The devil is in the details, and details add up to make or break the environment. An eco friendly life can be fun and simple at home, but how many of us are exploring eco friendly options at the office? Ten billion dollars a year is wasted on electronics left on when not in use, according to the EPA, and that’s not even the tip of the iceberg. You don’t have to quit your day job and chain yourself to a tree to make a major difference; simply start with small changes.
Ways To Work Sustainably
1. Cell Phones/ Electronics are Worth Their Weight In (Recycled) Gold
Cell phones and many other electronics require many precious metals to function. There are a finite number of precious metals in the world, and extracting them has the environmental impact of a nuclear waste dump. Ipso facto, recycle your old cell phones, computers and office equipment. Circuit boards can hold 800 times the equal amount of gold ore dug from mining— and the stats are similar for other precious metals. Griffith University estimates that up to 130 million cell phones are tossed in the trash each year, which would be enough gold to put most gold mines out of business.
2. Reduce Your Own Emissions, Errands
Don’t you hate when you’re pulling in the driveway after a long day and realize you forgot to stop at the post office? Burning one gallon of gas creates 17.68 pounds of carbon dioxide, and that adds up to an average of 8,230 pounds per car, per year. You don’t have to eschew all personal transportation to make a positive dent in your carbon footprint. A simple analysis of your errand-running habit can save hundreds of pounds of CO2 gas from emission.
- Bike: Yes, this is obvious and not always doable, but did you know that bike sharing has allowed 45 percent of users in Denver to ditch their cars? Or that 23 percent of trips in Minneapolis would have been made by cars?
- Bring Your Errands to You: Postage company Pitney Bowes’ postage meter can and has saved thousands of miles in trips to the post office, while reducing innumerable stamps and package labels (bonus: also a money saver). Companies like Task Rabbit can also consolidate and run your errands for you, which cuts down on multiple trips to the store.
Also Read : What is Sustainable Development?
3. Paper: Know When To Use It
Paper could be nearly obsolete, and in many ways it is on its way out (notebooks are so old-hat anyway), yet paper makes up a whopping 29 percent of the U.S.’s municipal solid waste, according to the EPA. The average office employee uses 10,000 sheets of paper every single year, reports reduce.org, and the cost of using paper can be 13 to 31 times higher than the cost of purchasing the paper initially. Next time you want to print out that email, think again. Notes? How about a white board? Buy paper and wood products that adhere to Forestry Stewardship Council guidelines and you can save 1.4 tons of CO2 for every sustainable ton of paper and cardboard. Save your paper for your tax receipts or kid’s masterpieces.