Greening up your home is a significant first step to being eco-friendly. Step two is taking green practices into the workplace.

After our homes, work is where we spend the most time, so it’s a prime space to make eco-friendly. Even if your company or co-workers aren’t interested in making sustainable changes, there are many steps you can take all on your own.

1. Choose the Greenest Commuting Option Available

Over 75% of adults in the US get to work by driving their own car, and less than 10% carpool. (1) There are all kinds of reasons we love our freedom and flexibility, and for many of us, there is no good public transportation option. But when a greener option is available, use it. It may take an adjustment, but there are many benefits to carpooling or public transit.

Carpooling means an opportunity to connect with co-workers and enjoy a less stressful ride to work. Public transit also means less stress and gives you back the time you previously spent driving. You have the option to read, relax or even meditate when you are a passenger.

Be environmentally conscious: Choose the Greenest Commuting Option Available

2. Pack a Lunch in Reusable Containers

Ordering take-out for lunch means a lot of trash every meal. Get disciplined about packing lunch at home, and when you do, skip the plastic bags and disposable utensils and go for the real thing. It’s easy to grab extra utensils and Tupperware at a second-hand store to boost your supply and make packing lunch each day easy.

How to be eco-friendly: Pack a Lunch in Reusable Containers

3. Get a Plant for Your Workspace

Adding some greenery to your workspace not only brightens your mood but also has air-purifying benefits. This is a great way to be eco-friendly.

Be eco-conscious: Get a Plant for Your Workspace

4. Think Before You Print

Paper requires a lot of water to produce, is responsible for 50% of all logging activity, and is the primary solid product in landfills. (2) With so many digital options at our finger-tips, get creative and find ways to prevent paper use around the office.

Email when possible, and if printed material is needed, share a copy instead of making everyone their own. If you notice certain kinds of printed material usually end up in the trash, find an alternative, or discuss ways to share the information without a physical copy.

Save the Earth: Think Before You Print

5. Ditch Disposable Coffee Cups and Pods and Go Reusable

An estimated 16 billion disposable coffee cups end up in landfills each year. (3) This is an environmental disaster and an easily avoidable one.

Make your coffee at home and bring it with you in a carafe. At work, use a mug or reusable cup. You could even go the extra mile and pick up some extra mugs at the second-hand store to leave at work as an option for others to use.

Stop waste: Ditch Disposable Coffee Cups and Pods and Go Reusable

6. Skip the Elevator and Take the Stairs

Taking the stairs is good for your health and the environment. Get in the habit of using your own power to get places. You benefit from the movement, and you reduce your reliance on electrically powered transports. Plus, it lets you be eco-friendly.

Good for the environment: Skip the Elevator and Take the Stairs

7. Turn off Devices When Not in Use

You can save a lot of electricity by powering down unused devices. Instead of using sleep mode, turn off your computer when you are away from your desk. Build the habit of cutting back on electricity usage where you can.

Go green: Turn off Devices When Not in Use

8. Work from Home a Few Days a Week

If you worked from home just a few days a week, it would mean fewer carbon emissions from your commute, less energy usage from computers and other devices at work, and less wasted paper, among other benefits. (4) Not to mention the benefit of less time spent getting to and from work.

Our new reality: Work from Home a Few Days a Week

9. Bring Your Own Recycling Bin

While most workplaces recycle paper, sometimes there are no other recycling types available. Bring your own bin to recycle bottles, cans, and other plastics. Even better, petition for a more comprehensive recycling program.

Preserve nature: Bring Your Own Recycling Bin

10. Spearhead Company-wide Green Initiatives

If you see a lot of room for improvement at your workplace, get involved and offer to spearhead some green initiatives. Companies benefit from investing in sustainability practices as nearly 70% of US consumers are more likely to do business with a company seen as eco-friendly. (5)

Be eco-friendly: Spearhead Company-wide Green Initiatives

Individual Action Can Become Community Action

Your commitment to eco-friendly practices can have a ripple effect on those around you. Being green is not just an individual statement. It is an invitation to your community to be more engaged and conscious consumers.

At work, you can lead by example. Go about your business using sustainable practices and see how it inspires others to get involved and promote environmental wellness.