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Fairtrade fortnight

Image courtesy of the Penrith Co-operative Society

Even in my modest little home office I try to make my own, small, positive contribution to the world by operating an ethical business policy. The website for the current Fairtrade Fortnight offers suggestions on how to make your workplace a little more ‘fair’ in this respect, and so I felt inspired to outline what my own contribution to that aim is.

I’ve been buying Fairtrade goods for personal use for a long time now; not only coffee and bananas but also clothing from companies such as Peopletree, and I wanted this to be true for my professional use as well. And, in addition to buying Fairtrade products, my ethical business policy extends to trying to minimise my impact on the environment as a whole, through the following 6 practices:

1. All coffee and tea products and other foodstuffs are purchased are Fairtrade products where applicable.

2. My office is heated using a ‘sustainable energy’ gas and electricity supplier (E:On, if you must know!). Rest assured that in these chilly months of winter I *try* to take the big jumper option before resorting to turning up the thermostat (most of the time!).

3. I avoid printing out documents if at all possible, and when I do they are printed on recycled paper.

4. On the subject of recycling, I have a rigorous recycling system (not to mention a very large recycling bin, made from recycled plastic, of course) and aim to recycle 85% of my office waste. Even batteries are re-charged rather than thrown away.

5. Back to office supplies: these are sourced from environmentally-conscious suppliers, such as Naturalcollection and Ethical Office. Staple-free stapler anyone?

6. And finally, I clean my office using non-toxic, environmentally friendly products only. My, how utopian AND fragrant!

I still have a long way to go before I can truly call myself a totally ‘eco-friendly’ linguist, but we all have to start somewhere.

You may find the following ‘viral video’ from the Fairtrade Foundation inspiring/amusing:

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March 04, 2008

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