Each year, more than 1,000,000 students enter the workforce. Imagine the collective impact on society if even a small number of applicants and employees inquire about, or attempt to change, the ethical practices of their potential or current employers.
About the Pledge:
By taking the Pledge, you are defining for yourself what it means to be socially and environmentally responsible. The Grad Pledge is part of the Graduation Pledge Alliance, a global community of conscientious graduates. There is not obligation to turn down jobs... the Grad Pledge is simply a way for you to ensure that your job represents more than a paycheck.
What does this look like? After taking the pledge and the new job, it can mean ensuring that your employment has recycling and composting available in the break room, sustainable party planning for team building events, ensuring diversity and inclusion in the workplace, modifying your work's operations to have a sustainable best practice, or anything in between.
What does my job have to do with sustainability?
- Social entrepreneurship is a growing trend, and many companies, big and small, are making an effort to ensure that their practices do not interfere with social justice or the environment. Most companies will have a corporate responsibility statement on their website.
- Even actions as simple as supporting a sustainable paper recycling program or a company-designated charity can be in solidarity with the Grad Pledge.
- The Pledge lets you define " social and environmental responsibility" for yourself and is therefore designed just for you to think about what these values mean to you.
- Complete Guide to Ethics Management - An Ethics Toolkit for Managers: Read this guide about how to promote business ethics
- Social Edge: A network for social entrepreneurs with inspiration for improving the social aspects of your future career
- Starting Bloc: A five-day workshop and extended membership for young professionals interested in promoting corporate social innovation
- GreenBiz: News about all kinds of sustainable businesses and tips for how to promote sustainability in your own workplace
- Sustainability Degrees: A resource for discovering a sustainability degree that fits your passion and skills, plus an ultimate "how-to guide" for students to get involved in sustainability advocacy and activism
- Net Impact: Resource for learning about careers with impact including a job and internship board and impact careers course
- Social Enterprise Jobs Google Group: Google Group with job announcements related to social enterprise and social innovation
How to live sustainably in the adult world:
Now that you’re out of college, you’ll find many lifestyle habits that are good for you AND your wallet. Here are some sustainability pro tips for the office and your home to help you stay eco-friendly after graduation.
- Carpool, use public transportation, or bike to reduce emissions on your commute. Did you know you can save up $2,174 each year by carpooling 40 miles round trip with just one other person?! Don't have a carpool buddy? Check out erideshare.com to find a commuting partner. Uber, Lyft, and Zipcar are also convenient options if you don’t have a car.
- Pack a reusable coffee thermos and water bottle. You can even stash a few plates and reusable utensils instead of using their disposable counterparts. Also when ordering food from a restaurant, bring an extra container for leftovers, or if you’re taking it “to-go,” bring your own container to avoid extra packaging.
- Use a CFL bulb in your desk lamp and in your home. These bulbs last 10x longer than their incandescent counterparts and use only about 30% as much energy.
- Turn off and unplug your computer and other electronics when you leave your office in the evenings. Even in a low-power mode, these items are still using small amounts of energy which contributes to CO2 emissions. Moreover, try plugging your office and home electronics into a power strip which you can turn off when you’re gone for periods of time.
- If you travel for your job, consider buying carbon offsets for each flight you take.
- Start your own compost. With a little dedication and patience, it’s easy to do and extremely beneficial for the environment. Get your housemates on-board too so it’s not all your burden. See the US EPA’s guide for composting at home for more information.
- Recycle! Go to your city's website to learn about their municipal recycling program and see what they do and do not accept. Also, make sure your office has a recycling program. If not, refer to our guide for how to start one yourself!
- Purchase “eco-friendly” cleaning products! Good brands are Mrs. Meyer’s, Seventh Generation, and Method. They feature products made with natural and biodegradable ingredients that aren’t tested on animals, and are socially conscious. Or, DIY with these fun recipes!
- Make your own beauty products. Avoid the extra chemicals and packaging from conventional brands and try making them yourself.
- Buy and sell used furniture, household goods and office supplies instead of buying new. Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, eBay and freecycle.org are great places to start.
- Get active outside! Save emissions and money by exercising outdoors instead of joining a gym. Consider joining a running or biking club or participating in yoga at the park!