Posted by Helen Reed

Earth Day: Simple steps for sustainable living

We are a mission-based organisation, everything we do for our clients is about sustainability and working towards a zero carbon future. Verco is proud to be a BCorp business. Our strong purpose runs throughout the organisation, we also take action as individuals to ensure a sustainable future for the planet. As part of our Earth Day activities, we have been sharing the steps we have taken in our personal lives to live more sustainably. We thought it would also be helpful to share these with you, so here is a summary of some very simple steps you might like to try yourself:

Reduce food waste

We have been sharing recipe ideas for using food products to the full in order to reduce waste, for example you can roast the seeds of butternut squash or blend broccoli stems into soup or rice. Additionally, freezing your spare food before it goes off saves unnecessary waste and cost.

Buy from companies that combat food waste by rescuing oddities and surplus produce. These companies often provide fruit and vegetables that would usually be thrown away. You can find you local ones in many areas of the UK. This is not only sustainable, but has added excitement of what weird and wonderful food you may find.

Grow your own and choose plant-based meals once a week

If you have a garden or space for a window box, you might like to try growing your own produce. Herbs, courgettes, sweetcorn and tomatoes are easy to grow. Alternatively, you may be able to rent an allotment near your home. Have a look for co-operative or community growers near you who may sell locally grown produce which is often organic and always deliciously fresh.

Turn your screen off when away from your desk

Turn your screen, monitor and chargers off when you are away from your desk for extended periods of time. Alternatively, have 'automatic screen off' as an option after a timed inactivity. Turning the screen off doesn't need to just be something you do at the end of the day.

Reduce plastic

Making your food shop as plastic and waste free as possible is a step in the right direction. This can be done by shopping at refill shops and green grocers, using re-useable shopping bags at your supermarket or going 'bagless' for your online grocery delivery. Additionally, transferring your milk from plastic cartons to delivered refillable glass bottles helps to reduce and avoid unnecessary plastic consumption.

Choosing alternatives to plastic products is another great way to become plastic free for example opting for a wooden washing up brush or a bamboo toothbrush instead of plastic ones.

Get a green app

Help the environment at the touch of a button! For example, there are tree planting apps that plant a tree in less than 60 seconds (the money generated from adverts goes into funding a tree in regions that need it the most). There are also apps which allow you to order food bags, full of food that hasn't been sold in time elsewhere. They rescue surplus food from local and well known restaurants, manufacturers and stores. Delicious food is eaten and not wasted.

Car share

At Verco many of the team car share to the office and site visits, reducing emissions, we also strongly encourage cycling and walking (where/if possible!).

It's a big step to give up your car, but consider hiring club cars instead (as and when needed) which naturally encourages you to walk and cycle more. This has been done by one of our colleagues.

These tips are a step in the right direction at an individual level, and are easy to integrate into your lifestyle.

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