Earth Day: Ways to Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle in the Workplace
In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, there is some positive news out there to be grateful for. One interesting piece is the discovery that air and water pollution has decreased as a result of social distancing and sheltering-in-place. These environmental components are particularly timely, thanks to the arrival of Earth Day on April 22nd. When we return to our traditional workplaces, here’s a few things we can do to continue supporting the environment.
Reduce Single-Use Plastic
Instead of stocking the fridge with endless bottles of water and cans of seltzer and soda, consider tech-forward beverage alternatives that make it easy to eschew single-use plastic. In the Cresa Boston office, we have a Bevi machine, an internet-enabled water cooler that provides sparkling, still, and flavored water on demand. According to the statistics on the screen, our Bevi has already saved over 55,000 bottles since we got it in 2018!
Reuse Your Space
One of the best things your team can do is utilize the space you have to the best of your ability. That means putting every square foot of your office to work, and having spaces that serve more than one purpose. Set larger rooms up in a way that they can be reconfigured and flexible for different types of meetings and events. Also, utilize the cafe area for small group meetings. In workstations, consider flexible seating arrangements that could include employees that aren’t in the office full-time. The trend of office hoteling, also known as hot desking, allows employees to reserve space and resources instead of being permanently assigned to an area. The reuse of workstations not only frees up available office resources, but it can be very beneficial for employee engagement and collaboration.
Back in June, the city of Boston announced its “Zero Waste Boston” initiative. In the statement, they announced that around 78 percent of all discarded materials generated in Boston come from businesses and institutions. The citywide recycling rate, which includes all materials collected from residents, businesses, and institutions that are reused, recycled, or composted, is currently at 25 percent. But if we fully implement the zero waste strategies, Boston’s recycling rate could increase from 25 to 80 percent. We can all do our part around the office by providing sufficient recycling and composting containers, and making it clear what items can and cannot be recycled. This means clearly labeling receptacles, or sending a notification email around the office that explains where and what to recycle.
Earth Day is a great reminder of how fragile our planet is. Whether it’s turning off lights that have been left on, or cutting down on making photocopies, anything you can do to reduce your carbon footprint is a move in the right direction. Use Earth Day as an opportunity to do your part and support your office in going green!