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6 habits of highly sustainable employees

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By Ashley Yearwood

Sometimes the idea of saving the environment can seem like a daunting and almost impossible task. However, there are many things that employees can do in their daily life that can make a big difference.

  1. Reusable water bottles and travel mugs:

Buying water can be a drain on your wallet and the environment, but there’s an easy alternative to save both. If your office has a Pure Water filling station, a water filter, or if the tap water is fine to drink, buy a refillable bottle to keep yourself hydrated and your pockets full. Bring a travel mug and use your office coffee machine, or the fill-your-own option at your favourite coffee shop.

  1. Recycled and reusable writing utensils

Many people don’t think of pens and mechanical pencils when it comes to plastic waste. They either get lost, or end up in the trash as another wasted plastic product. Using pens made out of recycled materials, or ones that can easily have their ink cartridges replaced will help out with the amount of plastic waste.

  1. Buying lunch? if you can carry it, leave the bag behind

Everything about take-out is unsustainable, from the containers to the bag it comes in. Most of the time, that bag is used to transport the food and then immediately thrown in the trash. If you can carry your food back to the office without a bag, then do it! That is one less opportunity for a plastic bag to end up in the ocean. Try leaving a reusable bag and utensils at work for your lunch time journey.

  1. Think before you print and reuse paper wherever possible

Don’t let paper pile up! Digitize your files, and only print when it is completely necessary. Hard drives and programs like Dropbox and Google Drive are great ways to organize and share files without printing. Paper is double sided. So instead of throwing away a mistake print or a one-sided document, simply flip it over and use the opposite side as scrap.

  1. Desk plants

Tons of plants are desk friendly and can help purify the air in the office. They are also very cute and allow you to have a little bit of your own aesthetic in the workplace. An even bigger bonus — studies show that plants improve your overall health.

  1. Shut it off

When you leave your workspace, be sure to use power-saving modes on electronic devices and turn off computers wherever possible.The digital world can be great, but it has to run on energy. Energy usage, both non- and renewable, can add up to cause strain on resources.

Habits, once settled, are known to be hard to give up. Consciously doing these little things over and over will eventually turn them into subconscious acts that have a big impact on your own wellbeing, your company’s work environment, and sustainability on a global scale. Take the lead and your fellow employees will follow suit.

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