For more ethical workwear brands, check out this article.
Whatever you choose try to pick basic pieces that you can build and interchange!
Take public transport to work
Opting for a cleaner way to work is one of the best ways to reduce our carbon emissions. For most of us, the majority of our weekly travel time is taken up going to and from work, making up a large portion of our overall carbon footprint. However by switching to public transport you can reduce these carbon emissions, with one study showing that if only 10% of car commuters switched to traveling via bus, there would be a reduction of 400,000 tonnes of greenhouse emissions a year. A greater shift to public transport would see 40 cars off the road for every full bus, and 500 cars for every full train. And if you’re lucky enough that you can walk or cycle to work then take advantage of the opportunity to increase your daily steps!
If you are an avid recycler at home, why not bring those values to work! However, I know from experience that not every colleague in your workplace will align with your ethical values. This can be challenging, however there are several ways you can overcome stubborn work mates:
- Lead by example: often people will conform to the prevailing office behaviour. Try and make recycling at work the norm. Set the standard.
- Spread the word: If others aren’t recycling, it may be a lack of awareness. Take the time to politely inform your colleagues about what happens to that plastic water bottle if it’s not recycled.
- Set up a system: Creating a simple and easy to follow recycling bin system in the work space can be fundamental in ensuring we all dispose of our waste correctly. And with can-buy-back schemes it’s never been easier to incentivise recycling, potentially putting those funds back into rewards for the team – like friday afternoon drinks!
BYO- Get into the habit
It can be a pain to lug all your reusable containers to and from your workplace. But this is something that needs to become part of your daily routine.
As one of the world’s biggest consumers of caffeine, it’s no surprise that Australians dump 1 billion ‘disposable’ coffee cups a year. In the USA, 25 billion styrofoam cups are thrown out every 12 months. Even paper take-away coffee cups have a thick plastic lining, rendering them non-recyclable – meaning that 90% of these cups end up in landfill. However, with the responsible cafe movement on the rise, there’s never been a better incentive to remember that cup. And if you need extra motivation – try to enforce a ‘No cup. No coffee’ rule with yourself, and see how quickly you never forget again.
Refill your water bottle! It’s so simple. But this golden rule can easily be forgotten when you walk past the water cooler and mindlessly reach for a cup. And with an estimated 373 million plastic water bottles ending up in Australian waste each year, it’s one of the most unnecessary, and senseless environmental pollutants. Refilling your water bottle is an easy way to cut down costs, to your pocket, and the environment! It’s also a great way to keep track of how much water you’re drinking a day, ensuring you meet that 2L a day target!
If you really find yourself struggling to remember to bring your bottle or cup, invest in a spare one to keep at your desk – so there’s no excuse!
Don’t be afraid to voice your concerns about sustainability in your workplace. Workplaces are a great opportunity to initiate small scale change and many organisations welcome the chance to be less wasteful – saving them money and resources. Inspire others with your passion for living an ethical lifestyle, and create conversations. And next time you’re at lunch, ask your colleagues for their thoughts on the issue!
What are ways you’ve found to make your workplace more ethical?