Happy Earth Day!

Thelisa LavergneEarth Day will be celebrated on April 22, 2018 . It is a moment in time that we designate to appreciate the beauty of our natural environment and address the issues that threaten it.This year’s Earth Day will be focused on ending plastic pollution. Our environment is inundated with plastic objects that we use once and discard. Single-use plastic and the increasing surge of water stored in disposable plastic are becoming a growing global problem. However, there are clean air activities all around us to encourage participation and awareness of the various threats to our environment.

While this issue may appear overwhelming, there are subtle changes we can include in our lifestyle to be a part of the solution and this includes our job search. Even in our job search, you can go green. I have listed several ways you can help the planet while you are actively looking for a job, considering a career and re-constructing your home and/or office.

There are many ways to conduct a job search without sacrificing trees; many employers provide online applications for job openings. Ditch your filing cabinet and switch to electronic files that can be stored on a computer or USB flash drive. Consider uploading your documents to a free online service like Dropbox, so you can access them anytime, anywhere. Also consider looking into apps for your smartphone device that can take the of other, less sustainable job-search methods.

You can set your computer, printer cell phone, and other devices to energy-saving settings and power them down when you’re done working for the day. Plug all your hardware into a power strip with an on/off switch so you can easily turn everything off at once. Also, you can opt to use recycled paper and other recycle products.

Before heading to the nearest mall, consider purchasing an interview outfit from a thrift store or high-end consignment shop for lightly-worn clothing and accessories that are good for your budget and the environment. Also, consider shopping online. Online shopping can typically result in 35% less energy consumption. Additionally, keep an eye out for clothing made of sustainable materials such as bamboo, linen made from flax, organic cotton and organic wool.

Reduce carbon emissions by targeting companies that are within walking distance that allow you to use public transportation for your commute, or offer telecommuting options. If you’re interviewing for a position out-of-state, find out if the prospective employer is open to a Skype interview for the first round — this will cut costs and your carbon footprint. Pair up with a friend or other job searcher and carpool to networking events.

Consider a career in the green field! Green jobs benefit both the economy and the environment, and include everything from alternative fuels to tasty foods. According an article in the National Geographic, Eleven of the fastest growing green jobs are: 1) Urban Growers, 2) Water Quality Technicians, 3) Clean Car Engineers, 4) Recyclers, 5) Green Builders, 6) Natural Scientists, 7) Solar Cell Technicians, 8) Green Design Professionals, 9) Wave Energy Producers, 10) Wind Energy Workers, and 11) Biofuel Jobs.

Small changes can make a big difference over time. Try to incorporate these environmental friendly tips into your job-search strategy to help the planet during your job search.

Thelisa Lavergne is a member of the Regional (Texas Gulf Coast) Navigator team for Workforce Solutions. She specializes in providing training and education to the Gulf Coast community, career staff offices, and employers in assisting individuals with disabilities. She brings with her over 10 years of experience and expertise working in the nonprofit industry serving Houston’s disadvantaged community; individuals and families experiencing homelessness, victims of domestic abuse, and individuals and families experiencing hunger. However, her greatest contribution to Workforce Solutions is her compassion, commitment, and dedication to serving others. She holds a M.A. in Organizational Management, a B.S. in Training and Development, B.S. in Counseling, and a Certification as a Personal Fitness Trainer.



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