How environmentally conscious are you? Do you let green issues influence your behavior and the decisions that you make? The effect of our lifestyles on the environment is big news: climate change and the decline in natural habitats are in the media and well publicised, but has this changed your habits?
Research from the United States has highlighted the gap between how men and women react to green issues with the gender differences to the priority of altruism being cited as being responsible. So, how can you be greener and be proactive in being more environmentally friendly?
If you are office based, the ability to introduce greener practices is now easier than ever before. The technology that you have access to allows the reality of a paperless office to be possible. Innovations in the cloud mean that you can share, edit and create documents collaboratively without the need for numerous paper copies being prepared. The need for extensive travel is diminished as video conferences have removed the need to visit customers and clients face-to-face.
Sustainable work practices are now seen as a selling point for your business, so let people know your environmental goals and when you achieve them. Publicising your green credentials is a smart business move, and you should celebrate reduced waste and reduced energy usage.
You will already have recycling bins to help you reduce the amount of waste headed for landfill, but there are other things that you can do to reduce your impact on the environment. Changing from incandescent light bulbs to LED both saves money and is environmentally friendly. You can also install solar panels to harvest the sun’s energy and transfer it into electricity. If you go down this route, solar maintenance is necessary to ensure that you get a higher return on the investment that you make.
Check your home’s insulation so that your home remains warm once heated to reduce the need for the heating to be on when the temperatures drop. Keep on top of your home’s maintenance; draughty windows need repairing, and leaking gutters and failing brickwork grout can cause damp in the house.
It takes approximately two months for a change in behavior to become a habit, and so by consciously making greener decisions for this amount of time, you will soon naturally make environmentally friendlier habits. Stop buying bottled water. Instead, invest in a refillable bottle that you can reuse and aim not to eat meat for a couple of days per week. Doing this is great for your body and the environment too.
Think about how you drive your car; your driving behavior affects how efficiently the car burns fuel. Accelerating and having to brake hard is an inefficient way of driving, instead, aim for a more measured style of driving. Ensure that your car is well maintained so that it drives more effectively.
There is no quick fix to the environmental impact that our lifestyles have had on the environment, but if everyone plays their part, hopefully, the negative effect can be slowed down. Change your habits and behaviors at work, maintain the home and take personal responsibility for the choices that you make to live more sustainably.