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Small Acts, Big Impact: Tips to Greenify Your Workplace

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Maintaining sustainable practices in the workplace doesn’t always require big changes – through some simple, conscious choices, we can significantly reduce our impact, particularly when it comes to plastic waste and recycling.

 

Inspired by our recent chat with sustainability expert Sonalie Figueiras, founder and editor-in-chief of Green Queen, Hong Kong's largest eco wellness media platform, we’ve gathered some ideas to help you on your quest to creating a greener workplace.

 

To start, appoint some workplace ambassadors. Every great idea needs a champion, and having workplace sustainability ambassadors is an effective way to help educate colleagues and encourage everyone to make more sustainable choices. And yes, that could definitely be you, to drive change and implement initiatives like paper recycling bins, and setting up fun challenges that make sustainability more engaging (like all of our tips below…).

 

Say “No” to Single-Use Plastics

Plastic is hard to break down, yet globally, we produce about 300 million tonnes of plastic waste each year – that’s nearly the equivalent weight of the entire human population. With some small changes, however, you can reduce your plastic footprint. Here are some starters:   

 

BYO (bring your own)

Ditch disposable boxes for your takeaway lunch and single-use cups for your caffeine fix. Instead, bring your own re-usable Tupperware and coffee tumblers to hand into restaurant outlets. Some places even promote this by rewarding you with a discount.

Visit reverse vending machines – and earn rewards

Make use of reverse vending machines to responsibly recycle plastic bottles and earn instant rewards. You’ll find these in Taikoo Place and Citygate, with HK$0.10 transferred to your Octopus card for each bottle inserted; and at Three Pacific Place, where tokens and rewards can be earned. 

Take the “no-plastic day” challenge

Challenge yourself to have a strict no-plastic day once a month: no plastic bags, disposable coffee cups, pre-packed bakery goods etc. Instead, bring your own water bottle, coffee cup, lunch box and reusable mask. Maybe you could even make it a rule once a week?

Give your business to F&B outlets who make an effort

Get to know the local coffee shops and restaurants who strive to eliminate single-use plastics such as straws, disposable cutlery and unnecessary packaging – and support them with your purchase. (And don’t forget your own reusable containers.)

 

Use refillable pens

Ball pens with replaceable ink are a great way to cut down on unnecessary plastic waste. It might sound like a small detail, but imagine how many pens you’ve been through in your life, never mind your whole office…

Try loose leaf tea

As most teabags contain plastic particles, consider replacing teabags with loose leaf tea. As an extra bonus, you’ll enjoy a few extra minutes to catch up with your friends and colleagues as your tea brews, and many would argue, a superior flavour.

Aside from plastic, there is more you can do to reduce waste in the workplace. Find out what can and can’t be recycled – many common office items, such as memo stickers and labels, are actually unrecyclable. You can also do a desk audit to reduce the amount of printed documents, post-it notes and other unnecessary stationery. Finally, instead of throwing old, unwanted items away, why not give them a second life by upcycling them into something useful?

 

Contact your management office or SustainableDevelopment@swireproperties.com to find out how we can support you.

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