June 5 is World Environment Day, the UN’s initiative for encouraging worldwide awareness and action to protect our planet from environmental-related issues in an effort to ensure a healthier global environment for current and future generations to come.
As global citizens within an environmentally-conscious workplace, how can you and your people do your parts to make a difference on the world from the office? We have some ideas for how your team can make a global impact locally.
Clear the air by combating air pollution
2019’s World Environment Day theme is ‘Beat Air Pollution’. Considering how nine out of ten people breathe polluted air, this is an especially pressing environmental concern. In addition to the Mask Challenge campaign, World Environment Day has made many recommendations to join this year’s movement. Among the ideas to reduce air pollution during the work week include:
- Using public transport or car sharing, cycle or walk
- Switching to a hybrid or electric vehicle
- Reducing meat and dairy consumption to help cut methane emissions
- Composting organic food items and recycling non-organic trash
- Turning off lights and electronics when not in use
Start a community garden project
For your team members with green thumbs, along with those who love a reason to go outside, a gardening project presents a great exercise for team-building and for learning more about the fruits, vegetables, produce, and herbs we grow and their benefits on the environment at large. Take advantage of your office building’s rooftop garden if it has the amenities, or look into participating in your local neighbourhood community gardening initiatives to give back. Within the office, adding greenery around the workplace with planters along window sills and potted plants in workspaces can do wonders in improving the indoor air quality.
Participate in a beach or park cleanup
From collecting cigarettes left on the beach to picking up plastic scraps tossed on the grass in the park, there are numerous initiatives to help keep our public spaces clean that you and your people can volunteer your time with together. Last summer, Rise participated in a Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup in partnership for CPAWS BC on World Oceans Day. Not only was it a nice break from the office, our team was enlightened on the impact of waste pollution in our city on the oceans, discovered ways to reduce our negative impacts on our outdoor surroundings, and bonded as a team while doing so.
Challenge your office to a Paper-Free Day
If your company runs on paperless HR administration, you already know the benefits of going digital in the workplace. Use World Environmental Day as an opportunity to introduce the environmental benefits of reducing (and eventually eliminating) paper usage in the office. With a Paper-Free Day, a day in which your people are challenged to not use the printer or copier for tasks, your team members will become aware of their habits and consider how they can switch to digital means instead.
Create a forum for environmental discussion
From volunteer opportunities to apps that help you reduce your carbon footprint and develop eco-friendly behaviours, your diverse and active team members will certainly have a gamut of ideas on how people can make a difference on the world environment. Give your employees a chance to have a conversation on how they can save the earth together by providing a forum for discussion, whether that’s done through a dialogue session during lunchtime or a Slack channel dedicated to environmental topics.