During Earth Month, it is important to reflect on the environment and how we can move towards a healthier and safer world. Luckily, some important steps to assist the well-being of our planet are relatively simple. Today, HJG Staffing is examining 5 ways to implement more eco-friendly practices in the workplace:
- Cater Plant-Based Meals
Going meatless has benefits beyond helping the planet. Meatless meals can be healthy, nutritious and provide a boost of energy. In 2003, the term “Meatless Monday” was created to help encourage others to try eating one meat free meal a week. According to Reader’s Digest, “It takes approximately 1,700 gallons of water to produce a single pound of beef—but just 39 gallons of water are needed to produce a pound of vegetables. By skipping meat one day a week, Americans could save an estimated 100 billion gallons of water each year.”
If your company caters or provides snacks, try providing meatless options every now and then. This can look like veggie pizza, meat free salads, hummus, bagels, and even certain breakfast tacos. The options are endless, and many restaurants and companies provide vegetarian and vegan options. This is a simple way to not only treat employees but also to collectively improve life on earth.
2. Hybrid Workdays
The surge of Covid has transformed the workplace. While many companies have resumed on-site work, others realized how efficient and rewarding work-from-home can be. Because of this, some companies have chosen to either implement fully remote work or hybrid work. In a previous blog post, HJG discussed the benefits of shorter work weeks, implementing options such as half-day Fridays.
Half-days and even hybrid work weeks can eliminate the gasses produced from travel. According to Forbes, “[A] study found that working from home four days a week would reduce the amount of nitrogen dioxide, which is the main pollutant generated by traffic emissions, by around 10%.” While 4 days a week might be too much for some companies, even one or two days a week can reduce emissions and make a difference.
Another added benefit is the well-being of employees. 80% of people prefer flexible working options in the post-pandemic world (Forbes). Working from home, even occasionally, provides more flexibility, less distraction and improved mental health levels for many people.
As time progresses, the trend of working from home will increase, and giving employees the option is a double win: happier employees and a happier world.
3. Commit to Paperless
Luckily in modern times, going paperless is easy. Between email, online presentations, and apps like Zoom, paper is hardly a necessity. Of course, in some office atmospheres, paper use might be necessary sometimes. However, even cutting down on the amount of paper used is helpful. Around 15 billion trees are cut down every year for paper supply. Consuming even a little bit less paper goods is an effective way to conserve the planet.
“At my company, we have occasional lunches and birthday celebrations. We used to use paper plates and cups, but we decided to buy ceramic instead. Each person is responsible for washing their plate and cup after.”
If paper cannot be entirely eliminated, simply being conscious of where cutbacks can be made is a great start.
4. Donate to Environmental Causes:
At HJG Staffing, we love contributing to our favorite charities. There are countless causes and charities that go towards helping the planet. There are even in-person volunteer opportunities, such as trash pick-ups, helping at local gardens and even designated spots in the nearest city to drop off compostable materials. Sometimes, certain activities can feel overwhelming. The key is not to be perfect, but to be aware and take steps that in our power and ability.
If on-site volunteer opportunities are not an option, monetary donations can be made to charitable organizations. If you love a certain animal or part of the world, there is a high chance you will be able to find a program or charity that goes towards your favorite cause.
For instance, the Pangolin is a critically endangered species, and you can help them here: https://www.savepangolins.org/donate.
Rallying with your team to help and/or donate to a cause is another source of team-building while simultaneously making the world better.
5. Try Alternatives:
Some products, such as toilet paper and paper towels are a necessity. However, there are eco-friendly options that work! For instance, the brand Who Gives a Crap started their company because of a staggering statistic and the goal to make the world better. According to their website, “2.4 billion people don’t have access to a toilet (now 2 billion – yay for progress!). That’s roughly 40% of the global population and means that around 289,000 children under five die every year from diarrheal diseases caused by poor water and sanitation.”
The company makes bamboo and recycled toilet paper while donating 50% of their profits to ensuring people have clean water and toilets. This is one example of many companies fighting for change that affects both humans and the environment positively.
There are also recycled paper towels, plates, cups, etc. These small substitutions can create big eco-friendly changes!
While saving the planet might seem overwhelming and even impossible, the important thing is that we take active steps to make change. Choosing what your company can do (and can afford) is the first step in an effectual direction. This is our home and taking care of it means making the world a better place for all who inhabit it now and for future generations of all living things.
Happy Earth Month!