Sustainability in the workplace – Imogen

In recent weeks I have been asked by my apprenticeship tutor to do some research about sustainability in the workplace. This was an interesting topic for me as I am all for helping the environment as much as I can and luckily my tutor guided me to The Mindful Collective a not-for-profit organisation. They are primarily based on creating more sustainable environments for the workplace. Then I was tasked by June to produce a presentation for everyone in the office to introduce new and improved ways of becoming a more sustainable agency.

My first point of call was Economic Sustainability, this came down to, using, safeguarding, and sustaining resources (human and material) to create a long-term sustainable workplace by optimal use, recovery, and recycling. Reducing by Reusing.

Everyone in the office loves a good old cup of tea. Have you ever wondered how many tea bags are used and thrown? How many of those teabags get recycled? Have you ever heard of a re-useable tea bag? They are made from natural unbleached organic cotton. Simply add loose tea to the bag, use this how you normally would, to create a fresh but sustainable cup of tea. Rinse the bag and start
again; the string is also long enough to use with mugs or a teapot.

We have implemented a ‘upcycle’ station which we hope will deter us from having to buy new stationery or furniture for the office. It is now protocol before ordering any new supplies to check the upcycle station to ensure we don’t already have something that can be used. Recycling is still one of the best ways to reduce your carbon footprint, so I have implemented a desktop recycling tray. All used paper must be put into the tray to reduce waste and the recycle further so when we need to jot a quick note down, we have old paper to use quickly and efficiently.

Environmental sustainability means having procedures and programmes set in place to encourage staff and clients to have a more of a green outlook. One of my first points was to invest in office plants; these are not only great for the environment, but they are brilliant for mental health. Office plants can be calming and a good stress reliever – they also let off oxygen during the day, a good plant for this purpose would be an aloe vera or a mini orchid.

My last action is to get out and volunteer. Our nominated charity for 2022 is DENS – My Mustard already collects foodbank supplies for Dens every month, but I want us doing more. Not only is it good for the team to get out of the office but by doing so we are saving any energy we would normally use. Getting out and volunteering is a fantastic way of helping our local community and letting our community get to know us.

Going forward we have all agreed to do more in the workplace and in our own personal space to help the environment and local community. So, watch this space. Together, we can achieve sustainability.