7 ways to change your environmental impact

Home office or corporate office: change is in the air

7 minute read

7 ways to change your environmental impact

Earth Day, celebrated each year on April 22, is an opportunity to invest in our planet, to promote eco-friendly practices, and find ways to create a more sustainable, livable planet, not only for ourselves but for our kids and future generations.

At Wondercide, we create plant-powered alternatives to protect pets, families, homes, and yards from bugs that can harm and we’re thoughtful in our approach, harnessing the power of Mother Nature, while doing our part to preserve her balance. Consideration for the well-being of pets, families, and the planet extends into our work environment and daily habits at Wondercide. It’s changed the way we light and furnish the office, how we nourish and hydrate, how we package and ship our products, and more. 

Becoming a more environmentally-aware workplace isn’t difficult. It takes just a bit more consideration to start to drive social change and reduce the carbon footprint in your local community. Here are some simple practices that we live by at Wondercide that you can adopt in your office or home-based workspace. 

1. Just a bit of your energy can really reduce energy consumption

LED lighting has the capability of reducing greenhouse gas emissions significantly, as cited in a 2005 research paper published by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The U.S. Department of Energy shares that LEDs “use up to 90% less energy and last up to 25 times longer than traditional incandescent bulbs.” 

Another positive attribute of LED lighting – they don’t contain hazardous material and can be recycled.

A good rule of thumb is to turn off the lights inside your office at the end of the workday. And how about turning off the lights even during the day? At Wondercide, based in Austin, Texas, we often work by day without all the lights on! It’s great to enjoy natural lighting and many studies show it’s better for our well-being. Our remote employees embrace this too and enjoy working by windows that let the light pour in.

Power-saving modes are our friend too and we ensure our computers are set to go into sleep mode after a period of inactivity. Experts share this helps save energy and when you have many employees following this policy, the energy (and monetary) savings can really add up.

Some additional tips: Consider setting your lights and thermostat on a timer so that you can optimize energy and reduce waste. An even greater goal to benefit the earth would be to use renewable energy sources like solar and wind power.

2. Recycle, reuse, and make it easy to choose

At the office, our garbage areas have evolved to three bins: compost, recycling, and landfill – and we do all we can to minimize landfill trash.

recycling compost landfill cans

A Wondercide teammate in the Austin, TX company kitchen helps sort waste to support local recycling efforts.

We gift Wondercide teammates with useful items like eco-friendly refillable water bottles and in the office kitchen, we have real glasses and mugs that we wash and reuse. No single-use plastic water bottles or cups! We also have ceramic plates and bowls, and metal silverware, encouraging employees to skip the plastics when they get take out or order in. To reduce water consumption when it’s time to clean the dishes, our kitchen has an energy-efficient dishwasher. Encourage your team to model this behavior to reduce and reuse more.

The bottles we use for our bug sprays are made from HDPE plastic, which is among the easiest to recycle and the packing material (even the boxes) we use is all made from recycled material. If your company ships products, consider swaps you can make for product packaging and shipping materials so you can become more eco-friendly.

Consider e-waste too. According to a U.N. report, the world produces 50 million tonnes of electronic waste each year, and only 20% of this is recycled. Before purchasing new computer systems and electronics, look for companies that rebuild or repurpose. Look for products labeled Energy Star or certified by the Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT). Also consider donating used electronics to special programs and non-profits, such as agencies that help victims of domestic violence, children safety initiatives, environmental causes, and more.

3. Keep it clean while going green

The cleaning and pest protection products we use also have an environmental impact. Offices — just like homes — are prone to pests, everything from ants, cockroaches, and if you have animals about, fleas and ticks. This is where Mother Nature, and Wondercide come in with plant-powered biopesticides, including pest protection aerosols that contain no ozone-depleting ingredients.

Wondercide is made with steam-distilled natural essential oils, and our bug sprays and insect repellents are independently lab-proven to exceed the same effectiveness standards of conventional products. Pollinators love our yard sprays too because the residue is safe for good bugs like bees and butterflies. We love it when customers share photos of these beneficial bugs fluttering about their yards.

dog garden butterfly

@Tessatheenglishgolden enjoys the greenery

4. Shop local to reduce your carbon footprint

Whenever possible shop local. Order supplies, meals, and source needs from companies nearby like we do. Consider the environmental impact of not only these choices but the fact that this will boost the local economy with tax dollars. 

Supporting our local economy has been a guiding principle since we started Wondercide and continues to this day. We Go Texan and Go Local whenever we can.

5. Create an eco-conscious hybrid work environment

Creating a hybrid environment is becoming more and more common these days and it’s not just a result of the recent pandemic. At Wondercide, we’ve had remote employees since the early days. Like other businesses large and small, we’re seeing the benefits. Allowing select employees to work from home reduces greenhouse gas emissions because they’re not commuting twice a day – and less fuel consumption means a reduction in the Earth’s pollution.

Virtual meeting hybrid workplace

Wondercide's hybrid meetings, with employees in office and working remote, are an eco-conscious approach, helping the team stay connected across miles with a lessened carbon footprint.

According to Global Workplace Analytics, 54 million tons of greenhouse emissions could be reduced each year when people who have remote-compatible jobs and want to work from home do so. 

And since many companies haven’t yet adopted an eco-conscious approach to the office kitchen, working from home equates to reduced waste. People who work from home are less likely to eat meals with single-use plastics and containers.

5. Company-wide eco-excursions 

Everyone loves VTO, Volunteer Time Off, and we applaud companies who organize environmentally-based excursions and volunteer work. There are many ways companies can engage in environmental activities and volunteerism to promote sustainability and protect the environment. For example:

Organize clean-up events: Companies can organize clean-up events in local parks, beaches, or other natural areas to help remove litter and debris that may harm the environment. In Austin, we’ve supported organizations like Keep Austin Beautiful and the Shoal Creek Conservancy to go after another kind of bug we don’t like: the litterbug.

Keep Austin Beautiful trash pick up

Wondercide teammates volunteer with Keep Austin Beautiful to pick up litter around the city.

Plant trees or other native vegetation: Companies can organize tree-planting events or work with local organizations to plant vegetation in areas that have been affected by deforestation or other environmental challenges.

planting local gardenlocal garden volunteer

Wondercide teammates supporting Urban Roots, a local organization dedicated to building community and achieving food equity.

Support recycling programs: Companies can encourage recycling by providing recycling bins in the workplace, promoting recycling education, and partnering with local recycling programs to promote sustainable waste management.

Support sustainable transportation: Companies can encourage employees to use public transportation, carpool, or bike to work by providing incentives, such as discounted or free transit passes, bike parking, or showers.

Partner with environmental organizations: Companies can partner with environmental organizations to support their conservation efforts, provide funding, or volunteer time and expertise to help with research, restoration, or other activities.

7. Certify and celebrate

Getting a Green Business Certification credential means that your business is committed to social change that can help our planet. Wondercide is proud to be a Green America Gold Certified business. We’re serious about adopting the principles, policies, and practices that will improve the quality of life for our employees, community, and our world. 

There are several environmental certifications that businesses in America can obtain to demonstrate their commitment to sustainability and environmentally-responsible practices. Here are a few examples:

  1. LEED Certification: The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification is a globally recognized rating system that assesses a building's sustainability performance based on factors such as water efficiency, energy use, and materials selection.
  2. ENERGY STAR Certification: ENERGY STAR is a program that certifies energy-efficient products and buildings. Businesses can obtain ENERGY STAR certification for their buildings to demonstrate their commitment to energy conservation.
  3. Green Business Certification: The Green Business Certification program assesses businesses on their environmental impact in areas such as waste reduction, energy efficiency, and sustainable purchasing. Businesses that meet the certification criteria can display the Green Business Certified logo.
  4. Cradle to Cradle Certification: The Cradle to Cradle certification is a holistic certification program that evaluates products based on their sustainability across the entire lifecycle. It considers factors such as material health, social responsibility, and resource use.
  5. Forest Stewardship Council Certification: The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification is a certification program for wood and wood-based products. It ensures that wood products come from responsibly managed forests that meet strict environmental and social standards.

This Earth Day and every day, we’re celebrating all businesses that incorporate a positive and collaborative approach to the environment that focuses on education and action. By working together to create a culture of sustainability mindfulness, businesses can take powerful steps toward protecting the environment for the local and global community.