A Designer's Guide to an Eco-Savvy Workplace
Worst House Warming Ever
Last week, RGD joined the Digital #ClimateStrike to support the global demand for climate change action. We took the opportunity to focus our attention on climate change and how designers can and are making a difference.
We spoke to our Members to recruit some feedback about the tangible ways that designers are reducing their environmental impact. Here are some great ideas and resources:

Using Eco-Savvy Vendors

When searching for vendors to work with, B Corp is a helpful place to start. Certified B Corporations are businesses that meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose. B Corps are accelerating a global culture shift to redefine success in business and build a more inclusive and sustainable economy.
One example is the Raw Office - an office supply resource with affordable purchasing options with products that claim to help lower your company's eco footprint, and they keep track of your eco and financial savings

Staying Informed

Keeping up-to-date on Recycling Codes is a good practice to make sure you’re disposing of waste in the correct manner and not contaminating an entire bin with one wrong move. Review these these guides in your office to help clarify what those non-intuitive codes mean:
Toronto-centric guides:

Digital Efforts

There are many variations on our everyday digital practices that are small steps to a greener office. Some examples include:
  • Keeping all files digital, including signatures, to reduce the need to print and limit unnecessary use of paper
  • Optimize images and video by creating assets at the size they are required, and using ImageOptim to grind file sizes further
  • Prioritizing system fonts and Google Fonts
  • Use 100% green hosts like Montreal’s AWS, or DCs that commit to RECs, like Apple or Google
  • Activate Dark Mode where available (Chrome, Mac, Messenger)
  • Use sleep mode (not screensaver) whenever possible


And then there are the tools that make it easy to visualize the difference you're making:

  • Use Ecosia.org for searching instead of Google (it plants trees per search)
  • Activate the Tab for a Cause Chrome extension to raise money for charities for every new browser tab opened


Greener Events

  • Partner with companies like Cupanion and S'well to stop the use of bottled water at events
  • Try to spec recyclable materials such as falcon board instead of foam core for large poster-sized prints
  • Ask for feedback from colleagues on how paper collaterals and swag have gone over in past years. This way you can make sure you're not ordering too much and have it go to waste


Thank you to our contributors: Amanda Chong, Amy Eaton RGD, Samantha Gaghan, Chelsey Stuart-Duval, Victor Szeto RGD
Published September 2019