Climate change and environmental degradation as a result of human impact on the planet is one of the greatest, if not the greatest, challenges that the global community is currently facing. Over the past decade or so, and especially in recent years, environmental awareness and activism has grown. Governments and individual people are making more of an effort to reduce their environmental footprint. Tackling such a big issue can be very intimidating, but by making small changes in your daily routine, you can start to make a big difference.  Focusing on changing bad habits and increasing your personal awareness of how your actions impact the environment not only makes you more “green” but it also sets an example to others, so they can change their ways too. Here are 6 easy tips for how to minimize your environmental impact during a typical workday.

1. Green Commuting-

Before the workday can start, you first need to get there. An easy way to make your commute greener is to bike or walk to work. Not only are these options better for the environment, but they are also better for you! Start the day off right and get your blood flowing! If biking or walking is just not an option, you could try to take public transport or carpool with other coworkers and maybe even friends who work nearby.

2. Eating Well-

Eat greener- literally. When ordering lunch, or bringing your own, try going vegetarian or even vegan. Make a resolution to try to have meatless lunches a few days a week. Meat production is one of the biggest polluting industries on the planet, and reducing your personal meat consumption can help limit environmental damage. Regardless of what you eat, try to use reusable plates, utensils and napkins. You could even bring them from home if they are not available at your workplace or restaurant where you are at. This will help reduce plastic and paper waste.

3. Bring a Bottle-

A reusable bottle, that is. Cut down on plastic waste by bringing your own water bottle or water glass to the office. Stop using plastic cups and buying bottles of water if it is not necessary. Fill up reusable bottles or cups at the office water coolers.

4. Power Down-

A lot of electricity goes to waste during the day without us even noticing it. A good way to minimize this is by setting your electronic devices to energy-saving mode. Also, remember to set your computer to sleep mode whenever you walk away from your desk during the day. When the workday is over, shut down all your electronic devices and turn off the lights in your space. Having all your devices plugged into a power strip is also a good energy saving solution, because with just one switch you can turn off all your devices at once.

5. Go Digital-

The best way to reduce paper waste is to simply not use paper. This is easier today than it has ever been, thanks to the numerous advances in technology. Use electronic forms of communication such as email instead of paper mail. Read and review documents and reports on a device to avoid printing them out. Finally, try to keep all your files online using platforms like Google Docs and iCloud, which make documents and files easy to save and share.

6. Recycle-

An essential part of the 3 Rs motto “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle”. Recycling is key to avoid useful material from going to waste unnecessarily. Recycling old materials reduces the production and use of new raw materials, which helps to lower greenhouse gas emissions. Make sure to dispose of recyclable materials into the appropriate containers. Used paper, plastic office supplies and batteries are just a few examples of recyclable materials to be aware of.