A few weeks ago, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) came out with yet another call to action in the form of its most recent assessment report. This specific report, which lays out options for stabilizing the climate, follows the IPCC’s recent updates on climate science and on climate impacts. The bottom line? Humans need to pursue rapid change immediately, reducing emissions by nearly half by 2030.
Given the urgency and scale of the situation, no single intervention will be enough to get humanity on the right track. In addition to technological development, strong climate policies globally, and corporate leadership, individuals can still contribute to climate solutions by making changes in their own lifestyles.
This Earth Week, take a few minutes to think about your individual efforts to combat climate change at work. Here are a few suggestions for how you might celebrate our Earth at work while protecting vulnerable populations, preserving biodiversity, and ensuring a world where everyone can thrive in the future.
- Waste diversion: Take a minute to make sure you understand how to dispose of waste you create at work. Be careful to divert as much as possible from landfills by recycling, composting, and donating items. Have office supplies you don’t want? Bring them over to this spring’s Clean Out Your Office days May 3–5 in 172 Tremont. Don’t forget to recycle batteries and electronics! We also have a disposable mask recycling bin in the lobby of the Little Building right now, so feel free to dispose of your surgical, KN95, and N95 masks there.
- Transportation: Think about how you commute to work. Can you take public transportation or bike? Can you opt for a train ride instead of a flight for your next work trip?
- Food: Consider the impact of the food you eat regularly. Why not try to eat a plant-based lunch during the week for a few months? Fortunately, there are many excellent resources that can help you find great recipes, products, and restaurants. Even swapping out a beef burger for a plant-based burger once in a while can make a huge difference.
- Energy efficiency: We don’t always have full control over our energy sources, but we can work to make sure we are not wasting energy. You know to turn off the lights when you leave a room, but do you turn out lights around your office when you’re the last to leave? You can also make a big difference by unplugging appliances when not in use.
- Collaborate with others: Share best practices with your colleagues to increase the impact of your efforts and learn what they’re up to! You may inspire action in others or get some new ideas.
Have ideas for making Emerson College a more sustainable campus? Reach out to Jen Lamy, campus sustainability manager, at email@example.com.
Jen Lamy (Facilities Management)