I looked at this issue back in 2011 when I was concerned about the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, plans for drilling in the Beaufort Sea and building pipelines in NWT. And here I am seven years later so worried about our impact on the oceans. Today I will revisit home office choices for a healthy planet with a focus on my environmental footprint.
Our life and work style simply must change if we are to save this planet. Our oceans and soils are full of plastics that we will ingest by eating fish and vegetables. Probable oil spills from pipelines will damage our rivers and ocean shorelines.
On the one hand, we must have oil to maintain our current North American way of life and on the other, we dare not risk more potential for disaster. This quandary has caused me to reflect on what I can do personally to minimize my environmental footprint. As I look around my home office, what steps can I take?
Home Office Choices:
- Going as paperless as possible – choosing electronic filing means a very different way of thinking and working;
- Shredding all paper for recycling;
- Using video conferencing for meetings, rather than driving;
- Carpooling to functions;
- Using electronic cards and replacing tangible gifts with service gifts;
- Taking advantage of natural light – starting and/or finishing earlier;
- Using china coffee mugs and water glasses;
- Reusing old folders – relabeling;
- Collecting printer cartridges, batteries and light bulbs for recycling;
- Upgrading old computer equipment, rather than buying new;
- When old electronics no longer make sense, sending them to a recycle company;
- Banking online;
- When printing is essential – making it double-sided;
- Using pencils with replaceable leads and fountain pens rather than plastic pens;
- Buying electronic books and newspapers rather than paper
- Creating my own notepads from scrap paper;
The home office was just the beginning. My kitchen activities leave an even greater footprint. So here’s where I started.
- Switching to glassware for all those leftovers in the frig;
- Choosing waxed paper over cling wraps;
- Separating wet from dry garbage and using recycled bags;
- Taking cloth bags to the grocery store;
- Taking my own containers to the grocery store.
- Switching off all electronic equipment when not in use at night;
- Turning down the heat and wearing a sweater;
- Driving a car that leaves less footprint or eliminating vehicles if possible;
- Taking the bus whenever possible;
- Walking to meetings;
- Using no disposable cups, dishes or clothes anywhere;
- Using enviro-friendly soaps and cleaners;
- Using the computer for radio, music, TV, telephone – going all-in-one;
- Choosing clothing made from pure fabrics wherever possible- cotton and wool;
- Carrying a cotton handkerchief.
As I look at these lists, the thought occurs that some of these activities will take up valuable, billable and leisure time. They also look as though we are going back in time, but until modern science can create products that are less environmentally damaging, what else can we do? Life is filled with quandaries these days, but in the end, our planet must take precedence. Saving our planet is going to require that we make some very difficult choices. Are you up for it?
With all these concerns invading my peace of mind, I created a new Google Plus (G+) Collection called Planet Earth – We Are All One where I will post items that will:
1) collect into one place informative and inspiring material about protecting our planet, our land, our air, our water, our spirit;
2) discover and share articles, videos, and posts that help us understand and value our First Nations cosmology in the interest of supporting our Canadian reconciliation activities.
I hope you will visit and add your comments and observations.
Update: Since Google Plus has faded away, I created Planet Earth – We Are All One in Discord here
Mindset Monday Challenge
Have a look at your office and kitchen and tell us what choices you have made. Can you add to my lists?