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Five ways to care for the planet—even while social distancing

Sustainability is very important to us. It’s at the heart of our business operations, customer solutions, and employee engagement. All year round, Oracle Volunteers contribute thousands of hours to environmental causes globally, including our annual Global Volunteer initiative that takes place in conjunction with Earth Week. As we adapt to a digital celebration this year, our volunteers are expanding technology support for environmental nonprofits, and shifting to new projects like online tutoring through schools and virtual visits to senior centers.

As many of us rethink how to join Earth Day’s 50th celebration this year amid a global pandemic, we reached out to Jon Chorley, Chief Sustainability Officer, for tips on how to support Mother Nature, even when engaging in social distancing. “Now, more than ever, we’re appreciating our communities, both personal and professional. Taking care of each other and the surroundings in which we live is a critically important and collective effort,” Jon explains. “While stay-at-home orders mean less commuting and travel leading to reduced pollution and improved air quality, the need for social distancing will make some of our traditional sustainability activities challenging for a time. However we expect this to spark some great ideas for alternative things we can all do.”

So, what can we do to care for the planet, even when we’re not able to gather and get our hands dirty? Here are Jon’s top five ways to make a difference and support the communities in which we work and live, all from the safety of our homes.

1.    Make adjustments at home
You are probably spending more time at home, so take a moment to evaluate your household’s use of plastic, and make a plan to reduce—or eliminate—unnecessary plastic. Small steps like requesting that takeout places skip adding utensils is a great start; or make larger changes like avoiding single-serving containers and buying more items from the bulk bins. If you haven’t already, make sure to have reusable bags and travel mugs in key locations, and set aside a spare, reusable ‘meal kit’ and drinkware to bring back to the office to avoid any single-use plastics.

This is also a great time to begin larger projects like designing a pollinator garden or starting your own composting efforts. If you’re doing any major household organization, be sure to donate your items versus throwing anything out!

2.    Save energy while you work
Enable the power-saving mode on your devices, and unplug them once fully charged to conserve energy while you work—and if you plan to be away from the computer for more than an hour, shut it down to also save energy.

3.    Go digital this Earth Day
Consider looking for ways to support your community virtually through digital actions to protect our planet, such as finding events via earthday.org or sharing your eco tips through social media. Research eco tips, read blogs and spark new ideas for your own personal goals.

4.    Engage your family
Are you homeschooling your children right now? Do a quick internet search and find an age-appropriate Earth Day project to teach kids about the conservation and protection of our planet.

Watch an environmental documentary for date night, or try some new plant-based recipes for dinner. Cut up some old shirts to make a toy for your dog, or host a video chat with your loved ones to swap eco tips. Whatever your family looks like, find ways to connect and set eco goals together.

5.    Rethink your work
Think about ways you can make a difference in your day-to-day job, even as you work from home. Here at Oracle, we focus on making a difference by optimizing our data centers, hardware products, and business operations for sustainability and energy efficiency. Even if that’s not the case with your work, all of us can look for ways to do our jobs in a more sustainable manner.

Check out more tips on how to be sustainable at work and at home from Oracle’s Green Teams, a grassroots effort from employees who work to make a positive impact in their local office.

At Oracle, sustainability is everyone’s job
Sustainability is inherent in the way we think about and approach nearly every aspect of our business, from operational efficiency to product development and employee engagement. “It’s a priority for our company and we want it to be something that employees consider in their work every day, not just on Earth Day, but all year round,” Jon says. Moreover, our solutions help our customers improve their environmental performance, contributing together an important impact on our planet’s wellbeing.

Every year Oracle recognizes inspiring employees whose sustainability efforts help reduce our environmental footprint, as well as improve the environment in the communities where they live and work. Meet this year’s sustainability champions.

Do you want to join a company that empowers their employees to protect the planet? Learn how you can join a culture of changemakers.

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