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Employer insights

Workplace - there's no planet B

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by Kirsty Henegan

about 1 month ago

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It is being brought to our attention now more than ever, that we need to make a change to save the planet and we have no time to waste!

But what can we do in the workplace to slow down climate change?

 

Digital Transformations

It is great to hear that a lot of companies we are meeting are implementing new systems and are becoming paperless, making a move in the right direction, but is there more that we can be doing?

We are living in a time where technology is ingrained in all our lives, and new weird and wonderful devices are being introduced to help us become more efficient. We need to be taking advantage of this, it has been estimated that the impact aircrafts have on the climate is two to four times greater than the effect of carbon dioxide, but we are still travelling weekly to our meetings via aircraft. I understand some meetings must be in person but with video conferencing so readily available, we need to be taking full advantage of this to help reduce emissions.

 

Vehicles

Cars for work:

A bonus in a lot of roles is that you receive a company car which is great news! However, some companies who provide the car will only allow you to use it for work tasks, meaning people must have a second car only for weekend use. It’s understandable if firms don’t want to pay out for personal activities but it would be more cost effective and environmentally friendly if employees paid for their own personal use. 

Car share:

 I am one of the lucky people who live so close to work I can walk, but for many, this isn’t the case. For everyone who drives into work, we all know it is an absolute nightmare with the traffic during rush hour but how many of us drive to work on our own? There are methods in place that if you have 2 or 3 people in the car you can use bus lanes, but we are all stuck behind each other in our own vehicles. It’s not a new concept but a concept we need to embrace, let's buddy up and drive into work together! We can save time, reduce congestion and emissions AND give you some company during the commute #winningatlife

There are many websites you can use to sign up including this one.

 

Reducing Waste

Keep cups

These were introduced years ago to assist with reducing plastic waste, such a simple idea that you use one cup instead of a new disposable cup each time you grab an on the go coffee or hot beverage. However, how many of us can honestly say we use these? I walk to work and look around and 99% of people are using disposable coffee cups, even sometimes when they are sitting in the café! We need to change our behaviour. I know it may not be convenient to carry a cup around but there are over 7.7 billion people on the planet and over 4.5 million living in NZ. This is growing rapidly and we need to reduce our waste as much as possible.  

Plastic Containers:

I am sure most of us go out for our lunch at some point in the week, instead of using throw away containers and packaging from the restaurant, why don’t we start using our own containers?

This is something you can leave at work and when going out, take it with you instead of all the additional wrappers, packaging and plastic pots. An additional bonus is some places reduce your bill if you take your own container!

Straws:

I know we are looking to find replacements for plastic straws; seaweed, bamboo, metal but do we really need straws in our lives? Obviously, it is great we are removing ourselves from plastic and stopping them harming animals, but if we start using these other methods for straws, we are taking away from the earth’s natural habitat, so we can “stop the sugar going on my teeth.” A straw isn’t a necessity in life. let’s just ban straws!

 

Support a cause

A lot of companies have volunteer days where as a team or individually you can support a cause, this is a great idea! There are many causes where you can volunteer to help the environment. Have a look at this website.

Come on everyone, let’s make a change and help reduce our impact on the planet!

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