Embracing sustainability this festive season is a good decision for both your business and the planet. Eco-friendly business practices have been heavily in the spotlight for a long time now. From banning single-use plastics and the increased awareness around the detrimental use of straws, sustainability is a hot topic – and for good reasons. Sustainability these days is simply something that businesses should be involved with and the festive season is a great time to put eco-friendly practices into play.
What Is Sustainability?
If you’re looking to improve your sustainability efforts, it is important to first fully grasp what sustainability is and its impact. The UN’s World Commission on Environment and Development describes sustainability as having three main aspects involved in avoiding the depletion of natural resources: people (social sustainability), money (economic sustainability), and the planet (environmental sustainability). It is important to consider all three aspects when striving towards becoming a more eco-friendly business.
Ways to be More Eco-Friendly this Festive Season
The holiday season doesn’t have to be a burden on the planet. With a few simple changes, every business can reduce its environmental impact. The list below highlights some of the easy ways to achieve just this:
The festive season brings with it an increase in waste materials for most businesses. Christmas decorations are bought, Christmas parties take place, presents for clients and staff are bought and sent. This all produces more waste than average. A great way to reduce all this additional waste is to encourage recycling and use recycling equipment to simply and effectively get rid of it – saving you time, money, and space.
Get Staff Involved
Sustainability needs to be embraced by all who are apart of your business to have its fullest impact. Having all members of staff front and centre with eco-friendly efforts this festive season is crucial in achieving an eco-friendly mindset and office culture.
If your festive season includes team-building, try fun, eco-friendly and environmentally aware activities – such as Beach Clean-Up Day or a tree planting excursion. A common cause and a day in the outdoors are great for team morale. Encourage staff to buy eco-friendly for any gift-giving plans. Also, keep any Christmas parties or year-end functions as environmentally friendly as possible by being mindful of the environment and sources when buying decorations and food.
A major part of the festive season is gift-giving. This can have a highly detrimental environmental impact. A way to overcome this negative impact is to go green with your gift-giving. Send e-cards or recycled cards to cut your carbon footprint.
Most traditional wrapping paper contains plastic so opting for eco-friendly alternatives will have a positive impact on the environment. Choose wrapping paper made from materials such as paper, hemp, or recycled content. Also, keep the use of tape to a minimum wherever possible.
There are plenty of gift options to show your appreciation for your clients and staff that will also show the planet a little love. Buying second-hand or sustainable products, and supporting local are great ways to give eco-friendly gifts this festive season.
Keep the Office Energy Efficient
The cost of electricity goes beyond the price of your energy bill. Producing electricity is a drain on natural resources – therefore reducing your energy usage is a way of conserving the planet, which is a gift to all.
Using LED (light Emitting Diode) Christmas lights use up to than traditional Christmas light bulbs. It is also helpful to ensure all lights are turned off when no one is in the office to not use any unnecessary energy.
The festive season also brings with it cooler weather. Keep your office as energy efficient as possible by turning off heating when the office is empty, sealing any cracks or gaps that may be letting cool air in, encouraging staff to dress warmly to keep the thermostat temperature as low as possible. All these energy-saving efforts will go a long way in keeping your office eco-friendly and instill a sustainable mindset in staff members.
At the end of the day, we should all be taking environmental concerns seriously – no matter the time of year. Not only does it give your business a competitive edge but it also helps our planet, which is the greatest gift to everyone.