Happy Earth Day everyone! All around the globe, events are being held to raise awareness of climate changes and global warming. While the issue may seem overwhelming, little changes can be made each day to help protect the environment and live greener, more sustainable lifestyles. Here are five ways you can help the planet while you hunt for a new job.
Mobilize Your Search
From online applications to virtual to-do lists, there are many ways to conduct a job search without sacrificing a ton of trees. Ditch your filing cabinet and switch to electronic files that can be stored on a computer or USB flash drive. Consider uploading your documents to an online service like Dropbox so you can access them anytime, anywhere. Look into apps for your smart device that can take the place of other, less sustainable job-search methods.
Green Your Workspace
There are a number of ways to make your home office earth-friendly. Set your computer, printer and other devices to energy-saving settings and be sure to power down when you’re done working for the day. Plug all your hardware into a power strip with an on/off switch so you can easily turn everything off at once. Put a few plants near your workspace to absorb indoor air pollution and increase the flow of oxygen near your desk. Also opt for recycled paper and sustainable products to organize your area.
Opt for Eco Business Cards
If you’re currently unemployed or searching on the sly, I highly recommend creating business cards that use your personal contact information. Go green by downloading an app to digitize your business cards or purchase business cards made of recycled paper from online retailers such as Etsy or GreenerPrinter.com.
Search for Sustainable Styles
Before you head to the nearest mall to purchase an interview outfit, visit your local thrift store or high-end consignment shop and hunt for lightly worn blouses, suits, and other accessories that are good for your budget and the earth. Better yet, shop online – studies have shown that online shopping may result in 35% less energy consumption. Additionally, keep an eye out for clothing made of sustainable materials such as bamboo, linen made from flax, organic cotton and organic wool.
Commute with Less Carbon
Reduce carbon emissions by targeting companies that are within walking distance, allow you to use mass transit for your commute, or offer telecommuting options. If you’re interviewing for a position out-of-state, find out if the prospective employer is open to a Skype interview for the first round – this will cut costs and your carbon footprint. Pair up with a local peer mentor and carpool to networking events.
Small changes can make a big difference over time. Try to incorporate these tips into your job-search strategy to help the planet during your hunt.
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Amanda Augustine is the Job Search Expert for TheLadders. She provides job search and career guidance for professionals looking to make their next career move. Have a question for Amanda? Submit your question here for a chance to have it answered in her weekly column, and be sure to follow her at @JobSearchAmanda on Twitter and “Like” her on Facebook for up-to-the-minute job-search advice.