6 Ways to Live More Sustainably According to Our Employees
Published on: Apr 22, 2021
Last updated: Jun 22, 2021
It’s the 22nd of April and that can only mean one thing - Earth Day. For many, this is the day to demonstrate support for environmental protection with many events scheduled around the world. While this singular annual event is important to raise awareness about climate change, we want to encourage everyone to continue these efforts, not just on Earth Day, but throughout the year.
To help with this, we have asked our employees to share their tips for living a more sustainable life.
Use a reusable water bottle
Unsurprisingly, the answer we received the most was using reusable water bottles. Just walking into our office, you will see them strewn around. From the iconic aluminium Chilly’s bottles to more unique ones found in independent shops, the varieties are endless.
Our favourite bottles were Hanna’s, our financial assistant, Ocean Bottle and Eelinn’s, our marketing executive, glass bottle from Etsy.
As her New year’s resolution, Hanna vowed she would not buy any single use water bottles or coffee cups, and Ocean Bottle has conveniently helped her to achieve both. The award-winning bottle keeps cold drinks cold and hot drinks hot. It even screws off in two places so you can use the top section as a cup when drinking coffee, tea or soup so you don’t burn your mouth. What we really liked about Ocean Bottle was that every bottle sold funds the collection equivalent to 1,000 plastic bottles.
In these times, we also have to show some love to some smaller shops. With amazing unique designs and some of the best customer service she has ever experienced, Eelinn frequently browses on Etsy for gifts for her family, friends and herself. The eco-friendly glass water bottle pictured here comes from MottoBamboo, who aside from glass water bottles specialise in bamboo cutlery sets and coconut bowls. “Getting a glass water bottle may seem risky as it could break, so make sure to get one made from Borosilicate glass,” Eelinn suggests, “it’s also more durable and recyclable.” Contrary to popular belief, some glass water bottles are suitable for cold and hot drinks; just make sure to check the description.
Pro-tip: Look for bottles that are BPA free and even better would be to find ones that are made from glass or aluminium as they tend to last longer and are more easily recyclable than plastic.
Head to your local farmer’s market
When Nikki, our assistant sales manager, moved, she was unfortunately no longer in the delivery area for her favourite vegetable box subscription. After exploring her new local area, she luckily stumbled upon a farmer’s market and couldn’t recommend it enough.
Nikki said: "The farm who sells there is based in Kent and sells their own produce, so it's not only seasonal, but also locally sourced!"
Shopping seasonally and locally has a lot of benefits. It means less refrigeration, less transportation, and less fuels, just to name a few. Nikki recommends ensuring people at your local farm also use recyclable bags. The tomatoes in the photo, for example, were transferred into a brown paper bag, so the box could be reused for the farmer’s display. Alternatively, you could bring your own reusable produce bag to prevent even more waste.
Grow your own fruit and vegetables
With better tasting fruit and vegetables, Liam, our ecommerce manager, has often been boasting about his vegetable patch in our internal meetings. Able to teach his two daughters the invaluable lessons on where food comes from and from time to time escaping into the garden for a few hours, it's easy to see why Liam has been enjoying gardening.
“I try to grow only what we need to eat as a family and any surplus we share with friends, family or neighbours,” he says.
To be extra sustainable, Liam recommends using rainwater collected in water butts and making your own compost to minimise any food and garden waste.
Re-evaluate your bathroom routine
You may not realise it, but your bathroom routine may involve a lot of unsustainable habits. Just think about those plastic bottles of handwash, plastic razors and toothbrushes; the list can be endless.
El, our project manager, has made several changes to her routine and highly recommends implementing them too:
- Bulkbuy handwash and decant into smaller glass jars to place around the house
- Use a biodegradable bamboo toothbrush and eco floss
- Remove facial wipes from your skincare routine
- Invest in a safety razor to avoid plastic razors
- Move away from plastic exfoliates to natural loofahs
When changing her routine, El also found out that loofahs/luffa are actually a type of cucumber. So, by implementing these changes, you may also learn something new. It’s a win-win.
Check, double-check, triple-check what your clothes are made off
Time and time again we are told that fast fashion is bad, and we can see why. We are to no extend experts in clothing, but our brand designer, Ali, has become more so over the past year.
Last year, Ali set up Dad Ts, an online shop all about recreating those cherished T-shirts you might find at the back of your dad’s wardrobe. His creative designs are printed on ethically sourced, lifelong T-shirts made from 100% organic ringspun cotton.
"Organic cotton keeps the soil healthy, increases biodiversity and uses significantly less water. It also produces around 46% less CO2e compared to conventional cotton," he says.
By creating his own T-shirts, Ali has come to see first-hand how important it is to take note of what your clothes are made off. Ali’s T-shirts are also created with the support of the Fair Ware Foundation ensuring the livelihood of workers across the supply chain are put first. He highly recommends checking that wherever you buy your clothes from is supported by a similar organisation.
Cycle to work
At EnviroBuild, we are proud to be offering a cycle to work scheme and happy to see so many of our employees making use of it.
By avoiding driving a car or taking public transport, cycling is a great way to get around sustainably.
“I have been using my bike to get everywhere this year,” Hanna, our financial assistant, says, “it has been great for getting my fitness back up, seeing more of London and the environment loves it!”
We think that about sums it up, so wherever you are check if your employer offers a cycle to work scheme. Even if your office is a bit far, cycling rather than driving to the train station, for example, could prevent a lot of emission.
Pro-tip: check Facebook marketplace, Gumtree or even locally for a second-hand bike saving you money and making getting a bike even more sustainable.
These are just a few of the tips we’ve received from our employees, but we hope it inspires you to be more sustainable not just this Earth Day, but throughout the year. Let us know in the comments on Instagram what sustainable things you are doing.