#6: How You Can Save the World While You Work!

Don’t say there’s nothing you can do. Speak up, and things can change.

I am trying so hard to save this planet for my children. I’m always looking for MORE ways I can conserve, renew, reuse, contribute, learn, share…. My husband rode his bike to work today. It’s a long ride through a big city—so he’s been talking about it for a while, but today he really did it. I was so proud, but so nervous. All those people driving while blabbing on their phones—I love the earth, but I love Mike more, and I begged him to be on hyper-alert for hazardous situations the entire way. This is a man who didn’t know he cared so much about the environment until we met 8 years ago. Now he heads up the “green team” at his office.

Do NOT say there’s nothing you can do. Speak up, and things can change. In most cases, people simply haven’t yet thought of the things you might suggest. We’re too busy to initiate change. But all it takes is starting a conversation. Mike went to his HR person and set up a meeting. He brought up all the points and ideas we had come up with in one fail swoop, and what do you know? HR said, hey, yeah, we could definitely put a few of these things into action… Let’s give you a budget and see what we can do. Being “green” is HIP now. Offices WANT to appear to care.

Here are some ideas to throw out:

  • Recycling receptacle in the kitchen. Would you beLIEVE there wasn’t yet one in Mike’s office? So passé! Don’t have a service to pick it all up? Gotcha. It’s no excuse. Mike brings it all home. Convenient, not really. But worth it? For sure.
  • Reduce the amount of the stuff you have to throw out. Bring your own plate, silverware, cup, mug, and lunch, while you’re at it.
  • Suggest using the backsides of the paper you print out. Just reload it and reuse it. Voila! You just saved a forest or two.
  • Better yet, suggest not printing out so freaking much.
  • Make sure there’s a place for bikes to be securely parked for the day. Mike encountered problems with the facilities manager when he tried to bring his bike up to the office space. Apparently bikes aren’t allowed inside his building. Okay, so deal with it… After a few phone calls, peace was restored, issue was resolved, and now there’s a place designated for bikes in the parking deck. No sweat.
  • Work from home sometimes. There are studies that show that people are actually MORE productive when working from home. Plus you get to work during the time you would normally be cussing in—I mean sitting in—traffic.

Do or suggest just one of these things. I dare you. You might just start a revolution in your little world. Tell me about it when you do. My kids will send you a thank-you note.