Automobiles, solid waste generation, and raw materials; the construction industry has them all. And with the nature of our industry comes pollution, excessive use of nonrenewable resources and environmental devastation. In fact, construction is a leading consumer of raw materials and natural resources and 39% of the world’s carbon emissions.
The good news? We are still able to contribute to a greener future with our everyday lifestyle – habits big and small. At its core, the construction industry is made up of humans, and the seemingly small actions we do at home, at work, in the street, how we shop or cook, in our leisure time... all of the activities we develop allow us to make a positive impact on the environment.
As we are cultivating business practices that yield long-term sustainability benefits, we challenged some of the leaders around UMC to share some of the sustainable habits they are putting into action. Over the next several weeks, we will share what they had to say. To start, here is what I’m doing in my day-to-day life:
Sydney Armitage, Account Development Specialist
- Home Garden and Pollination: To reduce waste and promote sustainable agriculture, I started growing some basics: herbs, tomatoes, peppers, and blueberries. To promote the bee and butterfly populations, I planted native wildflowers with seeds provided (for free!) by Washington State Noxious Weed Control Board.
- Material Waste Reduction Through Reuse: I have replaced many single use items with a reusable counterpart - washable ziplock bags, dish rags (are like sponges, but can be washed with your laundry!), towels instead of paper towels, cloth grocery bags, mesh veggie bags. Even my camping gear is mostly reusable now!
- Bulk Buying and Zero Waste Products: I buy in bulk as often as possible and use my own containers. (grains, nuts, etc. from grocery stores; detergents, soaps, shampoo and conditioner from local bulk/zero waste product shops)
- Emission Reduction: My boyfriend and I try to consolidate vehicles and use my partner’s hybrid as much as possible or walk/bike to run close by errands when weather permits. I also haven't commuted to the office in >2 years, saving 67 miles of driving per day (that's over >35,000 miles!!)
- Local Action: I've recently joined the local chapter for Citizens Climate Lobby (CCL) - a nationwide organization with the goal of creating the political will for a sustainable climate while empowering individuals to have breakthroughs in exercising their personal and political power.
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