Part of ringing in a new year is challenging yourself to be a better person, citizen, and friend. One easy way to do this is making small, actionable improvements to your carbon footprint.
Here are a few simple ways you can do this in your office.
- Get rid of plastic drinking straws - “It’s only one plastic straw,” said 8 billion people. One quick and easy action you can take to reduce your environmental impact is to eliminate plastic straws from your office. You can try going cold turkey, but if you love drinking beverages through straws try stainless steel, reusable straws.
- Stop using plastic utensils - We are all guilty of this. We get them with every takeout order. We all have a drawer full of them in the office. We have an emergency set in our desk for impromptu cake. Getting rid of plastic utensils is easier than you think. Meal delivery apps often give you the option to opt out of plastic utensils. If you call in your order take a moment to ask them not to send more utensils that you won’t use. Try stocking your office with traditional utensils which may cost more at first but will last longer and be more cost effective in the long run. If you really want to throw away your utensils after using them try these biodegradable cornstarch-based utensils
- Join a food co-op - If you’re one of the cool offices that stocks snacks for your staff consider your office joining a local co-op. Locally grown and sustainably sourced food is not only better for the environment but better for your health as well. Most co-ops ask you to volunteer in caring for or harvesting the bounty which can be distributed to staff on a rotating basis. Find a local co-op here
- Use an eco-friendly cleaning service - Most people take their clean office for granted, but when you see how most operate you’ll cringe. Garbage and recycling often get dumped into the same bin, hazardous products are used to give surfaces a shine, and paper towels are wasted by the roll. Employing an eco-friendly cleaning service is a good step toward improving the system. Most green cleaners use all natural cleaning products and offer a guarantee to not only recycle but reduce the waste they produce in the process of cleaning. Find a green office cleaner near you.
- Use glass containers - Staff will bring in their lunch and inevitably a large portion of them bring that lunch in plastic Tupperware. Encourage your staff to exchange their plastic Tupperware for sustainable glass containers. Not only is glass more sustainable and environmentally friendly, but it’s always recyclable (unlike most Tupperware).
- Use stainless steel ice cube trays - I know it sounds crazy but one of the major uses of harmful plastic in America is ice cube trays. Every household and office has them and they constantly break. Consider purchasing stainless steel ice cube trays. Not only will you reduce the use of plastic but you’ll feel pretty awesome pulling that lever to crack the ice.
- Use pencils instead of plastic pens - Plastic pens are another planet killer. I know that sounds dramatic but think of how many plastic pens (many of which don’t work anymore) you have in your office and your home and then multiply that by every single person on the planet. I know, right? Put an end to the cycle of replacing dead, plastic pens with these amazing sustainable pencils. Not only do they reduce plastic consumption but when you’ve used up the pencil you can ACTUALLY PLANT THE STUB AND GROW A PLANT! That’s about as green as it gets.
- Compost - Food waste is a major contributor to landfills globally. Turning that food waste into valuable and sustainable compost is a lot easier than you think. A lot of cities have started composting programs. Also, check with your local municipality to see if they offer a pick-up of food waste. If not you can purchase a composting device and keep it on site and donate that compost to local farms who will usually pick up. We love what CompostNow is doing and the team there is amazing to work with!
- Get off mailing lists - If you receive the mail for your office you know how many solicitations and unwanted catalogs you get in the mail on a weekly basis. Take the very simple steps to get off of those mailing lists. You’ll not only reduce your carbon footprint but also reduce a big pain in your neck.
And of course, switch your plastic pods to our 100% compostable pods for the Keurig machine.
The steps above are only the beginning. Every week you can make a resolution for your office to become greener. These small, simple steps all contribute to a more sustainable planet and will reduce your company’s cost in the long run. Happy New Year!