With a recent media focus, from news articles covering recent climate change protests in London to dedicated documentaries such as ‘Climate Change: the Facts’ on the BBC presented by David Attenborough, our impact on the environment seems to be more important than before. With that in mind we thought it would be interesting to see what employers and employees can do to minimise the impact individuals and organisations are having locally.
advonians from our Maidstone office were recently involved in the ‘keep Kent clean’ campaign, collecting over 14 bags of litter from the local area.
Plastic Free July is a focused campaign run by the Plastic Free Foundation whose vision is to see a world in which there is no plastic waste. On their website (www.plasticfreejuly.org) there are ideas of small steps that can be taken to reduce the single-use plastics amongst other ideas. We have outlined a few of these below.
By looking at what people are throwing away during their time at work, it is then possible to look at how the waste can be avoided or disposed of, in a more environmentally friendly way. The process involves manually sorting through the waste to determine the type of waste e.g. compost, recycling and general waste. Once separated you can use the information gathered, such as the volume of waste, to see what can be changed quickly. For instance, if people are regularly throwing fruit and peelings away, but you do not currently have a compost bin, then this could be introduced, to reduce the volume going to landfill.
Reviewing workplace kitchen items
Taking the time to look through each cupboard in a workplace, may show up more plastic than you believed you were using. From plastic cutlery, coffee cups to bin bags, consider what can be swapped for reusable alternatives, such as stainless-steel cutlery, ceramic mugs, and glass cups.
Engaging employees in such initiatives
As an employer who is introducing an initiative such as this, it is important to engage those in the workplace to ensure that it becomes a lasting change. Whether it is a group email, which explains what changes are taking place, or speaking to a few key members of staff who can spread the message, this will hopefully keep momentum going. Remember to provide regular updates on the positive impact this is having too!