Happy April! This month LGC is going to be talking all things sustainability. Every Monday we’ll take on environmental topics and provide you with EnviroInsights to help you share in saving the planet. This week we are going to talk about how you can make a difference right in your own workplace and at home.  

Sustainability is the “balance between the environment, equity, and economy,” according to the UCLA Sustainability Committee. It is important to practice sustainability to work towards a better life for this generation and generations to come. So, here are 8 easy ways to do this in your own life! 

1. Reduce Paper Usage 

Deforestation is a real problem around the world with an estimated 10 million hectares (1 hectare = 100 acres of land) of forest being cut down every year, according to Our World in Data. The amount of paper we use from trees can help or hurt the environment in significant ways. 

At work, you should print documents only when necessary and use double-sided printing. If you are going to print, change the default settings on printers and copiers to black and white to save on colored ink. If possible, the best option is to cut out paper usage altogether. Instead of printing, encourage digital documentation and communication through emails or cloud storage solutions.  

Reduce paper usage to prevent deforestation.

2. Minimize Energy Consumption 

In 2021, the U.S. used approximately 98 quadrillion British thermal units of energy (Btu). The U.S. population made up around 4% in 2021 and yet had the 10th largest energy consumption in the world, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Using less energy significantly reduces air and water pollution and conserves natural resources which are becoming scarce. 

Easy ways to make sure you reduce your energy consumption include: turning off lights, computers, monitors, and other electronic devices when not in use, especially overnight and on weekends; using energy-efficient LED light bulbs and considering installing motion sensors in low-traffic areas; and adjusting thermostat settings to conserve energy during off-hours or utilizing programmable thermostats. If you, yourself, can’t make these changes, try to have conversations with the people that can to make a difference. 

3. Promote Recycling and Waste Reduction 

You’ve probably heard “reduce, reuse, recycle” since you were a young child. But do you actually know why recycling is important? Recycling helps save energy, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and minimize extracting natural resources, according to Recycle Now. It’s true that it’s probably easier to just throw everything in one bin, but it’s important to separate out things that don’t need to end up in a landfill.  

You can provide clearly labeled recycling bins for paper, plastics, glass, and other recyclable materials and use accordingly. In your kitchens, reduce the amount of single use items (ex: plastic utensils, cups, etc.) to motivate the use of reusable items such as water bottles, containers, and mugs. Lastly, implement a composting program for food scraps and organic waste if feasible. These small changes can make a big difference.  

Separate recycling.
4. Encourage Sustainable Transportation 

Fuel dependency is one of the leading causes of toxic air pollution. Obviously we have to use some fuel to get to and from the office, but there are ways that you can reduce the amount of fuel you use.  

Provide incentives for carpooling, biking, or using public transportation, such as subsidized transit passes or preferred parking for carpoolers. You can also install bike racks and facilities for bicycle commuters, such as showers and lockers. 

5. Use Eco-Friendly Office Supplies: 

More and more, companies are choosing to use sustainable materials such as recycled paper to sell the items you need on your desk. Instead of plastic writing or food utensils, choose environmentally friendly office and cutlery supplies made from recycled materials. You can also purchase products in bulk to reduce packaging waste and consider switching to refillable ink cartridges for printers. 

6. Implement Green Cleaning Practices:  

As people become more passionate about saving the environment, more companies are being developed to create eco-friendly options for everyday items. Keeping your space clean is just as important as keeping the earth clean, so why not do both?

At home or at work, select environmentally friendly cleaning products that are non-toxic and biodegradable. NBC talked to the experts about which brands and products are the best to use. Products like Blueland Multi-Surface Cleaner that use reusable bottles and dissolvable tablets make it so you don’t have to keep buying new bottles of cleaner. Another thing that you can do is reduce paper towel usage by providing reusable cloth towels or air dryers in restrooms and kitchens. Reducing paper usage will contribute to preserving our forests and air quality. 

Green cleaning products.

7. Support Sustainable Purchasing: 

Source furniture and equipment from suppliers that prioritize sustainability and eco-friendly manufacturing practices. Implementing this change can help support small businesses as well. Help the economy and help the environment by switching to sustainable furniture. If this option isn’t for you, maybe consider leasing or refurbishing furniture instead of buying new items to reduce waste instead. 

8. Educate and Engage Employees: 

Lastly, there’s a lot about the environment to be learned. There are a lot of simple practices you can implement into your daily life to help in small ways that make big differences. Offer training sessions or workshops on environmental sustainability and ways to reduce their ecological footprint both in the office and at home. And, encourage employee participation in green initiatives, such as Earth Day events, volunteer clean-up efforts, or tree planting activities. 

Together, we can pave the way for a healthier Earth for our future and the next generation. Join LGC in these 8 sustainable practices this Earth Day and beyond! 

About EnviroStaff

EnviroStaff is a division of LGC that focuses on making placements in the environmental industry. We build partnerships with clients to fill open positions on their team and have recruiting capabilities within multiple markets throughout the U.S. Working closely together, EnviroStaff will recruit environmental industry professionals based on your job description and requirements. By making direct hire placements, EnviroStaff can help clients save time and money often associated with recruiting.