I’ve been thinking a lot lately about Annie Dillard’s wise words:

“How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives. What we do with this hour, and that one, is what we are doing.

To me, this means that the hundreds of little decisions I make in a day amount to something substantial. What I eat for breakfast, how I interact with colleagues, if I make time to slow down and center myself amidst the craziness that is most of our days. It all matters.

And since we spend so much of our lives at work, how we work matters in a big way. It matters for our health, our relationships, and our environment. In the spirit of Earth Day, let’s examine a handful of the little decisions we make at and about work, and how we can reduce your workplace footprint and make them better…

Bike to work.

Marietta officials have been hard at work making our city more and more bike-able and the Mountain to River Trail can get you pretty darn close to anywhere you need to be.

Starting your day with little movement also frames your mindset for the whole day. By biking to work, you’re priming yourself to make healthy, intentional choices long after you prop it on the kickstand.

Join a coworking space.

You know we had to include this one. If you read “bike to work” and thought, “Yeah, right, it’d be impossible for me to bike to Midtown every day,” then maybe your commute is what needs to change.

Companies are increasingly allowing and encouraging their employees to work remotely. This is great until you realize you can’t focus when you’re home by yourself. Coworking spaces are a great option if you’re trying to cut your carbon emissions but not your productivity.

Bring your lunch.

If you’ve been keeping up with our blog posts (hi, mom!), you already know that I love lunch. The easiest way to minimize how much waste your meal produces is to bring it yourself. Reach for real plates and flatware instead of disposable. It’s such a simple habit that can drastically reduce your impact over time. And who actually likes using a plastic fork?

Bonus: This is also the cheapest way to have lunch with a friend! Make plans to walk to a nearby park or green space together to get some sunshine and catch up over a picnic.

Avoid the water cooler.

Or, at least, the cups at the water cooler. If you’re not thinking about it, it’s easy to cycle through dozens of those tiny plastic cups in a week. Tossing a reusable bottle in your bag is a great, guilt-free way to stay hydrated.

Assess your lighting situation.

LED lights used to be too-bright, too-white things that made buzzing noises – something no one needs in their lives. Now, you can buy LEDs that give off the same soft, warm light as incandescents but last longer and use far less energy. It’s a no-brainer, really, so next time the bulb in your task lamp goes out, swap it out for an LED and pat yourself on the back.

It’s also so much more efficient (and cozy) to use lower-level lights instead of overheads. Overhead lights require more energy and are designed to light the whole room. With task, table, and floor lamps, you can create a better vibe in your office and only light the area where you’re actually working.

Are you already doing any of these? What would you add to the list? If you want to continue the conversation or work closer to home, we’d love to show you around and chat about if FireWorks is a good fit for you.