Katja Kohvakka encourages PAM members to take climate action at work
Katja Kohvakka participated in a training where participants were invited to think about a reason to get involved. She voted for climate action. Photo: Paula Myöhänen
“Replace disposable junk with sustainable products,” says Katja Kohvakka, salesperson. Just starting a conversation can help the climate.
“We employees started talking about plastic recycling with the new store manager. Why shouldn’t we separate clear plastics from our mixed waste, since many other stores are already doing it?” recounts Katja Kohvakka, salesperson.
Anyone could see that there was quite a bit of plastic waste. Packages, warehouse trolleys and drink pallets all come wrapped in plastic. This conversation led to a real change. In January, the Sale grocery store in Laajalampi, Mikkeli, set up sorting bags for recycling clear plastic.
Commute, meals and work
Kohvakka is an activist in the #ilmastotekoNYT climate campaign in Mikkeli. She is rallying people in her area to join the campaign organised by the Central Organisation of Finnish Trade Unions SAK.
“The coronavirus has pushed other topics to the side, but climate issues haven’t gone anywhere!” Kohvakka points out.
Hygiene is even more of a priority during the coronavirus pandemic. Cleaning and filling shelves at Sale is hard work.
“The amount of work has been insane. Customers emptied out our shelves in a week and now we have to fill them again,” Kohvakka explains.
She hopes that people are still willing to announce their actions for the climate. What is the #ilmastotekoNYT campaign?
“The main thing is that employees announce how they’re helping the climate at work, whether it is by choosing climate-friendly options during their commute, for their at-work meals or during the work itself,” Kohvakka says.
The intention is to collect them all in social media on April 1st. If plastic can be recycled, then so can these climate ideas!
Vegetarian day, commuting by foot and changing the product selection
According to last year’s member survey conducted by the Central Organisation of Finnish Trade Unions SAK, women tend to be more worried about climate change than men. Kohvakka believes that we can actually do something about this in the workplace instead of just worrying.
“Let’s separate the plastics from the cardboard. Let’s eat vegetarian one day a week. Let’s walk more on our way to work,” Kohvakka lists some examples.
Since just starting a conversation at work can help the climate, she thinks that sales employees could call for their stores to stock more sustainable materials and more sensible product selections.
“Shops could replace pointless disposable junk with sustainable products.”
Perhaps the next conversation at the Sale in Laajalampi will be about using less plastic.
Climate action #ilmastotekoNYT
April 1st 2020 is a day for action. Tell others what you are doing at work to help the climate. Use the hashtag and share on Facebook, Instagram or other social media.