We often talk about how easy, everyday plastic free swaps are a great way to lead a more sustainable life, but this doesn’t just apply when you’re at home. A lot of us spend at least 40 hours a week at work – and that’s not even counting the commute!
Making greener choices during work hours is just as important as making them when you’re at home. Here are 11 ideas for how you can make your working days more sustainable:
Switch up your commute
Why not try walking or cycling your commute instead of your usual traffic jam hustle? It will help out your bank balance, reduce your carbon emissions and save the planet (you hero). It will also get your blood pumping before and after a long day at work! Getting regular exercise outdoors has been proven to have a positive impact on mental health, too.
Walking or cycling not an option for you? No problem. Use public transport or carpool using the Liftshare app instead to reduce your commute’s impact on the planet!
The office fights on which temperature the room should be are all too familiar… But regulating the temperature of an office with air conditioning or heating doesn’t just cause tension; it also uses lots of energy! Whatever the weather, reduce your energy consumption at work by taking plenty of light layers with you. This way, you can put more clothes on or off depending on your temperature!
Stock eco-friendly toiletries in the bathroom
Make the office bathrooms more eco-friendly with plastic-free alternatives. Have a word with the person who buys your supplies and see if you can convince them to make simple swaps like bars of soap instead of plastic bottles filled with liquid soap, recycled and plastic free toilet paper, and certified organic cotton, plastic free period products rather than conventional alternatives.
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Use plant milks
Hands up if you love a caffeine fix at work. 🙋♀️ Why not switch to plant milk alternatives, like soya or oat milk in your weekday coffees? They’re better for animals, better for the planet, and arguably tastier!
Ditch the plastic bottles and coffee cups
Speaking of your favourite office drink, ditching disposable cups for the daily coffee run can save lots and lots of plastic, once everybody’s order is taken into account! Bring a reusable coffee cup and water bottle wherever you go, including to the office, to be sure you’ll never need to rely on straight-to-landfill plastic. When you’re out and about, use the Refill app to find your closest Refill Station!
Prep your lunches at home
It often feels like there’s not enough time in the day to be organised and sort packed lunches out for the week. But making the lunchtime dash to the shops for something to eat can be expensive, and all too often, you’ll find all of your options are wrapped in plastic. Choose smarter for the planet at work by making your lunches at home and bringing them to work in Tupperware or reusable food wraps. This’ll stop you popping to the store in your lunch break for food packaged in plastic.
Top tip: Don’t forget to bring snacks to work. We know the wrath of a 3pm sugar slump all too well!
Get a desk plant
Having a plant on your desk will help you to make your office greener – not only literally, by adding the calming colour green to your working environment , but also by acting as an air filter. Plants have been found to remove up to 87% of toxins, including volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from the air over a 24 hour period. Adopting an office plant won’t just do wonders for your space aesthetically, but it will also help to clean the air that you breathe all day long.
Host an office clothes swap
When the craving for new clothes hits, why not get your colleagues together after hours for a clothes swap? This way, you can all add something new to your own wardrobes without spending any money or buying new clothes! Fast fashion is one of the biggest worldwide contributors to pollution, so switching up your work wardrobe is another great place to build a more sustainable habit. Discover our top 5 tips to make your wardrobe more sustainable.
When you’re in the office, try to avoid printing where possible to save paper, ink and energy. Instead, stick to emailing your colleagues or sharing your screens through Skype when you need to show them something you’ve been working on.
One of the easiest ways you can get the whole office to be that little bit more sustainable is by having a clear, easy to follow recycling system. Leave no excuses for your less conscious colleagues by clearly labelling what waste should go in which bin. Already recycle? That’s amazing! Have you considered starting a shared ecobricking project for any unrecyclable plastic waste? Here’s everything you need to know about ecobricks.
Get together and order in bulk
Buying non-perishables (things that don’t go off quickly, like beans and rice) in bulk is cheaper for you and better for the environment because it will come with less packaging. Get together with the rest of your office and buy in bulk together to save yourselves some money and produce less waste overall. Win-Win!
Do you stock Natracare period products in your office bathroom? Browse our plastic free products!