by Hailey McQuaid
ESG Project Manager

Being environmentally friendly doesn’t always need to be a big life-changing decision. Here are some ways that you can be more environmentally friendly!

Turn off the faucet when you aren’t actively using it:
Are you guilty of letting the water run when you’re brushing your teeth or shaving? Try wetting your toothbrush or your face then turning the water off. This little change won’t slow down your routine but will save water!

Ditch the idling and turn off your car: Did you know that idling for more than 10 seconds uses more fuel and produces more emissions that contribute to air pollution and climate change than stopping and restarting your engine?

Bring a reusable mug for your next beverage run: Instead of garnering more single-use plastic cups bring a cup from home. Some cafés will even give you a discount when you.

Watch out for energy vampires: An energy vampire is a “device that continues to use energy and drain power, even when it is turned off… they can account for as much as 20% of your monthly electricity bill.” (Duke Energy, 2023). Some usual suspects are cords that have “bricks” or “wall warts”. For example, standby coffee makers, devices with a remote and video game consoles are typically energy vampires.  By fully unplugging these appliances, controlling them through a smart power strip or putting them to sleep you can lower your energy bill.

Donate, consign, or swap clothes and shoes that are in good shape: One person’s trash is another’s treasure. Bring clothes to your local consignment store or plan a clothing swap with friends, both are great ways to freshen up your closet and save money. Extending the life of your clothes lessens their environmental impact and keeps them out of a landfill.

Turn off lights when not in use: This one is easy, if you aren’t in the room, you probably don’t need the light on. Even better, try taking advantage of the natural lighting in your room if available.

Properly recycle your electronic waste (E-waste) or donate old, working electronics: It’s important to properly dispose of your electronic waste so that toxic materials like Lead and Mercury don’t seep into our soil. In addition, recycling e-waste can help reduce pollution by reclaiming precious metals or parts (EPA, 2023). You can look up what your town/city suggests you do with e-waste. Also, if you have an electronic that you don’t want but it still works, think about donating it.

Don’t flush medications down the toilet: Flushing medication can contaminate our lakes, streams, and drinking water which hurts fish and other aquatic wildlife (EPA, 2016). Instead find a drug disposal collection site places, for example, hospitals, police stations, and pharmacies may have no-contact drop off areas.Don’t litter: This one seems like a no brainer but pick up after yourself. You can also help out by picking up trash while out walking your dog for example.

All of these tiny actions, when done collectively by everyone, can have a tremendous impact on our environment.

How We Can Help
The EI Group, Inc. (EI) provides a comprehensive array of services for the development and execution of new and existing sustainability programs tailored to your business. We understand the ever-changing environment and stress to innovate within which our clients operate to meet ambitious sustainability goals and redesign the standard of business. Whether you are at the beginning of your sustainability journey or looking for a helping hand in existing sustainability initiatives, EI’s team of experienced professionals are ready to partner with you. Contact Hailey McQuaid, ESG Project Manager with EI, at (704) 264-4189 or [email protected].