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It is enough just to change certain habits in your private and professional life. Each gesture is part of a sum total that should result in a healthier planet for our children and grandchildren.
Take care of the environment from your office with these seven actions
Minimising the environmental impact with small actions in your daily routine should be a priority for everyone.
And what can we do to reduce the carbon footprint, that is, the impact caused by us on the environment? There are many measures we can take, including changing some of our habits.
"A lot of individuals in small places, doing small things, can change the world." Eduardo Galeano
We spend a lot of our time working, either from home or at the office, so that is where we should start reducing the environmental impact of our actions. In our work places we can also put into practice the rule of the 3Rs to take care of the environment: Reduce, Re-use, Recycle
And what small actions can you take with regard to your daily routine?
Turn off the computer and other appliances when they are not being used
You must surely be aware of the multitude of electrical appliances and computer equipment that remain on standby when not in use. Turn them off whenever you know they will not be used for several hours. You will save in costs and it will also help reduce the consumption of the electricity that is used to keep a machine on standby when it is not being used.
There are two very clear examples of how you can save a lot of energy:
- The red light that stays on in the monitors. Even if they are not working at the time, the energy they consume is very significant in the long term. The best solution is to unplug the device, if it is a TV, or completely turn off the computer screen when it is not in use.
- Chargers. There are numerous devices that do not have a red light to indicate that they are using energy. However, they do since there is an internal transformer that generates consumption. This is the case with chargers in general. Even when there is no device connected, they still use electricity. The best thing you can do is unplug them.
Avoid e-mails with unnecessary messages
Do you know that e-mails also cause pollution? When you send an e-mail, energy is needed to power the data centres, computers and other devices needed to filter, read and deliver the messages. The use of all these devices involves the emission of carbon dioxide.
Did you know that if each person managed to do without only one of these e-mails a week, 16,433 tons of carbon dioxide would be prevented from being emitted into the atmosphere at the end of the year?
In view of these figures, a very clear conclusion can be reached. Avoid sending e-mails that do not contribute anything to the recipient: "Thank you", "Received" or "Happy weekend", etc. This is how you can reduce the carbon footprint much more significantly than it would seem at first.
Optimise the use of paper
Paper is one of the most commonly used materials in any workplace. Whenever you can, re-use any sheets that have already been used before: To take notes during a meeting or phone conversation or write down useful data for your work.
Also remember that you do not need to print each and every e-mail you receive. Most of the information you receive this way can be stored in the cloud. Print only if it is absolutely indispensable.
And use specific containers to deposit all those papers or cardboard that can no longer be re-used.
There are printers that consume half as much energy as others and also perform several functions: They print, photocopy and scan. In other words, a single machine that can do the task of three, so the energy consumption is much lower.
You should also remember that toner and ink cartridges can also be recycled.
Coffee cups and re-usable bottles
Give a second life to all the utensils you use and avoid as much as possible using single-use containers. Say no to plastic bottles and yes to re-usable bottles and containers.
Use natural light whenever you can
Whenever possible, turn off the lights and take advantage of the natural light that comes in through the windows. If you are unable to use an outward-facing area, use low-consumption light bulbs.
LED bulbs use up to 80% less electricity and last longer than others. They are recyclable and do not contain as many polluting elements.
Monitor the air conditioning
Follow these tips so as not to spend so much energy on heating and air conditioning:
- Lower the temperature for the heating. Just a single degree lower will mean 300 kg less CO2 emissions. The Government recommends keeping the thermostat at 19 degrees, as the optimal temperature to save energy.
- As for air conditioning, the temperature should never be excessively low since energy consumption will eventually skyrocket. To avoid this, lower the blinds on days when there is a lot of sun and even if you really need to turn it on, close doors and windows well so that the heat does not come in and the area cools more quickly. Current recommendations are to keep the air conditioner at a temperature of 27 degrees.
- Use fans instead of air conditioners as their energy consumption is much lower.
There are plants that help reduce pollutants that may be floating in the environment. They purify the air and not all of them need direct natural light to survive.
With each of these actions, no matter how small, you will be contributing to minimising the impact on the environment. When you travel to work, try to use non-polluting vehicles and, if this is not possible, use public transport safely. The objective is to avoid the emission of CO2 into the atmosphere whenever and whenever possible.