Every year since 1974, World Environment Day has been on June 5.
This year, World Environment Day occurred during an unprecedent time – right in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic.
This timing gave us the chance to step back and re-evaluate our relationship with, and impact on, the environment.
This year’s theme was ‘Time for Nature’ and at Healthy Environs we are using this opportunity to look at ways of improving our business practices and activities to achieve outcomes that sustain, improve, and benefit the environment.
The main way we do this is through reducing the amount of resources we consume by following what’s called the Waste Hierarchy.
The main aim is to avoid or reduce the generation of waste. We do this through:
- purchasing items with the least amount of packaging, or the least amount of resource used in manufacturing as possible
- buying recycled or second-hand items, reusable products and avoiding single-use products
- we acknowledge that avoiding and reducing waste is not always possible – when this is the case, we try to re-use or re-purpose items we already have
- if products cannot be re-used, then we recycle where we can
- unfortunately, sometimes waste is unavoidable and if so, we ensure that it is disposed of appropriately and safely
When purchasing products, we always aim to purchase locally and engage local service providers, especially if working in remote areas. Buying locally has obvious economic benefits for the local area but it also has less impact on the environment. Along with purchasing from local businesses, we also support the procurement of goods and services from Indigenous enterprises within Australia.
Some examples of where we try to act in an economically and environmentally sustainable way include:
- choosing more sustainable stationery options such as bamboo pens, business cards printed on recycled card, and recycled printing paper
- purchasing toilet paper made from 100% recycled post-consumer waste fibres
- purchasing second-hand goods such as office furniture
- giving away or donating items no longer needed
- using reusable coffee cups
- using an organics bin
- installing LED (light-emitting diode) lighting throughout our office to reduce electricity use
- installing extra light switches so that all offices can be individually controlled
We’re not perfect at being sustainable or ‘green’.
But as a business and as individuals, we try to be environmentally conscious with our decisions and ensure we are always moving forward and reducing our environmental impact at every opportunity.