April 22, 2020 will be the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, and the biggest event in its history. There will be lots of events, from festivals of earth-friendly food, art, music and shopping to volunteer parties for cleaning up or replanting public areas. And when Earth Day is over, there are many easy, affordable ways you can go greener throughout the year.
Even in the workplace you can make a difference. Check out
Carry a refillable water bottle. Disposable plastic water bottles are one of the biggest sources of plastic pollution. Not to mention that bottled water is just expensive, usually not any cleaner than tap water, and may have leached toxic chemicals from the bottle into the water.
Bring your own eating utensils. Keep a set of knife, fork, spoon and drinking straw in your desk. Or stash them in your purse/backpack for use at fast food restaurants.
Pack lunch in reusable containers. Making your own meal instead of buying pre-packaged foods and snacks helps reduce landfills, since food-contaminated packaging is not recycling. A nice bonus is that "real" food is healthier than processed.
Participate in your workplace recycling program. If there are recycle bins in the break room, use them! It takes exactly the same amount of time and effort as putting your waste in the trash can.
Think twice before printing out. Use an app such as Evernote to store emails, notes and ideas. You'll eliminate paper clutter, and save yourself the time you used to spend filing all that paperwork (and trying to find it again later) as well.
Power down. Leaving your computer, printer and other electronic devices on overnight may save you a few seconds of booting up in the morning, but it's a huge increase in your energy consumption. Also:
Unplug your cell phone charger when not in use.
Reduce the number of tabs or applications you have open at the same time.
Put the computer in sleep mode when leaving for lunch or a long meeting.
Turn off any other appliances, such as a desk lamp, when you're not there.
Literally go green. A potted plant on your desk absorbs air pollution and increases oxygen levels in its surroundings — which makes you mentally sharper and more productive.
Use eco-friendly cleaning products. They are easily available in stores now. Even cheaper is to make your own cleaning solution of 3 parts water and 1 part white vinegar.
Want more ways to protect the environment? Visit earthday.org for ideas and events.