If you want to “go green”, but feel a little late to the party, it’s actually easier than you think. Whether you’re a home-based agent or commute to an office, here are ten simple ideas to reduce your impact on the planet. Best of all, this isn’t just a feelgood exercise, it’s good for business, too!
1. Go Paperless. Immediately.
Give the printer a rest. Switch from paper itineraries and travel documents to collaborative e-itineraries and spare those trees. Just about everything nowadays can be done online and your clients will prefer an easily accessible electronic version of their trip (even when offline!).
Umapped’s Trip Publisher keeps your client’s trip details in one central place, housing all booking information, e-tickets, itinerary details, important travel documents, dinner reservations, and more. It’s also a great communication tool, allowing you to stay connected to your clients to book any local activities while they’re away.
2. Recycle Old Technology Properly
Hey, we all have plenty of old stuff lying around, including electronic items such as printers, computers, phones, and more. Don’t just chuck these into a bin for the landfill. Due to the materials used in these devices, it’s crucial to dispose of unneeded electronics properly. Leave your junk with recycling pros, like not-for-profit Sustainable Electronics Recycling International (SERI). You can also take your old gear to a tech firm – from Apple to Best Buy, many tech retailers will happily take your stuff.
3. Reduce Single-Use Plastics in Your Workplace
If you work from home, this should be easy, but if you don’t, pack up your favourite coffee mug and some of that tupperware, too! Perhaps the single most important thing we can do as individuals is to lessen our dependence on single-use plastics, be they a paper coffee cup, a styrofoam lunch container or a plastic drinking straw. Carry your personal mug to the coffee shop, buy a reusable straw, and have your favourite lunch spot pack your meal in your own container for take-out. Industries change based on consumer habits, so help steer the ship in the right direction.
4. Choose Eco-Friendly Lighting
At home and at the office, it’s easy to transform your old lighting system into one better for the environment. Start with your bulbs. Compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs) emit little heat, keeping your place naturally cooler in hot months. They may cost slightly more but use less energy and last much longer. Light-emitting diodes (LEDs) are another solid option, reducing energy consumption by up to 90%. Other ideas include using as much natural light as possible through windows and skylights, and by building good habits, like turning lights off when not using them.
5. Use Tags to Better Sell Eco-Friendly Product
If you work in a small team of travel consultants, find eco-friendly Trips quickly and easily by tagging your shared trip templates with ‘Eco-Friendly’, ‘Low-Impact’, ‘Green’, etc. When a new travel inquiry comes in, your team can use these tags to quickly find and re-use great itineraries without having to build from scratch.
6. Use Ecosia as a Search Engine
Based in Berlin, Ecosia is an internet search engine focused on reforestation. By donating more than 80% of its profits to plant trees around the world, and by keeping a running ‘trees planted’ ticker on their homepage, you can help support an ethical business model while researching online
7. Install a Living Wall
Ahhh. Breathe it in; fresh, clean air! Striking in a workplace but suitable for many homes, too, living walls are a breath of fresh air (pun intended) in an often stuffy work environment. Using real plants and greenery to decorate a wall in your space is not only easy on the eyes but it’s better for your lungs, especially if using spider plants, peace lilies, chrysanthemums and English ivy. These plants, along with many others, absorb carbon dioxide through their leaves, leaving only the good stuff behind.
8. Walk, Cycle or Take Transit to Work
Whenever possible leave the car at home, but if you must drive then at least carpool. Walking, cycling or taking public transit to and from your place of business isn’t only cheaper and healthier for you, it helps the air quality around you.
9. Implement a Corporate Social Responsibility Strategy
As the market slowly shifts from boomers to millennials, a company’s values will become more and more important. Today’s (and tomorrow’s) travel consumer is a lot more particular about who they give their money to and will often research a company’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) model, or lack thereof, before spending money with them. First, create a strategy outlining your company’s values. Next, align your business with other companies that share those values. And lastly, walk the walk. Fake CSR initiatives can be as harmful to a company’s reputation as not having one at all.
10. Reduce. Reuse. Recycle.
Much of the aforementioned can be summed up with the three Rs. Ensure you have the proper bins to recycle correctly, separating organic waste from bottles and cans, paper and cardboard, etc. Reuse items whenever possible, and do your best to reduce waste altogether, opting out of extra packaging or plastic bags by carrying your own eco-friendly bag instead.
Less time spent on building itineraries means more time you can spend making your business greener. Find out how much time Umapped can help you save with our Productivity Boost Calculator.