Contractor Guides

How to be a more environmentally conscious contractor or freelancer

Whether it’s banning baby wipes, putting a tax on plastic bottles or Iceland removing plastic packaging and palm oil from…

Author Photo by Kingsbridge

Whether it’s banning baby wipes, putting a tax on plastic bottles or Iceland removing plastic packaging and palm oil from their own brand ranges, it seems everyone is thinking more and more about the environment at the moment. And quite rightly too. We should all be doing our bit to clean up the planet and start reversing the damage humans have done over the centuries.

When you’re an employee, it’s quite easy. Most businesses have environmental policies that ensure all workers help keep the office green. But when you’re a contractor or freelancer, it’s up to you and you alone to do your bit when you’re not in a client’s workspace.

So how can you easily make sure you’re being more environmentally conscious? Here are our top tips.

Think before driving

If we say don’t drive and use public transport instead, you may well roll your eyes, especially in light of recent rail havoc. However, public transport isn’t the only alternative to driving. Two other obvious ones are walking and cycling and they can help you sneak some exercise into your day as well.

However, if these aren’t possible for you, and if public transport isn’t an option, there are other ways to reduce your carbon footprint. If you know someone travelling to the same place, perhaps car sharing could work for you. It takes one more car off the road and you get some company for the drive.

Think before binning

Most offices have recycling facilities now, but do you have the same in your home office? You can buy recycling bins from most homeware and office supply retailers these days, with options for paper, cardboard, metal, plastic and glass. It’s easy to dispose of the contents too.

You can either send them with your local bin collection (if they provide a recycling service) or take them down to your local waste and recycling centre. Once you get used to throwing everything into different bins, it becomes second nature.

You can also look into recycling for items such as ink cartridges and old electronic devices.  There are postal services that can help you with these products.

Think before printing

One very easy way to reduce your impact on the planet is to only print out when you really need to. Documents that need to be filed, letters that need to be posted, instances where a physical document needs to be taken to a meeting, that kind of thing.

If you find yourself printing off massive emails because they have a little bit of info you need for a meeting, try to use alternatives. For example, buy a recycled notepad to copy down information into, or use your smartphone to screengrab the email so you can access it offline.

Another thing you can avoid printing is your insurance documents, which you can keep stored online. If you need to speak to someone about your contractor insurance, give Kingsbridge a call on 01242 808740 or get a quote online.

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