Zero Waste Week: 5 easy steps towards creating a zero waste office
We know you hate wasting stuff.
Tea bags. Wrapping paper. The leftovers from a Sunday roast. We know you're reusing it all. So much so, we bet we don't even have to tell you about Zero Waste Week, the grassroots campaign aimed at raising awareness of the environmental impact of waste. Don't even have to mention it really. You're as low waste as it gets at home. But what about in the office?
It might seem a bit unrealistic, but doing business in a more enlightened, sustainable way - all while reducing every day waste - isn’t as hard as you think. And to show you just what we mean, here’s our top tips to working towards a low or zero waste office.
1. Find your Office Superman
Look to your left. Look to your right. Among you, this very second, probably closer than you think, there is the Office Superman. Imagine the kind of person who sends a birthday card to their neighbour’s second cousin (twice removed). The kind of person who actually seems interested when you tell them about last night’s dream. We won’t say they are a hero. That might embarrass someone like them. But that doesn’t mean everyone isn’t already thinking it.
Find your Office Superman, a person who will take control of all your sustainable goals and motivate the rest of your team to follow their lead, and you’ll be moving towards a zero waste office in no time at all.
2. The recycle of life
Look, we loved the 90s. The head-to-toe denim. The crackling whirr of dial-up internet. The way everyone inexplicably said Boo-Yah. It was truly the best of times. But if your office recycling policy consists of one bin for general recycling and one much bigger bin for everything else then it's probably time to leave the 90s behind.
Not only are various recycling waste streams better for the environment, it’s actually cheaper to recycle waste than to send it to landfill, so there’s literally no excuse. Get your hands on separate disposal bins for paper, cardboard, tins, plastic, printer cartridges and electronics ASAP and bring your office into 2018.
3. Let's talk paper.
It’s estimated that a massive 60-80% of all office waste is paper, so there’s so much we can all do to reduce our paper waste, like:
- Set-up all printers to print double-sided.
- Print documents in black and white wherever possible.
- Use FollowMe printing, where the user has to confirm at the printer when they want to print anything.
- Refuse to include the person who prints all their emails in your next coffee run.
- Uninvite said person from the Christmas party via email.
4. Do your research when it comes to office supplies
There is a floating plastic island in the Pacific Ocean that’s three times the size of France. To sum up: a plastic island. Three times bigger. France.
And with this harrowing fact in mind, we all need to be doing a lot more when it comes to using alternatives to plastic, especially in the office. Because an office is full of so much stuff. Pens, markers, containers, paper clips, notebooks, Beth from Accounts, highlighters, tape dispensers - all of it single-use and non recyclable (sorry Beth).
So next time you do a bulk stationery order, commit to green and sustainably produced products like from The Green Office, a great provider of recyclable office stuff.
5. Feed your team sustainably with our help
Completely unsurprising statement of the day: food waste is still a huge problem at all levels of the supply chain across the world. And offices - with in-house canteens and traditional lunch options causing excessive food waste every single day - are some of the biggest offenders.
So feed your team with City Pantry instead. We reduce food waste with individual portions tailored for every member of your team. Ordering in advance means we also help restaurants reduce their waste by allowing them to forecast demand for the day ahead. And the cherry on top, we use plenty of sustainable vendors with reusable packing so you'll be on your way to a low waste office in no time at all.
And whether your team fancies something to throw the diet into disarray, a sweet-tooth-trickling treat, or just something that isn't the same old soggy sandwiches - we bring you food that gets people talking.