It’s easy to think that your individual choices don’t impact the environment—after all, what can one person really change? Quite a bit, actually.
Our personal decisions in our everyday life have a bigger impact on the environment more than you may think.
We asked #TeamEames: What are some small ways you can make a positive impact?
"Bringing my own bags when buying groceries, recycle plastic/glass/paper products, cycling or walking instead of driving." - Diyana AB, operations manager, Singapore
"Reducing the intake of eating meat and trying to be more plant-based. Personally, I stick to a vegetarian diet on weekdays. I also try to avoid take-outs when I can to reduce unnecessary use of plastic or support businesses that use biodegradable packaging." - Eugenia Lee, consultant, Singapore
"Working from home has definitely resulted in much less needless printing happening, showing us that we don’t have to rely on physical paperwork anymore. This will have a positive impact on the environment." - Daniel Warwick, managing director, Asia
"Replacing a drive with a walk or cycle is a great way to reduce your impact on the environment and also allow you to appreciate what is around you and how that can lift your mood and improve your general health. Secondly is to utilise second hand or charity shops where you can. I have two small children and the majority of their toys come from charity shops which helps reduce single-use plastic, packaging and distribution footprint." - Andrew Mackay, principal consultant, UK
"Recycling everything when possible and using reusable bags! Also, cutting down on meat is probably the most effective way to help as that’s the biggest contributor to global warming." - Jordan White,consultant, UK
"Buy a reusable coffee cup. Not only does it make sense from an environmental perspective, but you can also save yourself some money with most coffee shops. Stay away from buying bottled water! I have a few reusable and recyclable bottles at home which I refill throughout the day. Try and reduce your meat consumption. You don’t need to become a vegan or anything like that but it’s not difficult to eat a couple of plant-based options every week. Recycle as much as you can and reuse your shopping bags." - Jim Freeman,senior principal, UK
"Walk or take public transport wherever I can, recycle and use reusable water bottles and coffee cups." - Sophie Daniel,Learning & Development and HR Consultant
"Reduce unnecessary waste by turning off electronic devices when they're not in use, avoid disposable utensils from restaurants (plastic especially). Minimise usage of printing by using electronic copies or try to use recycled paper if printing is required. Try to freeze leftover food to prevent food waste, always bring your own water bottles and cups, recycle bags and use your own food containers. Donate any used clothes or appliances and use public transport to avoid driving." - Jojo Yeung,operations Manager, Hong Kong
"Transport: Especially living in Singapore there is rarely a need to drive, I always walk, cycle or take public transport when I can.
Recycle: Living in different parts of the world I realise it is easier in some locations to recycle than in others however I take every opportunity I can to recycle waste. Make use of reusable containers, such as travel coffee cups and reusable bags. When in nature always be respectful, leaving wild places as you found them and not doing activities that cause undue disturbance to the wildlife. Pick up one bit of rubbish that isn’t yours. Whenever I am walking somewhere, whether to work or out in the forest I try to make an effort to pick up one bit of rubbish that I see on the ground and take it to the nearest bin.
Saving water: this can be tricky in a hot climate but I try to be careful not to leave showers running too long or taps running when you don’t need them. Electricity saving: This can be difficult in especially hot or cold climates but making changes to your inside environment such as wearing more layers or closing sunblinds to reduce electricity used in heating or air conditioning.
Food waste: Being creative if food is leftover. I look for unique recipes that can use those ingredients. Finally, buying local when possible, when buying groceries this is hard when living on island city-state but even Singapore surprisingly has farms so you can buy produce like cage-free eggs locally." - Matthew Jones, head of Learning & Development, Asia
"Unplug devices and appliances and turn off the lights! Recycle when you can and reuse items as much as possible. Try not to buy any single-use plastic and cycle more rather than driving." - Jessica Evans, executive assistant, UK
"I’ve recently changed my shampoo and conditioner habits to using bars. It saves on water, lasts the same amount of time as three bottles, and there is no plastic involved! I also recycle as much as possible and try to reduce buying items that are made or packaged with unnecessary plastic. For instance, buying loose fruit and vegetables rather than packaged items." - Hannah Turner, senior consultant, UK
"Looking at the ecological footprint of your food, if it has to take a number of air miles to get you your plate, it will have an increasingly negative impact on the environment. Try and have one vegan day a week to reduce your animal-based protein. Plant proteins have a much lower ecological impact and it’s healthy too. Shower rather than taking a bath to reduce the time spent there and to save water. Use apps like “too good to go” to reduce food waste in your area – food waste has one of the largest negative impacts on the environment. Turn things off properly, don’t leave PC monitors on or TV's on standby as this uses electricity needlessly and costs you on the electricity. Try to avoid putting on the washing machine when it’s not full, use refillable cups and bottles to reduce your use of single-use plastics and fill up the kettle with what you need, rather than a full kettle. Meal plan to avoid buying food that you won’t eat. Avoid unnecessary car journeys. When buying clothing try to look for sustainably sourced cotton. Recycle – it’s easy. Finally, take unnecessary heavy objects out of your car (e.g. golf clubs when you’re not playing for a week). It saves petrol and space as well as the environment." - Abigail Moss, associate director, UK
"I always make a conscious effort to walk instead of drive wherever possible and recycle as much as I can." - Lauren Seal, head of HR & Operations
"Support sustainable and eco-friendly brands, use a reusable water bottle and walking or riding a bike instead of driving." - Natasha Richards, client relationship manager, UK
"We don’t buy any plastic toys for our daughter!" - Sanjeev Vegad, director, UK