Every year, over 13 million tonnes of plastic make its way into our oceans. This is concerning as it not only puts the lives of hundreds of different species in danger by polluting and damaging their habitats, but it contributes to the deconstruction and pollution of our ecosystem. Each year on the 5th of June, people all over the world come together to raise awareness about the pressing concerns on our environment and to take action to protect it.
For World Environment Day, I wanted to share with you what we do at Rated People HQ to be environmentally sustainable, as well as some ideas for how you can take part in an eco-friendly lifestyle.
It may be obvious to you about the importance of recycling, but in case you don’t know, recycling your rubbish can be one of the most effective ways to help our environment. Did you know that chucking that empty Coke Zero can in the recycling bin can save enough energy to power a TV for 3 hours?(https://www.novelisrecycling.co.uk/novelis-recycling/why-recycle-aluminium/)
We recycle plastics, papers, coffee cups, magazines, cardboard and food scraps. That said, there are so many different containers that it’s sometimes confusing to know what goes where, right? Well, recycle for London has a handy guide for what you can and can’t recycle to help you make the most impact.
For electricals, the building our office is in has recycling facilities for waste electrical & electronic equipment (WEEE) and printer cartridges: 2 of the major headaches for an environmentally conscious office. All our old IT equipment is re-used, given away to charity or recycled after any confidential data has been removed. Our servers are in the cloud, so we don’t need to worry about recycling our old servers, plus we can scale our website to cope with demand without buying servers which will lie unused if they’re not needed.
By using your electricity more wisely not only can you save money, but you’ll also reduce the amount of toxic emissions produced from power plants. There are simple things you can do at home, and at work, to save electricity such as turning lights off when not in use, switching to LED bulbs, air drying clothes, or buying energy efficient appliances. You might also want to think about regularly servicing your appliances so that they work as efficiently as possible. The building our office is in has presence-controlled lighting, which switches off when there’s no-one in the office.
Try bringing in more natural light into your space to save energy as well. Simple projects like painting your walls lighter colours or using a matt finish, can help reflect the light coming in through the windows. It’s also worth checking the state outside your windows, making sure that large bushes or trees aren’t blocking the daylight from shining into your home.
Use reusable water bottle instead of plastic
Over 38 million plastic bottles are used in the UK every year. Over half make it into recycling, the rest go into landfill or leak into the oceans. A simple and easy solution to this is investing in a good quality reusable water bottle, which can cost you anywhere from £5 to £35 depending on the type and brand of the bottle. Nowadays you won’t be short of choice: from bottles made of metal, glass or simply BPA free plastic, to others with reusable straws or fruit infusers. The variety is overwhelming, so it won’t be hard to find one you like. For some it’s all about finding ‘the one’, a bottle that you’ll care for and take with you everywhere you go. Like finding your soul mate – it has to tick all the right boxes.
Last week everyone in the office got a brand new Rated People water bottle. Great for staying hydrated and focused at work, without the waste. It’s also great to see colleagues bringing in their reusable coffee cups to be used at local cafes.
Of course, we’re not perfect, and I have a few ideas of what we could do to improve. I’ve recently brought in an office plant for my desk, and there’s been a few more popping up on other desks, but we can definitely do more. Creating a sustainability team in the office is a great way to ensure that the appropriate time and effort is put into an office-wide initiative. It doesn’t take many, just a few people to encourage co-workers and friends to live eco-friendlier by incorporating environmentally sustainable initiatives in the office. It may be challenging at first, but things soon become routine and you’ll notice the reward, not only financially but ethically.
Overall there’s countless simple changes you can make at home or at the office, to live more eco-friendly. Yes, it may be overwhelming and no, you don’t have to do everything at once! Above all, here is a list of simple changes you can do:
- Set up an easy-to-follow recycle system.
- Fill up a reusable water bottle instead of buying plastic ones.
- Use natural light.
- Turn off lights when not in use.
- Encourage an environmentally sustainable lifestyle.