We can no longer pay attention to the people who are denying that the world’s environment is in danger. Any logical person knows that we know need to consider the environment in pretty much everything we do. We’ve found several ways to do this in our personal lives. At home, we’re making sure we recycle whatever we can. We try to remember to switch off electrical products when they’re not in use. On the road, we’re taking steps to reduce the fuel usage when we’re driving. Sales of electric hybrid cars are on the rise. Out and about, we’re careful not to litter.
Because we manage most things in our personal lives, it’s easier for us to be environmentally-friendly there. But what about at work? So much is out of your control when it comes to your job. The outlook of your company is entirely in the hands of the upper management. If you’re concerned about the environment and the impact your professional life has on it, here are some quick tips that may help you out.
1. Small Ecological Changes as an Employee
In many counties and states, commercial recycling is now mandatory. However, the fact is that recycling laws can be very hard to actually enforce. How does the law know if a particular company isn’t recycling? Generally, it can be tracked when municipal trash collectors take your company’s recycling away. But this doesn’t always work as well as it should.
If your company isn’t recycling as much as it should be, don’t fall into their patterns. You should have recycling facilities at your job site. If you don’t, ask your manager where they can be found. If they say that they don’t have any, this doesn’t mean you can’t recycle. It doesn’t sound ideal, but you should keep a bag near your desk into which you place any recyclable material you’ve used. You can then take it to a recycling facility yourself.
Small changes like this work wonders. You should also ensure that you shut down any electrical equipment at your workstation. A lot of people in modern offices leave computers on overnight. This is because they want to speed things up in the morning by negating the wait for their computer to boot up. Don’t get into everyone else’s habit of leaving it on so it’s easier to continue the next day! In fact, see if you can unplug any equipment from the mains when you leave your workstation. Maybe other employees around you will feel inspired (or guilty!) and start doing the same.
Another tip: be as paperless as possible. Even with so much modern technology, offices these days use an obscene amount of paper. Don’t print out anything unless you absolutely have to. And if you do, consider printing on both sides of a sheet of paper. Do the math: this cuts your printing paper usage by half!
2. Reviewing a Company’s Philosophy When Hunting for a Job
A company’s environmental policies may not be totally apparent at first. If you’re looking for a job at a big chain, for example, it can be difficult to see their name alongside good ecology. But some companies may surprise you.
As discussed previously, governments have taken some effort into having companies recycle more. If your company doesn’t engage in recycling much, or waste a lot of energy, then the environment clearly isn’t a key concern. Don’t feel dispirited, though! There are plenty of companies that are taking steps to help the environment. What you need to look for are the employers who are working towards going greener without pressure from government laws.
It’s important to know how a company feels about the environment and what action they take accordingly. So let’s say there’s a job going at a local Subway. Did you know that Subway has received praise in recent years for their ecological practices? They’ve altered their cleaning products to use less damaging chemicals. They’ve also opened eco-restaurants that were designed from the ground-up to be more ecological. It’s things like that you should look out for. Discover more about working at such a place. Big names with great environmental reputations also include Starbucks and Hewlett-Packard.
You should be careful about certain companies, however. There are plenty of companies out there who claim to be going green, because it looks good in the press. But some of these companies are among the worst companies for the environment in the world. A famous example is the utility company Southern. They make grand claims about their progressive ecological standpoints in the media. But they’re actually one of the biggest producers of carbon emissions in America. While they’re working to reduce this, they’ve attacked attempts to put make eco-friendly measures the law. So unless you’re being hired to improve their ecological policies, you may want to give a career opportunity there a miss!
3. Working Directly for an Environmental Conservation Company
Of course, one of the best things you can do is actually take a job in the environmental sector! You could search for jobs in natural resources and conservation. Many companies, such as the Environmental Protection Agency, offer internships and paid positions.
There are also jobs in organisations like the World Wildlife Fund to consider. While not as explicitly involved with the environment as the EPA, much of their work directly affects the environment in a positive way. With jobs like these, doing any volunteer or activist work will help you out when applying. Search online for any voluntary environmental efforts in your area. Get involved and put it on your résumé!
If you don’t mind getting into politics, then your local council may be on the lookout for help with their environmental issues. See if there’s a municipal environmental department in the local government. You could end up working in customer outreach, spreading the word about their ecological policies. You may even become involved in physical effort teams, cleaning nearby rivers or taking care of the flora and fauna of a local park.