Sustainability starts with you, so get involved and join us in our efforts to green UNEP through and through!
What can you do?
- Take the Environmental Sustainability Tutorial. We can assure it will be informative and entertaining and won’t take long :)
- If you are a Nairobi based UN staff member, and believe that small changes can make the difference for a more sustainable world in the longer term, join the Step By Step group of volunteers who are committed to greening our work environment at the UN Gigiri Compound! For further information, please contact flavia.reale[at]unep.org.
- Send us any suggestions you may have to improve our environmental sustainability and share the good practices in your office, this is key to move together towards a more sustainable UN (shoa.ehsani[at]unep.org and/or flavia.reale[at]unep.org).
- Get inspired by the green tips below and commit to one of them, you will become part of the change! As Mahatma Gandhi said “Be the change that you wish to see in the world”
- Put up tanks under your rain gutters and collect rainwater - to prevent mosquitoes breeding there, put mosquito nets over the top. Use the rainwater for your indoor plants- they love it, as well as for the flowerpots in your garden. You can also use it for washing your cars and cleaning outdoor areas.
- If you have a garden, make use of your organic waste and start compost. For tips how to get started visit website.
- Think before you print. Do you really need a hard copy or is it going to end up in the waste bin?
- Bring your own cup and mug to the coffee station of your office. You will pay less!
- Try and avoid a plastic bag for every fruit and vegetable item you have weighed at the supermarket. Have 2 or more items packed in the same bag if unavoidable.
- Close the shower or water tap when you shampoo and soap or while brushing your teeth. Why waste up to 30 litres of water, an average daily water use of a family in a Nairobi slum which needs to be bought for 20-30 KES and carried to the house first?
- When you are in a traffic jam, turn of the engine. This will save you fuel, and it will save the environment and the people around you the fumes, emissions and noise.
- When doing the dishes, put water in the sink and don’t let the water run.
- Turn off equipment at home that is on stand-by, such as TV, stereo, microwave. Also on stand-by, the equipment consumes electricity.
- When buying new light bulbs, choose energy efficient bulbs! This will save energy and lower your electricity bill.
- Bring your own water bottle to work! Clean and re-fill it at home, and avoid contributing to the mountain of waste caused by plastic water bottles.
- If you use a washing machine for your clothes and linen, try to wait until you can fill the machine well. If you are only cleaning a few items, wash them by hand and save water and electricity.
- Nairobi has ample amounts of sunshine everyday – to dry your clothes, hang them on laundry lines instead of using a dryer.
- Unplug appliances from the electric socket after use(or turn off switch).
- Check lights. Identify frequently used light fixtures that use incandescent bulbs; order fluorescent replacements bulbs
- Check the temperature setting on your water-heater. Reduce the setting to 120°F (typically the “warm” setting; or halfway between the low and medium settings), if it is not already set to that temperature.
- Check the settings on your appliances. Where the option is available – and is not already selected -- select the energy-saving setting on your refrigerator, dishwasher, washing machine and other major appliances.
- Check showerheads and faucets. Determine whether any of your showerheads are models that use more than 2.5 gallons per minute. If so, order low-flow showerheads. Similarly, verify that your bathroom and kitchen water faucets have aerators. Order an aerator for each faucet that does not have one and that can accommodate one. These steps will reduce your use of hot water – and your use of energy to heat that water.
- Turn off appliances that you are not using. Switch off TVs, computers, lights, etc. that are not being used and unplug items on “standby” (that use electricity even when not being used) , including TVs, video and audio systems, computers, and chargers (for cell-phones and other electronic equipment).
- Check car tires for proper inflation. This can improve gas mileage. The appropriate air pressure typically is listed on the door-pillar on the driver’s side, on the inside of the glove-compartment door or in the vehicle manual.