How your job contributes to climate change
- Many jobs, use large amounts of non recycled material, such as paper products. According to the Minnesota Office of Environmental Assistance, the average office worker uses 10,000 sheets of copy paper each year. The U.S. EPA estimates that paper and paperboard account for almost 40 percent of our garbage. Here are some other statistics to keep in mind when looking for ways to reduce paper use and costs.
- Most businesses use energy from unclean sources. Energy usage is one of the largest contributors of pollution today. 75% of the methods used to produce electricity are considered to be harmful. Business energy consumption includes electricity for lighting and production as well as gas and oil for transportation.
- Lack of recycling policies.This applies to all business environments, from offices to industrial factories. The wastage might be directly related to the production of the business or even organic waste such as the employee's lunch scraps.
- Increased use of environmentally harmful transportation meansFrom driving your car to work, to having your factory's products be delivered using conventional fossil fuel trucks, all of those contribute to increased carbon emissions.
What stops us from changing how we work?
- Businesses often believe that is more cost effective to keep their current operation practices as opposed to adopting environmentally friendly policies.
- Even in this time and age, many business processes are done using archaic methods such as using paper instead of electronic means either for convenience or lack of computer literacy.
- Most people underestimate how much pollution is produced as part of their work routine.
- In many countries, there is little to no governance related to environmental practices at work, and as a result employees develop bad habits that are difficult to change.
What you can do now
Here is a checklist you can use to implement better work practices:
- Reduce waste by choosing products that have minimal packaging and can be used productively and then recycled. Re-use plastic bags and all types of containers if possible.
- Buy quality goods that will last. Buy recycled goods which have already saved resources and raw materials, and help reduce the overall quantity of waste.
- For paper specifically: Make double-sided copies when printing and photocopying, wherever possible. Use the blank side of used paper for notepaper before recycling.Re-use envelopes for internal mail.Try to integrate electronic procedures to reduce paper work.
- Recycle waste material into useable products, wherever possible. Re-use containers, packaging or waste products, wherever possible.
- For waste that can't be avoided, reused or recycled: treat the waste to make it less harmful or reduce the volume of the harmful component. Dispose of the waste safely.
- Some strategies which can be implemented by the Manager and Supervisors: Consider sustainability issues when making planning and managing decisions. Promote and encourage environmental awareness to ensure employees are aware of their environmental responsibilities.
- Use public transportation whenever possible, and research better energy sources for your workplace to help with carbon emissions.
How much would this help?
Quite significantly, since businesses are the biggest contributors to climate change make sure you inform your employees and co-workers about what they can do to contribute in the fight to prevent climate change.. The only way to make a change is by changing our practices at work, but in order to be effective, we all have to take steps to achieve that. That is why it is in your hands to research ways your job can become more environmentally friendly.
Has ClimateChoice helped you make changes?
Then tweet your success story @climatechoice and we'll add it here!
Help change the system
Support the people, groups and parties who prioritise the planet
All global warming could be helped by changes to laws across the world which prioritise the planet. Find your local candidates who promise to prioritise the planet and support them.
Get involved on a grassroots level with activist groups and charities trying to raise awareness.
How can I do even more?
Become a vocal advocate of preventing climate breakdown. You could stand as a political candidate prioritising the planet, or join an activist group or charity.
Why not start your own business or charity trying to fix a problem associated with climate change.
Too long; didn't read?
The majority of all pollution produced can be traced back to some form of business operation or it's production. To help with this we must:
- Reduce waste and recycle when at work
- Buy and use recycled good whenever possible
- Inform all employees
- Vote for those who prioritize the planet
- Spread the word so others make changes too
Discover more choices you can make today to help prevent climate breakdown
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