If your name isn’t Donald Trump, you will be aware of the reality of global warming, and the effect it is having on our planet. “Going green” has therefore become a prevalent term in our society, and while many are apathetic when it comes to environmental issues, becoming green is an ambition we should all share.
Createful have always been intentional about its practices, and so to celebrate our 8th birthday, we’d like to share eight simple ways digital agencies can become a little bit greener.
1. Swap the sweet treats for local fruit and veg
Biscuits, cakes and sweet treats are often heavily packaged in plastic, which creates an abundance of waste that is particularly damaging to the sea (where it often ends up) and marine wildlife. Remember that viral video of the tortoise suffering with a plastic straw stuck in its nose? Instead, treat your colleagues to some delicious and unpackaged fruit from local producers; saving the planet, supporting the local economy and looking after your waistline all at once!
2. Cycle or car-share
If Peter Kay’s hilarious TV show of the same name (this may be too niche as a reference, but it’s such a good show) doesn’t convince you of the good times to be had as a result of a car-sharing scheme, then hopefully the promise of reduced congestion and pollution will sway you. Either that, or hop on your bike to reduce emissions and burn calories, instead of the money needed to pay for climate-damaging fuel.
3. Support ethical practices and Fairtrade
If you get through a gallon of coffee every day like us, try purchasing your coffee from a Fairtrade supplier. Simply look for the logo on the packaging. Many brands proudly advertise whether they’re Fairtrade or support ethical practices, so they’re not difficult to find. All of Sainsbury’s own brand roast and ground coffee is 100% Fairtrade. Clipper and Pukka Herbs are two examples of teas who support Fairtrade or ethical practices. We know it’s little more pricey, but it’s worth it when you remember – you’re saving the world!
4. Dispose of hardware responsibly
Electronic equipment eventually needs to be updated. When this time comes, it’s important to dispose of old hardware correctly; computers and other devices contain materials like lead and mercury, which shouldn’t be released into the environment. The best option is to donate old equipment so that it can be re-used. Alternatively, use a recycling locator to find the nearest place to dispose of your items.
5. Switch it off
Your monitor is the least energy efficient part of your computer. In fact, it accounts for about 1/3 of your machine’s energy use! When you are away from your desk or not using your computer for an extended period of time, switch off the monitor. The same applies to excessive lighting – think about investing into energy saving light bulbs and don’t forget to switch the lights off when you leave the office or meeting room.
6. Limit your paper usage
Let’s face it- we live in digital age where practically anything can be done online. Do you really need to print that 30-page document? Our tip is to use online tools, such as DropBox, Google Drive and Slack, to share and edit documents, or work collaboratively when needed. Use whiteboards for mind-mapping instead of notepads. Createful warning : don’t forget to use erasable markers!
7. Ditch single-use plastic
We’ve all seen it in the news over the recent weeks; restaurants and supermarkets including Iceland, Asda, Costa Coffee, The Real Greek and Bill’s, are beginning to phase out single-use plastic, including carrier bags, straws and food packaging. This is a significant step in the right direction, and there are little things we can do to help. Bringing lunch from home in reusable boxes saves plastic AND money. If you do pop out for a sandwich, resist the urge to say yes to a carrier bag, while they’re still available. This is a big one; according to a report from Environmental Audit Committee, 7 million disposable cups are thrown away each day in the UK (2018). If you nip to Starbucks for your favourite latte, take along a reusable coffee cup. Starbucks have made these available to purchase in-store, and even reward their customers for getting involved in recycling!
8. And of course – RECYCLE!
Did we just see you throw that plastic bottle into general waste? Unacceptable! If you have a few colleagues who simply don’t know what belongs in each bin, spend two minutes reminding them how to dispose of their waste properly. The Createful recycling bin has to be emptied every other day, due to the volume of items that end up in it; just goes to show how much impact it would make if we all took that extra little bit of care.
Of course, there’s so much more we could all be doing to help the environment and support sustainability; these are just a small selection. If your agency has any other tips or routines you’ve adopted to make an impact, let us know on Twitter.