Returning to the office doesn’t have to mean returning to ‘normal’. Normal never changed the world after all. We’re developing and evolving new and better ways of doing things and part of this involves becoming more sustainable.
Finding the balance between working from home and working from an office offers the chance to establish new routines that can benefit both ourselves and the environment. Now is the perfect time to change our previous behaviours into more sustainable ones.
So here we have some advice to help make your return to campus more sustainable.
What to bring
- The 20p Latte Levy has been reintroduced in SU catering outlets as part of the #WasteNott campaign to reduce plastic waste. Remember a reusable cup to make sure you get a discount on hot drinks.
- Many water fountains are operational again, so save more pennies by bringing and refilling your own water bottle.
- Due to the ventilation needed for Covid, some spaces may be cooler than they used to be. Be prepared and bring some layers to stay warm.
- Facemasks are still recommended in our buildings so don’t forget your reusable mask.
- If remembering milk for hot drinks every day proves challenging, is now the time to consider ditching dairy altogether?
- Portland Zero will be opening again on 20 September (open Monday, Wednesday, Friday 11am-3pm) so combine your trip onto campus with some zero-waste shopping. Bring some containers and stock up on household items and non-perishable food, all plastic free.
The new commute
This is where making a change could have the biggest impact on the environment. Perhaps pre-Covid, you drove to work every day. Now, if you are only in the office a few days a week, is there an alternative way of commuting that you previously discounted?
Here are some options to consider:
- Cycle or walk – five days a week of active travel may have been too much. Now you are in the office less, an active commute one or two days a week will benefit your health, your pocket and the environment.
- Public transport – discounted staff travel across transport networks is still available to purchase through salary deductions.
- Car sharing – half the cost, double the social contact you’ve been missing and share your car journey with others. Plus, it will reduce your carbon footprint, congestion and demand for parking spaces.
- Electric and LEV leasing – if you are considering an electric or low emissions vehicle, you can lease one through the University Car Benefit Scheme.
- Hopper bus – if you’re travelling between campuses the Hopper Bus runs between University Park, Sutton Bonington, Jubilee Campus and Royal Derby Hospital.
- A mixture of the above – one size doesn’t fit all, but you may still be able to find an alternative to driving to campus no matter where you live. For example, could you drive to a park and ride site and then cycle or catch a bus? If you’re unsure what options are available or are looking for a new route, get a Personalised Travel Plan for your journey.
- You have the responsibility to turn off equipment and lights when you leave. Whether that be PCs, projectors, monitors, printers.
- Please dispose of your waste correctly whilst on campus. Use mixed recycling bins for paper, plastic, cans which are clean and dry. Remind yourself how to dispose of different items with our A-Z guide.
- Transitioning back to working in an office can be draining. You may be anxious or find some elements stressful. Take some time to recharge with a walk around campus whilst you’re here. Spending in time in nature can help reduce anxiety and improve mental wellbeing.
Your sustainable choices matter
Get rewarded for the changes that you make to reduce your own, and the University’s impact on the environment. Sign up to Green Rewards and both you and your team can win prizes for your actions.
Find out more here
Posted on Monday 6th September 2021