This year World Environment Day is on June 5th. The event will see people around the world dedicating 24 hours to encouraging others to take positive environmental action. There are plenty of ways that you and your colleagues can get involved to give your green policies a boost.

This year’s theme is “Think.Eat.Save”. The aim will be to encourage people to reduce the amount of food waste they produce. In order to get food onto your kitchen table, a large amount of energy and water are required. To make sure the produce reaches you in good condition the average vegetable has to be grown, harvested, stored, transported, packed and, finally, cooked. All of these processes require energy.

Sadly, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, 1.3 billion tons of food is wasted every year – equivalent to the amount of food that is produced in Sub-Saharan Africa in 12 months.

Here are a few ways your business can get involved in World Environment Day and start, helping to make your work environment a more sustainable and reducing your business energy bills at the same time.

Appoint a company green team

For the week of World Environment Day you could appoint a company green team to be responsible for leading the initiative and implementing some quick and easy changes. Among other responsibilities the team can monitor food waste. They can make sure food is going into a dedicated waste bin (rather than the general rubbish where it will go for landfill). It’s also a good idea to keep track of any communal food and drink that is being wasted, such as pints of milk for tea and coffee. If you find that you regularly throw out milk, it might be time to cut back on the order.

Other quick energy saving swaps the team can implement include making sure printing is double-sided, computers are being switched off overnight, lights are only on where you need them and heating and cooling systems are working efficiently so that your business gas bills are not higher than they need to be.

Hold a food waste awareness session

A few simple tips can go a long way in reducing the amount of food waste we produce.

Your staff may not know, for example, that food can safely be eaten after ‘best before’ dates – it’s the ‘use by’ dates you need to watch. Another amazing fact that can open people’s eyes – it takes 1,000 litres of water to produce just 1 litre of milk.

Hold a Think.Eat.Save picnic

To show how easy it is to use food that is lying around, ask everyone to make something using only what they already have in their fridge. Ask everyone to bring their dish to work for a big shared lunch and award a prize for the tastiest dishes.

Start a work vegetable garden

If you’re lucky enough to have some green space, use World Environment Day as an opportunity to get started on a company fruit and veg patch. Appoint a team to maintain it and make sure everyone gets to share the spoils at some point. If you don’t have a large garden, you can even grow a few herbs and spices or some lettuce leaves in window boxes or in the staff kitchen.

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