Taking steps to create an environment friendly atmosphere at home as well as office is a great way to make a contribution to the growing need for physical health, saving energy and the reduction of our negative environmental impacts.
The environment comprises all of physical and social conditions that surround us and can influence our health. Our environment includes both our outdoor and indoor surroundings. The quality of air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we grow and eat are important to our health. So is our exposure to garbage and sewage water in the street, loud noise and radiation from the sun and other sources. Being aware of potential risk in our physical environment can help us protect our health.
Driving a car, using electricity to light and heating our home, and throwing away garbage; all effects environment and lead to greenhouse gas emissions. We can reduce emissions through simple actions like changing a light bulb, powering down electronics, using less water, and recycling. By taking preventive measures at home and workplace, we can protect the environment, reduce air pollution, and save money.
Business and offices, for instance, use a significant amount of electricity (for heating and cooling, lighting, and operating equipments) and paper. There are number of environment friendly practices to save energy, protect the environment, fight climate change, and help make the air cleaner. Driving our vehicle releases greenhouse gases into the atmosphere and contributes to climate change— but we can take simple, easy steps to cut down our emissions, reduce our dependence on oil, and save money.
Let’s learn about environmental issues that impact our household & workplace, and about ways and tools to help us get involved and make a difference. For a healthy environment around us, let’s begin at home/office to be part of the solution and tackle environmental issues responsibly.
Listed below are some key environment friendly practices that can easily be followed at home as well as the workplace.
- Make your home and office a no-smoking zone
- To maintain fresh air circulation, make sure cross ventilation
- Keep a healthy level of humidity (about 30% – 50%)
- Buy permanent items instead of disposables
- Buy products with less packaging
- Use a reusable cloth to clean dining table and basin. Do not consider using toilet paper or bathroom tissue
- Make use of glass or plastic jar to store food
- Make use of plastic bag acquired from shopping to store rubbish
- Use of pressure cooker and steam cooker in kitchen can reduce lots of energy consumption
- Collect papers and old newspapers and send them for recycling
- Stop using chemical fertilizer and pesticides; make organic fertilizer from organic waste and plant mint herbs to expel pests
- Water the lawn or garden during the coolest part of the day (early morning is best)
- Use of high pressure water jet hose during car wash wastes water. One should use a bucket to hold the water instead
- Only use washing machine for big amount of clothes, and also collect waste water from washing machine to flush the toilet
- Control the water flow when you open a water tab. This can reduce the consumption of water from 25% to 50%
- The hot water used for cooking half boiled eggs is not wasted; it can be cooled and re-used for watering the plants
- Use shower head in bathroom instead of bathtub. This can save up to 4 times on water consumption
- Use a container to hold water when shaving or brushing your teeth. Do not allow free flow of water from the tap
- Repair all leaks to save water (a leaky toilet can waste 200 gallons a day)
- Turn off the socket and pull out the plug of electrical appliances when not in use. The electrical appliances continue consuming electricity if the socket is not turned off
- Adjust the brightness of your laptop and television screens to low. This is not only to conserve the use of energy but also protect your eyes
- Replace the normal incandescent light with energy saving fluorescence light. This can reduce energy consumption by up to 60%
- Keep your refrigerator away from the stove, in dry and cool area
- Do not leave your refrigerator door open unnecessary
- Have leaky air conditioning and refrigeration systems repaired
- If the use of water heater is inevitable, choose to buy a solar energy powered heater
- Insulate your home, water heater and pipes.
- Weather sheets on roof of the building and walls keep your home/office cool.
- Air conditioner is the main culprit in global warming with its CFC discharge. Use fan instead of air conditioner and consider weather
- Ride a bicycle or walk to the nearby areas. This way it makes you close to the nature as well as keeping fit
- Dry your clothes under the sun instead of using a drier. This can save energy as well as reduce carbon emission
- Support recycling and reusing. Try your best to recycle and reuse abandoned items
Most of us spend 08 hours in office on weekdays. This has not included those overtime hours. And I know some of us also work on weekends. So office has slowly become our second home!
Environment protection begins with me! I print on both sides of papers. I also recycle papers which are printed on 1 side. I believe in and adhere to 3Rs policy in my daily life. The 3Rs refer to reduce, reuse and recycle.
Here goes some of the office level green tips:
- Travel to work using public transport. Car-sharing, car pooling and using private pick & drop service are also healthy options in order to minimize air pollution and traffic congestion, and to save fuel
- Implement a thorough recycling plan
- Recycle old newspaper and used paper. Always retrieve used paper if there is still any blank area on it. Do not waste paper. Print on both sides of the paper. Reduce paper usage to the lowest. This can be done by reducing the use of fax machines and printers. Develop the habit to use email and video conference instead
- ‘Green’ your office by putting living plants in your room. Plants serve as carbon-sinks and this is to make sure that the contents of both oxygen and carbon dioxide is equal in the office
- Get the whole team on board with an energy saving plan.
- Switch off the mains of lamps, computers, air conditioners, printers and other electrical appliances when not in use
- Do not forget to switch of lights and exhaust fan when you exit bathroom
- Do not allow your computer in prolong system standby mode. Turn off your computer if you leave your computer unattended even it is just for a short period
- Recycle used envelopes. Used envelopes can still be used to jot down comments, messages and short notes
- Go on foot to the canteen or mosque to reduce air pollution as well as save on fuel
- Choose to use energy saving air conditioner. There is not necessary to switch on all air conditioners in the office especially during cold and rainy days
- Reduce the frequency of working outstation. Your every flight, train ride or car ride will pose negative impacts to the environment
- Avoid using tissue paper to dry your hands. Use hand dryer instead or prepare yourself a small towel in the office
- Donate old and unwanted computers and furniture to individuals and organizations in need
Wastage and misuse of resources is not only immoral and anti-humankind, it is also unlawful. The faith-based fellows should take this very seriously since wastage of resources and polluting environment are sins (wrongdoings) and we will be held answerable to God about these damaging acts because of our deliberate ignorance or indolence. And for my friends who simply believe in science, logic and reason, they should rather be more conscious since we have the responsibility to take care of our environment and natural resources so that our mother earth can sustain for us as well as for our future generations.
Author:Tahir Hasnain is a veteran researcher and development practitioner serving the non-government development sector since two decades. Currently he works for Shirkat Gah as Programme Manager, Environment & Livelihood. He can be contacted at – firstname.lastname@example.org