “It’s not easy being green.” He may have meant something a tad less environmental, but his words still apply: It isn’t easy to remember day in and day out all the things you could be doing to help yourself and the planet, especially when you’re rushing to get out the door.
So what can you when you’re at work all day and still want to be sustainable? Here are five easy tips to green yourself and your immediate surroundings. Try them at home, too!
1. Say no to the Styro.
Is your break room or cafeteria full of convenient plastic utensils, Styrofoam containers and plastic cups? Avoid them in style by bringing your own silverware and reusable food containers.
Bonus points: If you do reach for the plastic knives and forks, you can always reuse them—washing them first, of course—instead of throwing them away at the end of a meal. A co-worker of mine had a whole stash of them in a file drawer.
2. Recycle much?
Once you get started, you’ll find it doesn’t really take much more energy on your part to dump your bottles, cans and paper products in their appropriate containers. With any luck, they’re located right next to the regular trash bins. If not, well, you wanted to walk more this year, didn’t you?
Bonus points: Company doesn’t have a recycling program? Ask if they can start one, or better yet, head up the effort yourself. Extra points if you run or support an annual fundraiser for local sustainability efforts. Good for your company, good for your city, good for your resume!
3. The Stairs: Your (Eternal) Friend.
So your office is eight flights up, your knees gave out just thinking about it and the stairwell looks like it could star in the next teen horror movie. Try this: Go up just one flight, and then take the elevator. Simple, right? After about a week, aim for two flights, and so on.
At the very least, take them down. Opting for stairs versus the elevator helps your heart rate big time, plus saves energy consumption.
Bonus points: Wear an odometer to keep track of the stair step goodness.
Note: If your knees really do give out on the stairs or you have other health problems, please don’t push yourself unless you are medically advised.
4. Power down.
Turn off your desk light when you leave for the day and shut down your computer. If you have a laptop, unplug it. And if you’re the last to leave the building, go ahead and switch off the main lights.
Bonus points: Have you noticed how often conference room lights are left on when people file out? If you don’t have the kind of building where the lights automatically power off, take that extra millisecond and switch them off, at least in rarely used rooms.
5. Call in the reserves.
Most things are easier if you have a buddy to do it with you. The same goes for when you’re going green. Not only can buddies keep you on track and lend their support, but chances are they already have fabulous ideas for greening yourselves and your surroundings. Plus, you can make them take the stairs with you.
Remember: Even a green journey is made up of one step at a time. With today’s heightened awareness and more and more companies on board with sustainability, we have an even better chance of making our resolutions stick, and making that better tomorrow closer to today.
Want more? Up your green consumption:
Green Week: BrightTalk Summit (April 18, 2011)
Earthwatch.org: Work on sustainable projects all over the world.
Becky Benishek is a Marketing/IT geek who can’t stay away from books, guinea pigs, social-ecological issues or writing. She is currently the Social Media Specialist at the Crisis Prevention Institute (CPI) and tweets about dementia care, workplace violence prevention and nonviolent crisis intervention at @CPI_Training, and a mix of career and crisis prevention resources at @bbenishek. Becky believes in the Miracle on 34th Street: Giving people what they need to get where they need to go.