Recently the RMIT Sustainability team launched the Green Impact initiative across the University, encouraging staff to team up and undertake sustainable activities in the workplace. For those that didn’t sign up, I have put together a list of things you can do at work (and at home) to improve sustainable practices and decrease our negative environmental impact.
We spend so much of our time in our workspaces so it's only logical to exercise our sustainable home habits at work, and try to reduce our environmental footprint.
Some tips include:
- Only print double-sided - unless there is an absolute need for single-sided sheets, all printing should be double-sided
- Speaking of printing, try and stay online - that is, try to keep meeting documents online and avoid printing out agendas, documents etc if staff have laptops they can use those, otherwise it is up to people to print only what they need
- Fix your coffee fix and get a reusable coffee cup (like a KeepCup or Frank Green) - Australians use an estimated 1 billion cups each year and counting, and make a huge contribution to landfill. There are a number of cafes across Melbourne that do discount coffees for those with reusable cups, check out Responsible Cafes for more information.
- On that note, try and avoid disposable water bottles - invest in a reusable water bottle, be it glass (ritzy) or the cheaper BPA-free plastic bottles like Frank Green or Camelback.
- Recycle - yes, this is an obvious one but not everyone is using the recycling bins. USE THE BINS - they’re there for a reason! If you don’t have a recycling bin in your workspace you can contact the sustainability team at firstname.lastname@example.org to get one
- Speaking of recycling, it can get confusing. Refer to recycling guides or consider printing a recycling guide for your staff kitchen to show people what can and can’t enter those red bins
- Avoid using paper and plastic cups for catering purposes, use glassware where possible - yes it will create dishes, but it's a far better option than contributing to landfill and much nicer to drink out of - fancy!
- Add plants - not only do they add aesthetic to the office but they also filter out nasties from the air, especially important during flu season!
- Switch off - when you switch off for the holidays, make sure everything else is first. Have a shut-down checklist around holiday periods and public holidays, at least for the peace of mind!
- The straw breaking the environment’s back - straws contribute huge amounts to landfill and is having a negative impact on ocean ecosystems. Avoid plastic straws where you can, especially for catering purposes, or use alternatives!
If you have a sustainable idea that you would like to see implemented at RMIT, please post it on Smart Stuff and be part of the sustainable future!
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