Organizing For Our Environment

For the third post highlighting this year’s NAPO Conference, I’m pleased to introduce Diana Duran Wettling of Practical Arrangements in Austin, Texas. As someone who is committed to an eco-friendly lifestyle, Diana attended a session on Environmentally Conscious Organizing, and is here to share some of the valuable tips she picked up.

environmental concepts on bulletin board

Image courtesy of artur84 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

After attending the NAPO 2013 conference in New Orleans, I wanted to share learnings from a session that really struck a chord with me – the Environmentally Conscious Organizing session.  It was facilitated by Debra Baida, Eileen Koff, CPO and Megan Spears, CPO.  These ladies did an excellent job of educating and encouraging their participants.  The organizers I spoke to while walking out of the session were ready to update business plans!

Yes – I recycle, I compost, I buy from local farmers and I make environmentally friendly decisions as much as I can.  Environmentally Conscious Organizing was a session I was super excited to attend and I was not disappointed.  Not only was attending a workshop with like-minded organizers very motivating, but I also learned how to incorporate “being green” in my business.  I was enlightened when I understood that as organizers we can make a direct impact on client’s choices AND our environment.

Why be environmentally conscious?

There are tons of reasons!  For blogging sake, I’ll just stick to landfills today.  We are all super busy and make purchases that make things convenient, such as disposable toothbrushes, water bottles and small packaged snacks.  We buy things and use them for a couple seconds then trash them and never think about it again.  That package that took us a couple seconds to use can take weeks or sometimes years to decompose in a landfill.  Oh!  And you know those packages that say compostable?  I seriously thought that they would be okay in landfills since they decompose.  WRONG, there’s no oxygen.  Waste is compacted so much that compostable containers and even grass trimmings are buried in the landfill along with the other trash – not decomposing.

So, how do you become more environmentally conscious?

  • Think about what you are buying, using and doing.  Minimize your purchases, purchase things with less packaging and purchase things that last longer.
  • Educate yourself on the variety of eco labels.  Read the eco labels on the products you are purchasing to become more familiar with them.  Do a little research online to get even more details.
  • Include recycling resources on your website.  When you hear about an event from someone, on the news or on the radio post it on your website to let more people know.
  • Find out what can and cannot be recycled in your area.  Visit your local utilities website for the information specific to your area.
  • Let them know (and feel!) that you are not judging them.  Commend your client for any recycling they are already doing.
  • Help your client set up a recycling system.  Find an easy to access spot in the kitchen that fits two bins – one for trash and one for recycling.
  • Present an environmentally friendly option when a client’s need arises.  When new purchases are necessary, let your client know about eco-friendly products.
  • ­Introduce a new concept when it comes up during an organizing session.  If working in the kitchen, talk about reducing their trash consumption by composting.
  • Include environmentally friendly tips that will save your clients money on your next blog post or newsletter.
  • Be specific when taking donations.  Let your client know who will benefit from their donations.
  • Share local recycling programs or events on social media.

How do you get your clients on the environmentally friendly track?

Together, professional organizers can really make a difference – even if it’s a little step at a time. The next time you are working with a client, share at least one new concept with them!

Some of My Favorite Green Products Shared in the Session:

Ditto hangers – they are 100% recyclable!

New Leaf Paper – eco paper in cute notebooks!

Necklace made out of recycled magazines – Love it!

Necklace made out of recycled magazines

Resources:

http://www.benefits-of-recycling.com/interestingrecyclingfacts/

http://greenliving.nationalgeographic.com/much-energy-efficient-bulbs-save-3254.html

Diana Duran WettlingDiana Duran Wettling is a professional organizer and owner of Practical Arrangements.  Diana helps busy people get organized and be happy!  She helps homeowners and business owners purge, sort and organize their belongings so that they can have more time to do things they love.  When she is not organizing, Diana makes time to garden, craft and read.  To find out more about Diana and her services, check out her website.

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