We are almost to the end of 2015 which is incredible as it just seems like yesterday when the year began. So before the year disappears on us completely, it is a great opportunity to set your sustainability targets for 2016, setting us up for success at reducing our environmental footprint….lets ‘aim to sustain’ in the new year!
If we all commit to one aim to live more sustainably in 2016, it will contribute collectively to solving some of the big issues we face at the moment. These include:
- Global warming – the need to maintain the temperature rising no higher than 2 degrees
- Food security – reducing food miles and knowing where our food is coming from
- Fossil fuel energy – it will not last forever so we need to adopt energy sources that are renewable
- Growing waste problem – living in a ‘throw away’ society that has become dependent on disposable products instead of reusable
So in 2016, lets all aim to sustain and adapt to being climate change ready. Here are some easy ways for businesses and homes to do just that.
Aim to Sustain Ideas for Businesses
- Reduce Waste to Landfill – introduce an additional recycling stream such as organic waste collection in your workplace. Did you know, organic waste (garden and food scraps) makes up 60% of the landfill content where it produces nasty methane gas and releases it into the atmosphere. Better for it to be captured and composted to be put back into soil to grow our food locally
- Recycling Education Campaign – improve your businesses current recycling rates by running a campaign to reduce confusion about what can and can’t be recycled. Sometimes we get easily distracted with our busy jobs to remember how to dispose of waste responsibly
- Lower Carbon Emissions – think about how much energy is used to run your business. You can introduce targets and can easily be achieved by:
- Switching off computers, printers and other office equipment off at the end of the day
- Thinking twice about printing documents – can you read it on screen instead?
- Switch lights off when there is plenty of natural light available
- Don’t leave electronic equipment on standby
- Ride, walk or get public transport to work instead of driving a car
- Grow plants in the office to help absorb carbon emissions
- Improve Energy Efficiency – Not sure what energy your business is using? Organise a NABERS Assessment to establish benchmarks and introduce some of the ideas in no. 3 to reduce energy use as well as saving some money
Aim to Sustain Ideas for the Home
- Grow your Own – It is so satisfying to grow your own fruit, vegetables and herbs. Access to fresh, healthy food from your own backyard is very achievable
- Buy from Markets – Fresh food from markets tend to have less invasive packaging. Reduce your landfill waste by avoiding the supermarkets
- Say NO to Plastic Bags – have your own supply of cloth shopping bags to make it easier to say NO to plastic bags
- Buy a Keep Cup – we love our coffee but we don’t need to have it in a disposal cup. Buy a Keep Cup for home and never worry that you are contributing to our growing reliance on disposable products that are generally thrown away after one use
So there are lots of ideas to choose from to ‘aim to sustain’ in 2016. Choose one for work and home to collectively contribute to ensuring our planet sustains us today as well sustaining future generations.