Sharon Ufberg, DC discusses ways we can take action in our daily lives to reduce our carbon footprint and positively impact the environment.

by Sharon Ufberg, DC

Everywhere we look these days there is something being written about the importance of reducing our carbon footprint on the planet and emphasizing the problems we are creating with over consumption and over usage of products and energy.

In our personal lives, I know many of us are trying to be more conscious and thoughtful about the way we live, what we eat and how we take better care of the environment. But how many of us are carrying over this same level of concern and attention at our offices or workplace? I have been thinking a lot about how each of us can influence and inspire our office staff, co-workers and patients to go greener and to do a better job ourselves in making our office, or “second home,” a more environmentally friendly space.

Let’s ask ourselves some questions and be reminded of a few good ideas that we all (yes, me too) could put into action this month. 

Are you using plant based, non toxic products to clean? If you have a cleaning service, do you know what they are using on the floors and countertops when you leave for the day? Choose paper products wisely, purchase recycled brands and try to avoid ones that use dyes.

Do you offer coffee or tea for your staff and/or patients? Make sure you are buying fare-trade organic coffee and teas, provide a French press or barista and provide reusable mugs.
Install a water cooler to discourage the use of individual water bottles and give each of your staff their own personalized cups.

Take a look at your trash- Are you recycling everything that can be recycled? Also rethink the amount of paper that is being printed and used each day.

Turn off those lights! Many offices leave lights and computers on all day and night. There are also more energy efficient bulbs available now to help reduce costs and save electricity.

If you eat lunch out everyday or have a monthly lunchtime staff meeting, support your local green restaurants. Or better yet, pack your lunch occasionally to reduce your consumption of processed or take-out foods and the packaging that goes with it.

Bike to work! Imagine how impressed your staff will be when you pull up on two wheels—and what a good way to get more exercise too.

One of the best ways for each of us to make an impact for a greener world is to inspire others. Be a resource for the names, addresses and websites of your local farmers, organic markets and green information sources. Post a sign or provide a Go Green column in your monthly newsletter or email with ideas and suggestions.

By moving in the direction of a greener, more conscientious, healthier home and workplace, we can all feel good about making a positive impact on our environment. Mother Earth deserves the effort!

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