“Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.” -Rumi
People may mistakenly believe that they have to make grand, life-altering changes to make a difference. This can lead to frustration and disappointment. SGA believes that true change begins with a series of small steps — little things you do everyday can make an impact. Small steps turn into daily occurrences and daily occurrences turns to change. This concept can also be applied to businesses. That’s why this holiday season, we are sharing 7 small steps you can take to help your business become a little greener. Start implementing these changes now to lay the foundation for a greener tomorrow.
- Donate to your favorite environmental organization this holiday season. Choose a non-profit that is local to your community to make the most impact. Want to donate products to needy communities and other non-profits? Consider donating via good360.org.
- Bonus: Donate in your employee’s name and bask in the feel good nature of giving.
- Volunteer time at soup kitchen or shelter. Need more inspiration? If you’re in the Los Angeles area, there’s an annual Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count that will be held in January. SGA staff will be grouping together to make sure everyone counts regardless of where they live. Get a group of your coworkers and go together!
- Donate leftover holiday party food. If food is being served in abundance, refresh trays rather than putting all of it out at once to prevent spoilage. Any food that has not been put out at the end of the party can be donated to a local shelter or food pantry. Not only will this reduce waste, but this will enhance the spirit of Christmas giving to those in need. Call ahead for details on what the shelter can use and how to deliver.
- Decorate the office with natural or recycled items. It is completely possible to turn trash into treasure. It’s called upcycling. If you need any last minute gift ideas with a more personal and eco-friendly touch, this is it. Get started with a mason jar. Use it to gift baking sets, remake your desk lamp and more. Get ideas here. If you’re wrapping last-minute gifts, use recycled paper or organic material to wrap a gift instead of using a new roll of wrapping paper which can save enough paper to cover 45,000 football fields.
- Don’t use disposable utensils for lunches or dinner.
Twenty-five percent more trash is discarded from Thanksgiving to New Year’s than any other time of year. Let’s apply positive behavior change within ourselves and not add to that percentage.
- Bonus: Before the year ends, set up a casual potluck with your coworkers and aim for a zero-waste shared meal.
- After the season ends, recycle your Christmas tree. Yes, it’s possible to recycle your Christmas tree. Live trees are biodegradable. In the Los Angeles area, there are many locations where your tree can be turned into mulch. Find a location near you.
- Bonus: If you don’t have a recycling program in your area, contact the National Christmas Tree Association: firstname.lastname@example.org to learn how you can begin one in your community.
- Green employee gift ideas. Give gifts of locally produced food and products in cloth shopping bags or baskets with your company’s logo. Reusable coffee cups or travel mugs can also be purchased with company logos.