How to Improve Your Carbon Footprint No Matter Where You Work
Over the past few months, Australia has been facing the worst wildfires the country has seen in decades with deadly heat, smoke, and flames showing no signs of letting up to date. And it's not just Australia that is experiencing the effects of environmental degradation; record high temperatures are being recorded across the globe, Arctic Sea ice remains at record lows, and sea levels are rising at a faster rate than ever.
Climate change is a real and ongoing problem, and it is up to every member of this generation to fight it so that future generations can have a habitable world with sufficient resources to sustain them. When you get a job, you'll likely be spending around 8 hours every day at your workplace. This is more than enough time to make more eco-conscious choices that promote environmental sustainability.
Introduce and support eco-friendly policies
If you land a job where you are involved in major decisions regarding your company, you can use your influence to steer your company towards more eco-friendly practices. Take every opportunity to bring eco-friendly changes from the get-go; you can even start at the interview, explaining some of the things you'd change at the workplace to make it greener if you were to get a job there.
For example, if you get a job in a retail company, you can encourage management to switch to more eco-friendly packaging solutions to reduce landfill waste and prevent the destruction of natural habitats. You can also communicate your green values to co-workers to ensure that everyone is at least conscious about their impact on the environment.
Reduce, reuse, recycle
While some organisations are going paperless, many workplaces still rely on paper reports and memos, which can be a major contributor to their overall carbon footprint. Paper is incredibly wasteful, plain and simple; natural resources are destroyed to produce it and after use, it ends up in landfills where it decomposes to release methane, one of the worst greenhouse gases. If your new company still uses paper, try to limit the amount of paper you use to keep your carbon footprint at the minimum. Go paperless when you can by sending emails instead of printed memos, and if you must print, ensure that it's double-sided to reduce waste.
Turn it off
Offices are full of electronics, from computers to photocopiers. All of the electronics at your new workplace obviously use power and have an impact on your overall office carbon footprint. Ensuring that each of these electronics is switched off when not in use is a big step toward a greener workspace. Refrain from switching any of them on unless it's absolutely necessary. For example, instead of switching on the lights, roll back the curtains and use natural light. Instead of turning on the air conditioner, crack a window open and let the cool breeze in.
Climate change will increase the scarcity of key resources, damage economies, and devastate populations unless we all do our part in establishing green principles at our workplaces. You can do your part, however small it seems, by making more eco-conscious choices at your new job and using your influence to encourage others to do so.
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