How can I help save the planet as a locum?

6 September 2021  •  Locum
How can I help save the planet as a locum?

How can I help save the planet as a locum? This is an important question to ask yourself as a healthcare professional. This is because as a locum, you’ll get the opportunity to travel as you move from role to role.

While many people enjoy having this freedom, it does come with a certain level of responsibility. Your imprint will follow you wherever you go, so you want to ensure that you’re looking after the planet.

Not only do you have to consider how your actions impact the environment on a local level, but you also need to be sustainable in the workplace. This can be difficult as you may use equipment that requires a lot of energy to run.

However, at Globe Locums, we’ve compiled a useful list that provides tips on how to save the planet as a locum. Some of these tips you can apply to both the workplace and in your personal life.


There will obviously be times where you need to use transportation, such as a car, that produces more greenhouse gases. However, where possible, limit travelling in these types of vehicles.

Instead, consider cycling or walking to work. In some cases, the city you're working in may even offer free bikes which you can pick up and drop off at different points across the city. Or you may qualify for a cycling to work scheme.

Additionally, rather than driving, try to use public transport such as trains and buses. Not only will you be helping the local economy, but you will also be reducing your individual carbon footprint.

Reduce food waste

As a locum, it’s all too easy to let food go to waste in your busy schedule. When you buy food at the beginning of the week, think about how much you really need. If you do end up buying more than you need, you may want to consider batch cooking and freezing some meals. This will not only help to reduce food waste, but it will also save you time in the long run. Whether you are sick or have had a long day and don’t want to cook, it's helpful to have meals ready to go.

Use reusable water bottles

When travelling, it can be hard to find tap water. However, many coffee shops will fill your reusable water bottle if you ask. You may also be able to find water taps in train stations, another pro of opting to use public transport. There may be times when the water in a location isn’t drinkable, so if this is the case, use a water bottle filter instead.

Say no to fast fashion

Fast fashion is responsible for 10% of carbon emissions. It's also the second-highest industry when it comes to oil pollution. Good alternatives to fast fashion brands are second-hand marketplaces like Depop, or you could explore your local area for charity shops that offer good quality second-hand clothing. Buying most or all of your clothes second-hand will reduce your waste while also lowering your carbon footprint.

Take reusable bags when shopping

Plastic bags take up a lot of new resources despite their short lifecycle, which usually ends in landfills or in public areas where the local wildlife will be able to get ahold of them. Plastic is incredibly dangerous for wildlife and in some cases, can cause the animal to choke to death. Instances like this can be prevented by more people using reusable bags. Local governments across the globe have started encouraging shoppers to take bags with them by charging to use plastic bags.


Recycling helps to protect the planet in several ways. Firstly, it helps to conserve our oceans and the marine life that calls them home. Sadly, plastic pollution has been a contributing factor in endangering several key species such as sea turtles.

Recycling also helps to reduce energy usage which, in turn, lowers carbon emissions. The more recycled material available for manufacturers to leverage, the more products will be made out of recycled materials instead of using up new resources. Extracting new resources severely damages environments and ecosystems, which can have a negative impact on the earth's ability to sustain itself during times of crisis.

Reduce energy consumption or switch to renewable energies

Thanks to modern technology, we live in a world where renewable energy is starting to be widely adopted by businesses and individuals. If you live in rented accommodation and can’t control where your energy comes from, there are things you can do to naturally reduce your energy consumption. They include taking shorter showers, washing clothes at lower temperatures, and utilising energy-efficient lightbulbs. You can also reduce energy consumption in the workplace by turning lights off when leaving a room, reducing the brightness on your computer and switching off equipment that isn't being used.

Join a library

As a locum, you will likely need books to efficiently carry out your job responsibilities. While books are inherently good for us, they’re not so good for the environment because they’re made with paper. The process of making paper is extremely harmful to the environment because it requires manufacturers to cut down trees. This, in turn, releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Additionally, when paper rots, another greenhouse gas, methane, is emitted into the atmosphere. Borrowing medical books from the library will reduce the demand for new books, which consequently reduces the number of greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere.

Cut down on printing

Locums often have lots of paperwork to process and sometimes, it's crucial to have a printed copy of a document for legal purposes. However, where possible, try to reduce the amount you are printing. If you can, sign documents online using programs like DocuSign. Also, if you’re taking a course to enhance your career, keep all your notes in organised files on your computer. If you absolutely must print lots of documents at any given time, why not ask your workplace to consider enforcing recycled paper?

How can I help save the planet as a Locum?

Globe Locums specialises in placing locum health care professionals in excellent jobs. Click here to find locum roles that offer high pay without sacrificing a healthy work-life balance.

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