Environmental Accountability

Lately I’ve been re-inspired by all things eco-friendly and minimal. Not that I ever stopped being interested, and I haven’t ‘forgotten’ to be more aware of waste, but after the initial excitement of researching something new, it’s easy to push it to the back of your mind.

The other day I bought some Australian-made, organic, vegan, cruelty free makeup. (Wow, that’s a lot of things to remember.) I bought some because I needed some it (though perhaps the word ‘need’ is too strong for something I don’t actually rely on); my other makeup was expired, and I thought it was time to try out some blue eyeliner. (I know, who am I?)

Point is, it got me thinking more about the environment again, ways I can implement eco-friendliness into my life, and if I can ‘minimalise’ further. By this I don’t just mean getting rid of all my things for the sake of it, but that it’s easy to accumulate stuff without realising it. For instance, in the past year I’ve bought a lot of new books, some are for university, others for leisure. My bookcase is packed, so I might have a look and see if I can donate anything. (It’s definitely possible I’ll want to keep everything, but it’s worth having a look.)

In terms of the everyday, I’ve certainly improved in the past few years. I have much less rubbish every week (when I was in high school I used to not recycle?? Who knows why.) and don’t buy nearly as many things as I did. The only clothes I’ve bought recently have been ‘necessities’ (okay, yes, in the past few months I’ve bought two pairs of overalls, but in my defence one is a long pair and the other is a dress. Totally valid.) and I try not to buy random things just for the sake of it.

But at work, my sense of saving the environment goes out the window. I forget to recycle (or can’t be bothered), I buy cheap, plastic packaged office products, I print off thousands of sheets of paper, half of which aren’t necessary. I’m trying to figure out how to minimise my waste at work and support eco-friendly brands without being unreasonable with work-finances.

It’s difficult trying to work this all out, and because it’s difficult I’ve simply ignored it.

The other day there was a bunch of rubbish in my workplace parking lot. As grossed out as I was at touching someone else’s trash, I picked it up and put it in the right bins. I don’t say this to boast about the goodness of my heart (it aint that good lol) but to say: it reminded me that if I want to make a change, I literally have to make a change. How much litter do I see everyday that I ignore, but then complain about how people don’t place rubbish in the bin?

So this is the place for me to declare I’m going to try.

At work, I’m not just going to complain, I’m going to offer a solution. I’m not going to trash Plan A without coming up with a Plan B. I’m going to make swaps that benefit everyone involved, including the environment. I don’t know how much I’ll be able to implement without involving others (I print off a lot of paper for other staff), but there are definitely things I’m in charge of that I can change without harming anyone.

This blog is where I can be accountable. This is where I can update you and keep myself on track, which I’m excited about.

My goal for this week is to implement something at work; right now I’m thinking of starting a space for recycling so it’s more convenient for me, so I’m aware of what I’m throwing out. With only a rubbish bin under my desk, I’m too lazy to go to the other room to recycle. I’m aware of how ridiculous this sounds, and how lazy I am, but when I’m in the work zone I simply can’t be bothered to walk for a minute to put things in the recycling bin. So by putting a recycling-space in my office, I won’t be adding as much to landfill.

Alongside recycling-happiness, next time I buy something for work (whether that be office supplies or food), I’ll look at numerous options to find the eco-friendly, budget-friendly item, such as being aware of packaging and brand values. I don’t know how this will go, as cheaper items seem to be priority over planet-friendly items, but I’ll try.

Well, this post has turned out to be longer than I expected (to make up for the silence this week, perhaps), so I’ll leave it here.

Until next time,

Sarah xx

4 thoughts on “Environmental Accountability

  1. At work, it really helps to have a spot to separate out the non garbage from the trash can under the desk. At my old job, we had to shred anything that might have account numbers, etc, so my supervisor put a little plastic tub on each of our desks so we didn’t accidentally throw it out. Then at the end of the day we emptied them into the shred bin.

    The other think you do with paper you have to print that we do at my current job – cut it into half’s or quarters and use it as note/scratch paper.

    Good luck!

    Liked by 1 person

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