Reducing our personal and professional impact on the planet.
Happy Earth Day 2022 from Pax8 and our Employee Environmental Group. This year we thought we’d look at a few ways we can all live more sustainably. We’re not talking about making drastic life changes. These are simple adjustments you can make that will have a positive impact.
Action Begins with Awareness
They say the first step to fixing a problem is admitting you have one. There’s no denying that the environment is a global concern. We all share this planet, and we need to share the responsibility for living more sustainable lives. Even little changes can make a big difference if enough people embrace them. This is what the Pax8 Employee Environmental Group is about: finding ways to help everyone recognize the opportunity to do better.
Your Carbon Footprint
In simple terms, our carbon footprint is the total amount of greenhouse gases (including carbon dioxide and methane) generated by our actions. By making small changes to our actions, we can lessen our individual carbon footprints. The more people who make even small improvements can add up to some big, collective global shifts.
There are a lot of online carbon footprint calculators. One that we recommend is from the Global Footprint Network. It digs a little deeper and has some fun graphics. Knowing your exact carbon footprint isn’t necessary, but having a general idea can help you understand how your actions affect the planet.
Convenience Is a Killer
Here in the US, our economy is built on convenience. In a society constructed around making things easier, the result is often unintended waste. Take the unassuming bag of salad at the grocery store. Sure, it makes it much easier to eat a bit healthier, but how many times have you tossed it out without finishing the whole thing? Factor in the energy it takes to create, package, transport, and store all that bagged produce, and the carbon footprint of what seems like minor food waste can be staggering.
Focus on Your Food
The way we choose to eat can have a large impact on our carbon footprint. Be conscious of what you are eating and understand the resources used to get food to your table.
The Beauty of Farmers’ Markets
Farmers’ market season is right around the corner, which gives us all the perfect opportunity to buy healthier for the planet as we eat healthier ourselves. Many of us stock our fridges every couple of weeks with fruits and vegetables, which often leads to some amount of food spoiling before we get a chance to eat it.
A small change you can make during the summer and fall is to buy your produce at your local farmers’ market. This lets you buy only what you need for the week. And as a bonus, it eliminates all the packaging associated with produce from the grocery store.
Choose to Compost
If you tend to create food waste, the best thing you could do is to start composting. Take that waste and turn it into compost and create a positive action out of something negative. It’s okay that you didn’t have a chance to eat that entire bag of spinach because the earth will take it back. It might even become the nutrients for a new crop of spinach. Thinking about how you can be a productive part of the cycle, rather than being the end of the cycle, is a simple step you can bring into your every day.
In the past few years, it’s become easier for all of us to compost. Here in Denver, homeowners can sign up for a composting service with the city that includes a weekly collection of all food scraps, yard debris, and non-recyclable paper. Additionally, many private companies are running weekly collection composting programs such as Wompost: Women-Owned Composting. The Pax8 Environmental Group works closely with Wompost on our composting efforts. Even those living in apartment and condo complexes can get buckets with weekly collections from local companies like the Denver Compost Collective. A quick search should let you find who supports composting efforts in your area.
Clean Up Your Corner of the Planet
One of the great things about living in Colorado is the passion many people here hold for helping the planet. This is on full display with local cleanup events for Earth Day, and year round. If you’re interested in participating, it’s easy to find these events. Start with your workplace, and ask if there is an employee group like our Employee Environmental Group here at Pax8.
In addition to our annual Earth Day Cleanup Series, we organize three summer river cleanups where Pax8 employees band together to clear trash from the South Platte River. If you’re looking to start an employee cleanup program where you work, think about local businesses that might help support these efforts. We found a great sponsor in Resolute Brewing who shares our passion for improving the planet and sponsors our river cleanups every year.
Start Small for Big Impact
Remember, your cleanup doesn’t have to be major. Pick up bits of trash on your daily walk, even if you’re just walking to get coffee. If you see some trash, pick it up and put it in the nearest bin, and you’ve already done a good deed. It can even inspire others. Probably 80% of the time, people will comment when they see me pick up trash on a walk. I’ve even seen other people pick up the habit after seeing me do it. There are so many opportunities to change little habits. That’s what the spirit of Earth Day is all about—making that change through your actions.
The Eco-friendliness of Cloud Computing
Working at Pax8 is a great alignment for the environmentally conscious, and not just because of its support through employee engagement groups. The cloud itself is a much more eco-friendly approach to computing.
In a 2018 report updated in 2020 titled “The Carbon Benefits of Cloud Computing: A Study of the Microsoft Cloud,” Microsoft examined the energy consumption and carbon emissions across the typical device lifecycle. Taking into consideration raw material extraction and equipment assembly, transport, energy consumption, and end-of-life disposal, they found Microsoft’s cloud is up to 93% more energy-efficient and can generate up to 98% fewer carbon emissions than traditional data centers. So, just by making the switch to cloud solutions, you are creating a habit that is far more Earth-friendly.
About the Pax8 Employee Environmental Group
The Pax8 Environmental Group is an employee engagement effort created by Pax8 employees who seek a like-minded love for the environment. This passion project combines hard work, hope, passion, and care into a channel that provides Pax8 employees a forum to collaborate on both internal strategic initiatives and external charitable efforts that allow us to impact the environmental awareness and sustainability efforts on local, national, and global levels.
For us, every day is Earth Day.
Learn about other employee engagement groups and open positions at Pax8.