Restore our Earth
Earth day, a time to educate ourselves, improve our actions, and build a brighter future together. This year’s theme is called “restore our Earth” and focuses on natural processes, emerging green technologies, and innovative thinking that can restore the world’s ecosystems. The idea of this theme is to go beyond the traditional ideas that only mitigation and adaptation are plausible solutions to heal our planet. The best way to make a difference is for everyone to do something that works for them in order to make it sustainable and eventually for that change to become a part of their lifestyle. At the end of the day, the health of our Earth affects all of us as it impacts our jobs, our livelihood, our health and even our happiness.
How far we’ve come
While the world is still in an unusual position with the Covid-19 pandemic, it seems like brighter days are ahead. Looking back throughout the year in a pandemic, there is one positive that we can highlight: The world as a collective managed to decrease the amount of carbon emissions that it added into the atmosphere! While this was only a 2% decrease, it is a step in the right direction. While this was a terrible situation for a vast majority of people, we can take away the fact that when we all work together, we can actually make a difference.
Covid-19 changed the business landscape in a major way. While many people will be going back to working in their offices when it is safe to do so, a large amount will be given the option to work from home. For some, that might not be their ideal option, however the decrease in people commuting is bound to have a positive impact for our environment as we’ve seen this far.
For those commuting, there will be more environmentally friendly options coming out in the near future. For the past couple of years, more and more automotive manufacturers have started showcasing their new electric vehicles, which has been lowering the starting price for these vehicles making them more affordable to the general public. This is only one example of a relatively new technology that is more sustainable.
The commuting example is one situation where there are different alternatives that have a beneficial impact on the environment. Working from home is a way to mitigate, while commuting in an electric vehicle is a way that new technologies help when we can’t mitigate. And while this is a more extreme scenario where we can choose to take an eco friendly approach, there are many smaller decisions we can make in our everyday lives in order to make a difference.
5 simple ways you can make a difference
By now, climate change has become a big topic of discussion and we see it everywhere (which is a great thing!). In addition to talking about it, we wanted to highlight 5 simply changes that every business professional can make (although almost anyone can implement these changes) in order to make a little difference:
1. Reusable Water bottles
Regular plastic water bottles aren’t only bad for the environment, they’re also bad for your health. They take oil to produce and are nearly impossible to biodegrade, which is exactly why we have the great garbage patch in the ocean. Plastic just doesn’t go away easily. Plastic waste, including bottles, kills an estimated 1.1 million marine animals per year. Even if the water in a plastic bottle were sourced from the most pristine aquifers and filtered to the highest quality, it would still be infused with a toxic stew of chemicals from the plastic bottle. In addition, studies have shown that 90% of bottled water tested contained disturbing levels of microplastics. Choosing a proper reusable water bottle can help with all of those issues. You can choose a water bottle that is both made from sustainable materials and created in a sustainable way. On top of that, those materials that are better for the environment are also better for you. They won’t leak chemicals and plastics into your drinking water.
2. Switch to more efficient light bulbs
Light bulbs that use LED technology not only bring down your energy bills but are also more environmentally friendly when compared to incandescent bulbs and compact fluorescent lights. LED light bulbs typically use 95% of the power to produce light and only waste about 5% in heat production. This means that they use less energy overall, which requires less demand from power plants, ultimately leading to a decrease in greenhouse gas emissions. LED light bulbs also have about a six times longer lifespan than traditional bulbs. With a longer lifespan, they are replaced less frequently which means less energy consumed to make them and less resource being used.
3. Go paperless
It is estimated that in North America, about 40% of waste is paper. This is a significant figure, because although it is a useful product, it is harmful for the air, land and water. Over 30 million acres of forest are destroyed annually to harvest wood that is used to produce paper. For a single A4 sheet of paper to be produced, it takes about 10 litres of water. And if the production process isn’t damaging enough to the environment, when paper isn’t recycled it ends up being burned, a process that emits carbon dioxide into the atmosphere adding to the air pollution. As a whole, the paper industry is the 5th largest consumer of energy in the world. Focusing on cutting down on the use of paper would have a significant impact on the environment and on the air that we breathe.
4. Choose electronic receipts/invoices when you have the option
In line with going paperless, one of the options to do so is by choosing electronic invoices or receipts whenever possible. There are many benefits to electronic documents over paper ones, such as they are easier to keep track of and to organize, they are harder to lose, the ink doesn’t fade on them over time, and it eliminates the need to produce paper!
5. Choose a sustainable supplier when possible
Now this final tip may not be applicable to everyone, but if you have the choice, choosing a more sustainable supplier can make a large impact for the environment. Whether that means your supplier produces items in a sustainable way, uses more environmentally friendly materials, or simply takes steps towards offsetting their carbon footprint. If businesses put a lot of emphasis into this aspect, it would give suppliers the incentive to become more environmentally conscious and would in the long run benefit everyone as we all need a healthy planet to prosper!
We hope you find these tips useful and that you consider giving them a try! If you have any additional tips you’d like to share with us, we’d love to hear them in the comments below.
From the Polar Imaging team, we wish you a happy Earth day!