Creating a Sustainable Workspace

Last year, I really focused on how you can start to live sustainably in simple and effective ways. That will still be my focus, however I want to bring sustainability into other aspects of your life. So, I thought I would start with the workplace. Not everyone will be in a position where they can make large scale changes, so I’ve tried to make the advice general, and applicable to your own desk or office as well.

Small Scale:

Making your office or desk area a little more eco friendly is quite simple.

  1. Plants

Research has found that indoor plants have many benefits for our health and wellbeing. They boost creativity, filter the air therefore reducing toxins, and have been found to reduce stress (which is exactly what you need in an office, right!). Different plants have different benefits, so it would be wise to do a little research before buying one, but all in all, they’re great to have no matter the kind.

2. Stapleless Stapler

Waste is waste, as I like to say. And even those staples we all use are waste! So maybe try these stapleless staplers from Biome, for smaller inhouse documents. If every office worker in Australia used one less staple a day, it would save 88.3 tonns of steel every year!

3. Sprout Coloured Pencil

These are no ordinary pencils! No, no! These pencils turn into plants once they’re too short to use! Just plant the stub in the ground, and the seed capsule at the end of the pencil will do the rest. In a few weeks you will have beautiful flowers or herbs to use in the kitchen!

Large Scale:

If you have a position in which you can make bigger changes, then why not create a more earth conscious workspace!

  1. Buy a Terracycle Box

Terracycle is a company that recycles many different products that aren’t able to be recycled through our yellow bins. These include coffee pods, CD’s and cables, stationary, and toothbrushes, just to name a few. The one that would be most useful for an office would be their office supplies box, coffee pod box, binders box, and breakroom box. All you have to do is buy the box, fill it up and then send it back, and let Terracycle take care of the rest!

2. Set up a carpool

At The University of Wollongong, if you have three people in your car then you would get free parking for the day. An incentive like that will reduce the amount of solo travelers, and therefore your companies travel footprint.

3. Find a way to offset energy used in your office

This is called carbon offsetting, and can be done in multiple ways. First you need to calculate your office’s carbon footprint. Once you’ve found that out, you can donate the amount of money needed to offset that amount of carbon, to a company who will invest the money into resources beneficial to the earth. These include reforestation, wind farms, or community projects in developing countries. Where your money goes is up to you!

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