Making a carbon difference is easier than you think. The changes that you make in your day to day life add up. If everyone makes small changes it will make a big difference to our current climate crisis.
At The Virtual Training Team, we try to minimise our carbon output. From growing vegetables to composting, we strive to be carbon conscious; making mindful decisions on situations that impact our carbon output.
Here are the 5 things we do to live in a less carbon costly way
Growing Our Own Vegetables and FruitsWe grow as many vegetables as we can. Salad leaves, broad beans, onions, sweet potatoes, radish, sweetcorn, cucumbers, leeks and carrots to name a few. We also grow fruit; apples, pears, strawberries and peaches. Often, we freeze our surplus produce so that we can eat it all year round, in stews and soups.
Growing your own not only saves travelling to and from the supermarket but also mitigates the carbon miles of food being processed, packaged and brought to the store. When we must buy fruit and veg from a shop, we always buy it loose. Did you know, the bags that salad leaves come in can’t be recycled?
Recently, we did a video about growing our veg. Did you see it? If not, here’s the link and a snapshot below of our gardeners.
Source: VTT Library
We compost all fruit and vegetable waste, eggshells and teabags. We tear up and compost smaller cardboard items like the inside of toilet and kitchen rolls, even our confidential waste! We add all of this to our garden waste; green cuttings and spent compost from plants, then use the compost when it has decomposed and put it back onto the garden.
Creating this cycle between growing our own vegetables and putting the remains back into the earth really makes a difference when it comes to our carbon impact. Studies show that the food wasted by United States and Europe alone could feed the world 3 times over! Just one ton of food waste prevented can save 4.2 tons of CO2 going into our atmosphere. That’s huge!
As well as our fruits and vegetables, we also make conscious decisions about our paper usage. Going paper-less doesn’t mean paper free; but that we try to use as little as we can. When we must print, we use the low ink option and always print two sided.
We recycle all paper and cardboard, especially if it is sent in via deliveries. For our confidential waste, we shred all sensitive documents and use them on our compost heap.
We use e-handouts/interactive PDFs for our virtual training and F2F training, and we have committed to use whiteboards or smart boards if available. While we love mapping out processes with post-it notes, we now do this using the Post-It Plus app. It works the same but minus the paper use! This is how we plan out the design of our workshops and programmes and we use the TV screen to share it.
We don’t travel much physically, but virtually. We travel all over the world, working with clients in over 70 countries! That’s a lot of airmiles saved by taking business online.
Of course, we can’t avoid travel completely, but we endeavor to use other, less carbon-costly methods. We take the train rather driving, share taxis with others where possible and we are looking at replacing our vehicles with electric cars when the time comes to change them.
We have clients, coaches and colleagues all over the world who we have never physically been in the same room as us and that really excites us! Some new clients will ask us for F2F meetings, in order to get to know us, but a Zoom or Skype video call works just as well, if not better, for everyone.
The Little Things
It is impressive how much the little things can make a difference. Using LED lights in the office, avoiding single use plastic, having mugs and plates that can be washed and reused, repairing things rather than replacing them. Even just turning the lights and sockets off when not in use; that red standby light costs the planet more than many realise.
If it gets too hot, we open a window, rather than using the AC or a fan. If we get cold, we throw on another jumper before switching on the heaters. We have invested in the best insulation for our studio, so when we do have to heat the space, it warms up quickly and stays warm for longer.
You don’t have to turn your life upside down to make changes in the world. We can all change the way we interact with our environment and influencing little, but impactful, changes in your workplace is a great place to start.
What is your company doing to reduce their carbon usage? Do you do any of the things in our list?