By Tera Lessard
WSU Spokane

Do you want to be greener, but don’t know where to start? Here are a few ideas for how to make more sustainable choices at work. If you are just starting your sustainability journey, start small. Small efforts can have big impacts.

  1. Put an end to recycling confusion. Did you know that our blue bins at WSU cannot take staples? Or shredded paper? Familiarize yourself with what you can put in the WSU recycle bin and post clear “accepted” and “not accepted” items signs above each bin.
  2. Reduce your energy usage. Turn your computer off when you leave for the day. Turn off lights that are not being used. Try to use daylight whenever possible. Take the stairs instead of the elevator- it’s good for your health and reduces your energy use.
  3. Reconsider your commute. Could you carpool one day a week? Ride a bike? Take the bus? What about working from home? Make the best of your Commute Trip Reduction (CTR) program by using alternative transportation.
  4. Think about your next supply order. Before you order another box of pens or single-use cleaning wipes, ask yourself if you could make a greener choice. Perhaps a neat refillable pen? Or a gallon of a natural cleaner with a washable rag?
  5. Hold a zero-waste potluck. Tell your team that you would like to have a unique kind of potluck the produces zero waste. You will want to provide some resources about what zero waste means and provide examples of zero waste dishes. Your sign-up sheet might ask someone to bring washable plates, flatware and napkins. You may need volunteers for dishes. Consider making it a social challenge vote for the most creative zero waste dish.
  6. Share your Journey. Great ideas are contagious. Tell others about what you are doing differently and why. Perhaps you will inspire someone to be their very own sustainability superstar.