We are absolute lovers of the environment here at Meraki, and since we opened our doors to clients have worked towards zero waste in our values. It is fantastic to have such great members who abide by our zero waste values, and are eager to make their lives more sustainable and environmentally friendly outside of the co-working space.
But if you haven’t quite got your sustainability up to a level you would like, and you want some tips, then we have got some of our best tips for you to integrate into you and your families lives. Because we are true believers that we can always live that little bit more environmentally sustainable and waste-free.
Re-Think Your Waste
This is a huge one and probably most people tripping point without even realising it. It is so easy to just throw things in the bin and forget about them once they are thrown out, but usually there are a huge amount of waste that we just throw away as ‘rubbish’ that can actually be recycled or reused.
Items such as yogurt pots, tin cans, card, wrapping paper, and spread containers are common household pieces that are thrown away without a second thought. Get to know what your regional recycling will take (for most places, it is a significant amount), clean out those tins, cans and containers and get recycling! You will see a huge reduction in the size of your household waste with taking these out of your rubbish bin.
Dig In Those Green Fingers!
Another way to lighten the waste load is get in tune with your inner green thumb and begin composting and create a worm farm! Between a compost for your garden and a worm farm, perhaps even a chicken or two, there is very little food waste that will end up in the bin. We at Meraki try to compost as much as possible. From food scraps to fruit peels and cores, and not only is it making a dent in how much we have to throw out, we are also feeding our vegetables gardens and our chickens, which keeps the environment happy all round (plus, fresh eggs are always a bonus from happy chickens).
When was the last time you turned off your main switches at the source? I bet it was longer than you originally thought. Making that conscious decision to switch off power outlets, especially those that you don’t use often or can turn back on easily will save not only your power bills a few extra $$ every month, but reduce your power usage and power wastage. Dependant on where you are in the world or what power company you come from, your power may be generated in ways that are not sustainable environmentally. Flicking the power switch to ‘off’ helps you do you little part to reducing that power and environmental waste. Win-win!
If you really want to go that extra step further, do some research into how your power company generates their power. Is it from renewable or non-renewable resources? If it’s from non-renewable, can you change companies? I know in New Zealand there are a few power companies that work with solely renewable energy such as wind farms, so get researching and see what you find out.
Make Conscious Purchases
We all love online shopping, or even just receiving something in the mail. I know that there’s definitely a thrill when I receive the “You Have Purchased…” email in my inbox and wait (not so) patiently for my mail carrier to deliver it. But I get disheartened sometimes when I open up a package and see how it is sent. Plastic packaging full of polystyrene chips to keep an item safe. Not to mention the carbon footprint it created being sent from the other side of the world. It definitely makes me rethink if I am going to purchase from that seller again.
We have so many fantastic local businesses in Cambridge and the wider New Zealand area, and many are dedicated to reduce their environmental waste footprint by making their product packaging recyclable or biodegradable and great for the environment. My advice to you is to shop around and see what you can find. Some places will have what you are looking for at great prices and in packaging that won’t cost the earth. If you have to buy from overseas, try to ensure they also use environmentally sustainable packaging. Paper instead of plastic, or biodegradable plant-based packaging will help with this. Nothing wrong with a bit of shopping around!
Join The Reusable Cup and Container Movement
In a way that follows on from conscious purchases, involve in those purchases a keep cup and a couple of reusable containers (the best are glass- try to keep away from plastic). Keeping them somewhere handy such as your workplace or in your bag will allow you to rapidly reduce your one-use container collection. You know the ones I’m talking about - Chinese and Indian takeaway containers, and the bane of my existence - the formidable takeaway coffee cup. Unfortunately, due to the chemical creation of these containers, many of them cannot be recycled, so we find it is best to skip past them altogether and use your own. A bonus is that supermarkets and such are jumping in on this movement with bringing your own reusable bags and even reusable containers for deli, vegetables and other products. So get amongst!
So how many of these can you easily implement into your life? I bet there’s a few. Keep an eye out for any extra sustainability tips we add on social media, or we may just even come up with enough to create a new blog post. Stay tuned, and in the meantime, let us know which of these you already use in your routine.