Entering your first internship or job after college requires a lot of preparation. Starting this new, exciting chapter means you'll probably be handling more responsibilities, learning on-the-job skills and budgeting earnings on your own. Maybe your job requires moving to a new city or commuting to a downtown office. No matter what, you'll want to put your best foot forward and make a great first impression on your co-workers. Why not make a green first impression too?
The following tips can be used to set an example for your co-workers and approach your workplace in an eco-friendly way.
Find a place to live within your means
Although you might want to find a place in the heart of the city with high-quality amenities, it might not be the most financially sound decision. Find a hidden gem – whether it's an apartment complex or rental home – that allows you to explore the city the right way without breaking your budget. By keeping your options open, you might even find a place that provides a shorter daily commute. Also, it's a plus if your new digs has eco-friendly features such as low-flow fixtures, dedicated green space and community-wide recycling programs.
Purchase the wardrobe basics
You'll probably want to dress to impress your new co-workers, but don't go overboard. Buy wardrobe necessities that can be dressed up during the majority of the week and dressed down on casual Fridays. Key items include cardigans, button downs and dress shoes that mix and match with more than just one outfit. In addition, you might be able to find fashionable items from local thrift stores to round out your work-appropriate attire. If you're not required to wear a suit every day, opt for machine wash or hand wash only clothing. Dry cleaning services fall under one of the top energy consumption building categories, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
Pack snacks and a lunch
Group lunch outings are always fun, but try to limit yourself to special lunch occasions only. Use the groceries you're buying during the week to pack a healthy lunch and mid-day snack. Be sure to utilize reusable containers! Not only will you be making a healthier choice, but you'll also be looking out for the environment. Need to keep caffeinated and hydrated throughout the day? Make sure you have a reusable water bottle or mug on hand too.
Green your commute
Your daily work commute doesn't have to involve sitting in miles of rush hour traffic. Many cities have green transportation options for commuters, such as buses, trains and subways. If you live a short distance away from your new office, make an effort to walk or bike to your destination every day. On the other hand, some commuters have to rely on a car if there's no other form of reliable transportation available. If that's the case, get to know your co-workers and create a carpool group. The fewer cars on the road, the better for the environment!