Every April 22nd, people get to take a day to celebrate our Earth and demonstrate how we care about the future of our planet. Something I quickly noticed about BSTI when I started working here is that every day is Earth Day. From the company garden to coworkers devoting time to community service and planting trees, the world of BSTI truly believes in taking care of and giving back to the world in which we live.
In the past, I would have labeled myself as Earth conscious. I’ve come to realize that I’m more of a newbie to helping the Earth compared to my coworkers. On his bio page, Nicholas Santella has a caption of “Nothing should be wasted.” I don’t think I’ve ever met a person who truly believes in utilizing everything as much as Nick. Thanks to Nick and the rest of the BSTI crew, I have learned five very simple ways that everyone can help the Earth from their desk.
1. Reduce your use.
Stopping to think “do I truly need to use that?” has made the biggest impact on reducing my usage of resources. A simple choice of not printing that e-mail or writing on that post-it can make a big impact on how much paper I use in a year, or better yet in my lifetime. Think about all the trees that won’t need to be cut down because I decided to use my computer calendar instead of a piece of paper to note “Remember to call back Carly.”
If you find you’re pretty conscious about paper, you can also take a look at your energy use. Do you really need that second monitor powered on all the time? Is there a light in your office that doesn’t really need to be turned on at the moment? All of these choices help to reduce your environmental impact while you work.
2. Reuse your resources.
A big landfill issue is plastic water bottles. Plastic is made to last and too many plastic items end up taking up space in trash heaps or polluting our water systems. BSTI is a big advocate for reusable water bottles – a simple way to help you save money and save the earth. Keep a reusable water bottle at your desk and save yourself the cost and space of having all those other plastic bottles in your life.
3. Recycle everything you can.
Don’t throw that junk mail or plastic food container into the trash; put it in the recycling bin. It’s so easy to recycle nowadays that I’m still not used to it. Some areas don’t even require you to fully rinse your recyclables anymore; you can just put them in the bin.
Not sure what you can and can’t recycle in your area? Want to know where you can recycle those #3 plastic bags? I’ve found How2Recycle is a great resource for getting answers about local recycling rules and finding locations to recycle those not-as-common items.
4. Donate what you don’t use.
You may not have a use for that organizer on your desk any longer, but someone else could be searching for that exact organizer to help improve their level of organization. Better the item goes to someone who needs it than ditched, alone and unloved in a landfill where it will sit for who knows how long.
5. Bring a plant to work.
Take care of the planet by taking care of a piece of it. Earth Day isn’t only about planting trees. There are so many interesting plants you can grow right on your desk. Nurture a flower or vegetable from your desk, then donate it to a local park or plant it in your own garden at home and start growing your own food.
There are many more ways you can celebrate Earth day throughout your workday; try carpooling with coworkers you like or picking up litter you find as you walk or ride your bike to work.
Let us know how you celebrate Earth Day, and leave us a comment below!