It is once again Earth Day and we (everyone at IdeaScape) feel we cannot sit still and let this Earth Day run by as if it’s just another day. It is time that we celebrate mother nature and do something to show we care. And we do not want to do this alone. We invite all businesses in Malaysia, big or small, to join in and take action with us. More on this later.

It’s easy not to care

Let’s just state it out loud here. It’s easy not to care. Certainly when you are one of many people in an office. And yes there are many things that are expected of us in our jobs, and no, most of us do not have the “caring for the environment” in our resume.

And perhaps those working in offices do not even waste that much compared to some of the more intensive industries or even some households. But are those valid reasons to not care about the environment?

We think we can do more, even if they are small steps.

Start with the pain

Have you ever looked at something and thought, if I had a chance I would do something about it?! I’ve had this particular moment with our office waste since the moment I noticed we do not separate it. Sure we wouldn’t throw batteries in the bin or electronics but everyday plastics and paper all end up in the same bin.

Recognizing the challenges

Malaysia isn’t exactly a front runner when it comes to recycling and although improvements have been made in recent years, the infrastructure for recycling is fragmented. Until the Malaysian government comes in with policies and incentives to make recycling happen, nothing will really change. Recycling currently is cumbersome and requires you finding a recycling bin or recycling center, and yes that’s extra work, it’s inefficient as well as it requires extra miles in your car. Being part of a building that doesn’t do waste separation doesn’t help either.

Do you play the waiting game?

And here’s the thing. We can all wait for the government to step in and decide to do something. Or wait for our building management to put a recycling bin in every corridor. There’s no effort in that, but our environment will not benefit either. In the meantime our landfills keep on growing year upon year, and plastic keeps on spilling into our waterways and eventually into the ocean. That’s why this year we feel it’s time to take more responsibility as a business and as individuals.

We may not be perfect and there will always be more that we can do. Yet each small step will add up in the end.

What we are already doing

Given that we’re still in the middle of the pandemic we are all saving some energy by not traveling to the office every day. But even before the pandemic, we do take a couple of steps that take the environment into consideration. We look at how much we use the printer, use printed pages as pages to take notes on, we carpool where possible and we try to use reusable containers when we get our lunch. Our coffee cups are ceramic and our utensils are the real kind, not the throwaway ones. We also have plants in the office, great for some oxygen and to make people feel better.

Last year we introduced a glass bottle which we give away during workshops. It shouts Profit with Purpose, which is what we care about most and at the same time it’s friendly to the environment even when it’s thrown away.

Although these are good steps, we know we can do more.

Separating our waste

If your office is like ours you probably recognize the lack of recycling bins. And although it’s easy to say, we cannot do this, the infrastructure just isn’t ready, we feel we can do more. Even if that means we need to carry it to the recycling stations ourselves or convince our building management to do more.

So here’s what we commit to do.

  1. Install bins to separate our waste into plastics, paper and others.
  2. Carry the recycling bins to a bin where the items will be repurposed or recycled.
  3. Encourage building management to allow recycling bins and collection in a central area of the building.

Are you with us?

We hope you will take part in an activity on Earth Day as well. The more action we take the better.

How you can join us…

  1. Spread this message on your social media and get as many people to join.
  2. Organize your own Earth Day commitment with your team and/or organisation.
  3. Share the joy! Share your commitments by commenting on this post, pictures and videos are best!

Take it to the next level

Think you can do even more? Did you know that each email you send consumes energy? Some smart people at OVO Energy in the UK calculated the impact our emails have on energy consumption. Data centers around the world use massive amounts of energy and often this energy still comes from non-renewable sources. You can reduce your energy usage online simply by taking these steps:

  1. Remove unwanted emails
  2. Unsubscribe from mailing lists you’re not interested in
  3. Switch off social media email notifications
  4. Get a good spam filter
  5. Switch your screen to dark mode

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