Sustainability is in. It benefits both employers and employees. Incorporating sustainability practices in the workplace is proven to promote worker satisfaction and productivity. A study done by Tensie Whelan and Carly Fink found that employee loyalty was 38 percent higher and morale 55 percent higher in companies with a strong culture of sustainability. (https://hbr.org/2016/10/the-comprehensive-business-case-for-sustainability)
Sustainability is also useful for those that have the flexibility to work from home. An underrated aspect of life that has stemmed from the COVID-19 pandemic is how more and more people are working from home. There’s no better way to improve your living conditions with some sustainability. Whether you’re looking to increase your productivity or just boost your space, you should consider incorporating sustainability practices in your home and office.
What is sustainability?
Sustainability involves meeting the requirements of today, while not compromising the requirements of tomorrow. There are a lot of problems in the present that have multitude of solutions, but many of those solutions have adverse consequences.
For example, the COVID-19 pandemic has forced many food establishments to go to a take-out style menu. In order to stay afloat and have their business survive this economic crisis, they needed to provide food in take-out containers. The issue with this is that there are now substantially more plastic containers in landfills than before the pandemic. This is not sustainable, and the consequences of those actions will be felt for decades to come, no matter how necessary they were.
One way to combat all of these unsustainable decisions can be to make more sustainable choices at home.
What in my house is/is not sustainable?
Some examples of sustainable, biodegradable plant pots capable of holding your plants while also being good for the environment. Sourced via https://www.treehugger.com/diy-seed-pots-common-household-items-starting-seeds-indoors-4858790
Go around your house and look at everything you have. Anything made of plastic is not sustainable. Once you are finished using it, it will lay in a landfill for centuries as it is very hard to organically break plastic down. Lights or appliances that are constantly turned on are not sustainable as they are constantly using electricity and fuel. Items such as rugs, carpets and more that are made from synthetic material are not sustainable.
They can emit chemicals and allergens into the air. There is more that is not sustainable too, however, it is also important to also see what is sustainable in your house. You probably have more than you realize. Anything made from organic matter is sustainable. This includes baskets, blankets and more made from wool, cotton, straw, rope and more. Not everything in your house needs to be sustainable, but if you want to live a sustainable lifestyle, remember to be wary of the things you buy for your home.
How can you be sustainable?
It is all well and good to want to live sustainably, but the questions arise when you try to find out where to start. Here are some simple things you can do to start to live sustainably:
Plants are a great way to be sustainable as they not only provide us with oxygen, but also can remove toxins from the air (Air purifying plant blog Internal link) sourced via https://pxhere.com/en/photo/1164291
1. Stay in
Staying in is both environmentally and economically friendly. It saves money on gas and reduces your carbon footprint. Plus having your own space promotes creativity and gives you more elbow room.
While you’re at it, start an indoor jungle. There are many benefits to having plants in your home, from improving upon seasonal affective disorder to improving your air quality. Even better, you’ll be able to dedicate more time to your loved ones and you can stay in your pajamas all day.
2. Chill out
When we are stressed, we are pushed to consume more as a way to alleviate that stress. If you remind yourself to relax you are less likely uselessly consume. Instead of leaving the light on after leaving the room, flip the off switch. Spend less time scrolling through your phone or staring at the computer and engage with the actual work you need to get done.
These practices not only have benefits for your physical and mental health, but they are also environmentally friendly. One way to relieve stress is by caring for a plant. Bonsai trees or fiddle finch figs are great trees to care for; they require meticulous work, but the rewards are very worth it. Having outlets for your stress that benefit the planet is great for everyone.
3. Naturalize your Space
Have you ever wondered why humans feel happier when surrounded by nature? Humans have an innate connection to nature. This is explained by E.O. Wilson, a renowned biologist, as biophilia, our genetic affinity to connect with the natural world around us. (https://theprovince.com/health/why-nature-makes-us-naturally-happy) No wonder laborers feel down after working a 9-5 job in an enclosed space with no windows or taking a break usually allows searching for some “fresh air”.
You can upgrade your space and satisfy your biophilia by adding plants and light to your home/ office. Not only are they fun to look at, but they provide you with some extra oxygen so you can take a deep breath.
4. Buy “Green”
When buying certain products, be wary of the composability of it. Will your product lay in a landfill for centuries or be broken down by organisms and recycled into the environment? As a plant grower, you may already be aware of your carbon footprint, but you may miss some things. Plant pots, for example, are one of the big culprits of being non-eco-friendly. As more and more plastic pots end up in landfills, it is important to try your best to invest in some eco-friendly pots.
Check out our guide on the top 10 eco-friendly pots to learn more about how you can be more sustainable as a plant cultivator. One other thing to look into is deals that involve giving back to the environment. Many companies promote their products with promises to plant trees in response. Here at Soltech, for each shirt you buy, one tree will be planted. Why not get some cool clothes while also regenerating out forests?
This may seem obvious, but it is one of the best ways to promote sustainability. Building pots or furniture yourself helps take the load off of the factories. The less that big factories need to make, the less air pollution they create.
On top of this, making your own stuff allows for your creativity to flow. You can finally put together the room you’ve always wanted, in the design style of your choice. The best part is that you know exactly what goes into each piece. You’ll take the guess work out of the ingredients and how it was made.
Sustainability is important for the long-term health of the planet. It is hard to change your lifestyle overnight so be gradual and meticulous with your transition. The benefits will be very worth it.