Environmental consciousness is a vibrant part of our office culture at EF Education First. But these days, many of our staffers are working remotely. So how can we stay true to our green ideals while working from home?
We sat down with Sasha, the head of the EF Green Team at our Boston office and a Sales Operations Specialist with EF Educational Tours, to learn more about how we can achieve our goals of being green, even in quarantine.
“From day one at EF,” Sasha says, “I’ve had so much freedom to innovate and explore. I can take initiative without worrying about red tape. Even now, from home, I have the freedom to reach out to colleagues with green ideas to keep our progress on track.”
What’s the EF Green Team? It’s a collective of staffers passionate about being more environmentally friendly at EF and beyond. From clothing swaps to advocating a zero-waste mentality, the EF Green Team is dedicated to forward-thinking measures to impact sustainability, and Sasha keeps the team focused on this mission.
Now, with many staff working remotely, Sasha has worked with her fellow EF Green Team members to help their colleagues adopt green habits in their new home-based routines. We asked Sasha to share a few tips on reducing your impact on the planet from home.
Sasha’s top eight tips for staying green while staying home:
1. Turn off lights and electronics and unplug power strips when you’re not using them.
2. Reduce your refrigerator’s total energy use by 7% by limiting your open-door ‘what’s for lunch?’ surveying. Keep a list of what’s inside the fridge posted on the door to reduce wasted electricity and keep your food fresh longer.
3. Regrow those veggies! Lettuce, green onions, garlic, and celery, for example, can be regrown from their stems. Right in a cup. Right in your kitchen.
4. Buy in bulk when possible to reduce packaging waste. Plus, bulk groceries are often cheaper than smaller, single-serve options.
5. Can’t find what you need in bulk? Look for products with paper, glass, or aluminum packaging that’s easier to repurpose and recycle than plastic.
6. Your reusable water bottle is your new best friend. Take it with you everywhere to stay hydrated and stay away from single-use plastic water bottles. You could save nearly $550 USD annually with this practice.
7. While staying close to home, buy local. Local companies generally have smaller carbon footprints for their goods.
8. Resist the urge to pass time with online shopping. Retail therapy can feel good in the moment, but don’t let an impulse buy undermine your goals of creating less waste and reducing your carbon footprint.
Months of working from home have also given Sasha a fresh perspective on office habits that should be tweaked, changed, and challenged in the future. How to incentivize folks to forgo paper coffee cups, for instance? And how to make recycling easier and more efficient for everyone in the EF community.
Focusing on these questions from her home, Sasha thinks that many people are completely reassessing their lifestyles and priorities. She anticipates these new habits will find their way back to the office and influence the way we think about being responsible while out exploring the world again.
“It’s literally an issue that impacts every person, animal, plant – we can make a difference if everyone does their part. It’s this big, scary goal, but we can actually do something about it. As long as I’ve helped change how even one person thinks or acts, that can make a dent in a long-term solution.”