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Easy Swaps for an Eco-Friendly Workplace

Swapping certain products and practices for greener alternatives is one of the best ways to help towards becoming an eco-friendly workplace.

Already wondering what you should be swapping?

We’ve listed a number of easy suggestions to help you work towards your brand’s eco goals.

Alternatives to plastic

At this time, plastic is perhaps the environment’s greatest enemy. Plastic takes 450-1000 years to degrade. And if our current rates of use and wastage continue, we’ll be set to have deposited 12bn tonnes of plastic in landfills and the natural environment by the year 2050.

This figure is astronomical. And mention hardly needs making that this is likely to have catastrophic implications.

But we can act to prevent plastic contamination of the environment from happening on such a scale. Collectively, small actions make a big difference. And swapping everyday disposable plastic items in the workplace for items that are reusable or made from different, more sustainable materials, is one course of action that will really help to make a difference.

Plastic food items                                                                                       

Plastic items that can be swapped in your workplace may depend on the nature of your workplace. But lunch, or food in general, is either served by or brought into almost all places of work. And the bets are that plastic features heavily amongst the items used to store, serve and consume the food eaten at your workplace.

Luckily, sustainable cutlery and other food related paraphernalia are some of the most widely available reusable and eco friendly products on the market.

Disposable plastic cups can easily be swapped for those made of glass, stainless steel, or even wood, or, at the very least, for reusable plastic cups.

Plastic lunch boxes and containers can also easily be replaced for those made of more eco friendly materials.

There are some lesser-known hacks too.

Did you know that equally efficient, eco friendly wraps made from cotton and beeswax could be used instead of cling film?

A Slice of Green is great place to find an extensive range of reusable and eco friendly food ware. This brand offers eco alternatives to all of the items mentioned above, and much more. Do check out these these super-cool glass coffee cups from Atlas & Ortus, which would be really handy, especially if you like to regularly treat yourself to coffee from Pret A Manger. 😉

Plastic stationary items

As we work in an office ourselves, we know them fairly well. And if an office is also your place of work, here’re a few tips to you from us concerning ubiquitous plastic items that can easily be exchanged.

The first of these is stationary, taken as a whole.

Have a look around your office.

What stationary can you see that’s made of plastic? Or, more to the point, what items of stationary can you see that aren’t made of plastic?

The chances are you may have spotted a few wooden pens, but these are likely to amount to almost all the stationary within your view that’s not made from plastic, and even pencils are likely to be vastly outnumbered by disposable plastic pens.

There’s good news though: the hordes of plastic stationary found throughout the typical office can be swapped for more eco friendly alternatives in almost their entirety.

Steel and wooden rulers are widely available, plastic hole punchers and staplers can be swapped for those made from metals and wooden stationary containers and fabric pencil cases are easy to come by. Also, try using paper clips where possible instead of sticky tape.

Pens are a little trickier. Pens made from non-plastic materials tend to be pricey. But even buying refillable plastic pens in place of throwaway biros will ensure that the quantity of waste plastic you’re producing will be significantly reduced.

Where possible, using pencils instead of pens is another a great option. And if you want to take the eco credentials of your pencils one step further, we’d like to introduce you to Vent for Change. This company make and sell eco friendly pencils from recycled materials, and, as an added bonus, they invest their proceeds into global education projects.

Digital swaps

The digital age is well and truly upon us. But, surprisingly, even now the benefits that digital technology can bring are rarely utilised to their full advantage. And improving your brand’s eco friendliness is one of the benefits that digital technology can provide.

Apps

It’s amazing how many of us still use paper unnecessarily for jobs that can be done much more easily on digital devices. Knowledge of some good apps can help reduce waste and make work life in general a whole lot easier. And that’s what we’ll give you – here’s a list of apps that’ll save your time, your energy, and your paper.

  • Todoist

Ranked by The Verge as the worlds best to do list. Do you still start your days and weeks by writing out long, physical lists of tasks and errands?

Todist provides a neat digital place for your to do lists as well as offering task reminders, the option to delegate tasks to other members of your team and overviews of productivity – doing away with unnecessary paper usage in the process.

  • Quip

Why print documents to share with colleagues when Quip can be used to view and edit digital document, and for that matter, task lists and spread sheets too, all in one place? This app also integrates a chat function, and can therefore be used to share thoughts on collaborative work, wherever your team members happen to be.

  • GoodGuide

This app doesn’t provide an eco friendly swap in itself. What it does provide is a huge bank of information detailing the health, eco, and social impacts of 75,000 common products. GoodGuide can help you gain a much clearer picture of which products are eco friendly, and which are less so.

This is to name just a few. A quick bit of research will reveal that there’s an extensive list of similarly useful apps out there, ready to help you boost your eco friendliness.

Remote working

Working remotely is one of the advantages that the Internet has brought to the contemporary world of work. A huge range of tasks that once required employees to be present in their workplaces can now be completed wherever there’s a computer with Internet access and then emailed across.

This method of working offers a duel bonus. Remote working has been shown to increase productively and it also cuts environmental damage by removing the need for emission producing commutes. And working remotely needn’t mean always working remotely. It’s likely that many employees would be grateful to work from the comfort of their homes, even if just on occasion. So giving employees the option of swapping the office for elsewhere can benefit them, you and the environment.

Hopefully you’ve gained a few useful insights into some of the easy eco-friendly swaps you can make in your workplace. In another of our articles, “Taking Your Brand Forward – The Green Way”, we divulge a number of practices aimed at helping you to cut down on physical and energy wastage at work. So if you’ve found this post helpful, you’re sure to find lots of useful information there too.

We hope that this article has both inspired and helped you to take steps to make your brand more eco friendly. Do share your ideas and thoughts with us on Instagram @beegreencomms

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