Like many of you who are rolling out Carbon Literacy, we rent our office space. When renting, it can be more difficult to reduce your carbon footprint by making changes to your immediate environment.
It’s definitely possible to take bigger actions to change processes within your organisation, though it might not be possible to make structural changes needed to invest in solar energy or combined heating systems, for example. So what are some of the really easy, basic things that we can all do?
We provide 10 simple actions, the Carbon Literacy team take to make our operations as low-carbon as possible, that are replicable on a daily basis!
1. Saving our scrap paper, this includes:
– Using scrap paper for making lists and taking notes.
– Printing on (the back side of) scrap paper for anything we need internally.
2. Using reusables:
We have a cupboard with plates, bowls, cutlery, mugs and glasses, and a cafetiere. Many of us also have water bottles and keep cups that we bring with us and take on our travels.
3. Commute using public or active transport:
Most of us either walk or cycle into the office each day. For those that aren’t able to, they take a bus or the Metrolink.
4. Use teleconferencing:
We hold regular meetings with our colleague Angus, based in Scotland, using webcam-based software.
5. Travel to Europe by train:
For some meetings and conferences, a physical presence is required, for this, we use the train. Its journey time from Manchester to Amsterdam is the same as flying, but with a much lower carbon footprint.
Our office is based in Innospace on the MMU campus where we are provided with recycling bins for food waste, paper and card, and glass and plastic, making it really nice and easy to recycle.
7. Turn off plug sockets, appliances, lights and heating (if on):
An easy one – when things aren’t being used, we turn them off. Simple! We do this throughout and at the end of the day. Our printer only comes on when we absolutely need it.
8. Turn off the lights in the communal kitchen:
When the lights have been left on in the communal kitchen, and no one is using it, we make sure to turn them off. This reduces the carbon emissions of the whole workspace.
9. Some of our favourite places to grab a quick, low carbon lunch (when we’ve forgotten ours):
– Sydney Street Café
– Eighth Day
– The Real Junk Food Project
10. Use up our food:
Baking cakes for the office with old bananas – tasty and sustainable!