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Office Life

Sustainable Resolutions for 2022

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Jeff Gapinski

Scrabble pieces spelling out "Happy New Year"

Throughout our existence, one of the areas we’ve really focused on is sustainability. Just this year we’ve talked about sustainable gift wrapping, National Recycling Day, sustainable employee gifts, tips for better recycling at work, sustainable offices we’re crushing on, how to stay green and clean when you return to the office and more.

Making our own office greener as well as providing resources for our readers to evaluate the sustainability of their daily lives has been a huge priority. If you’re still wondering where to start and looking for a challenge next year, let’s talk about a few small changes that can add up to a larger ecological impact over the course of a year.

There’s no better time to look back at where you succeeded and where you’d like to focus on in the future than the end of a year. We’re just about there and our last wish for you is to make some sustainable resolutions for 2022!

Learn your numbers

Make 2022 the year you finally learn which recyclable numbers are accepted at your local recycling center. A good rule of thumb is that the higher the number on the plastic, the less recyclable it is. For example, soda bottles and detergent containers usually have a 1 or a 2 on them and can be recycled without much thought. Other numbers, though less widely accepted, vary by region so check in with your local recycling authority to make sure you’re not filling up the flow with garbage. 

Power down

Between disposable batteries and phantom or vampire energy, your electronics are leaving a lot of sustainability on the table. Invest in reusable batteries for your gadgets, and when you’re not at home or the office, unplug computers and other devices that can use energy just by being plugged in.

Invest in eco-friendly cleaning supplies

Did you know that many cleaning supplies for sale at your corner store contain substances linked to health problems including asthma and cancer? These solutions are bad for you and the environment.

Ditch the toxic supplies and invest in products that use organic ingredients and refillable bottles. One of our favorite eco-friendly cleaning brands is Blueland because all of their packaging is recyclable, compostable, or both.

Compost

The US Department of Agriculture estimates food waste at between 30-40% of the food supply. This wasted food then ends up in a landfill where it contributes to greenhouse gas production. If you’ve ever felt a little guilty cleaning out the fridge and sending uneaten greens and overripe fruit into the garbage, composting is a great way to make your eating habits more sustainable. The best part is that setting up an effective system for composting at home is a lot quicker and easier than you think, and there are likely weekly dropoff sites near your home if you’re in a city without a lot of green (let alone counter) space.

Reduce meat consumption

Even cutting meat out of your diet one day a week can really add up over the course of a year. This doesn’t mean you have to go full vegetarian! Think pizza, pasta, and salad, and turn “Meatless Monday” into a celebration!

Commuting

As we look to return to the office next year, now’s a good time to reevaluate the most sustainable commute. If you were driving your own gas guzzler, look into a carpool, public transportation or even biking during months with temperate weather. 

Shop Locally

This applies to grocery shopping as well as other retail stores. Whenever you keep things local, you cut out extra packaging and transportation, saving material and energy. This is especially true when you visit local farmer’s markets, buy in-season produce, and bring reusable bags. 

Carry a reusable water bottle

Bevi users have saved over 200 million bottles through the combination of reusable bottles and filtered water dispensers. The next time you go out the door and check your bag for keys, wallet, and a phone, add a reusable water bottle to the mix.

Buy secondhand and repair what’s broken

Just say no to fast fashion. These factories are a huge drain on the environment and the clothes are headed to the landfill much sooner than more intentionally made garments. Challenge yourself to find your next outfit at a vintage clothing store, and if a favorite sweater or t-shirt rips, grab a sewing kit and hop on YouTube to teach yourself how to sew it up!

The ultimate resolution: reuse everything!

Once you’re used to the routine of reusing your water bottle, see how far you can stretch your reusable habits! Carry an extra reusable bag, opt out of products packaged in plastic like soap and shampoo in favor of bar and tablet formats, and be mindful of how everyday situations might be made more sustainable.

Every decision made with sustainability in mind really adds up to protecting our future, and we’ll be right there with you next year doing our best to care for each other and the environment. Have any sustainable resolutions of your own to add to the list? We’d love to hear from you on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or LinkedIn!

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Jeff Gapinski

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