The signs are loud and clear, our planet is amidst global crisis. Many of us, especially in the corporate world, live in denial. We still have high hopes that our world will reach a more sustainable level of waste before it’s too late.
If you’re reading this and thinking “my cafeteria uses compostable containers for the salad bar,” or “we have recycling bins in the break room,” keep reading. It’s time for an investing lesson.
As a full disclaimer, in no way is this article intended to inflict any guilt on anyone. At a point in time, I was not nearly as green as I am today and I still have a lot of work to do. Being green is a commitment, it requires time, care, and planning. Coming from corporate background, for years I made excuses for the way I lived my life. [I don’t have enough time to bring lunch every day. I don’t want to use the dirty office sponge to clean my cup. Will my efforts even make an impact? I mean, there are 7 billion people out there that are responsible for our planet too…]
No matter how busy your life is, these small changes could make a big impact on the waste you’re producing. And there are other pros along the way!
When it comes to being green, the rule of thumb is to reduce & reuse before you resort to recycling. Here are a few easy ways to reduce & reuse at your office:
Set the Table (aka your desk) – Start by bringing in just your own silverware and a cloth napkin. Even if you’re buying your lunch out, skip the plastic fork. Pros: It feels classier to eat with real silverware and you’re doing yourself a solid by exposing yourself to less harmful chemicals.
Glass Half Full – when it comes to your beverages, invest in getting yourself something you enjoy drinking out of. Your match/coffee/golden latte will taste so much better when it stays hot for longer in a thermal mug like this one I use by HydroFlask. Plus, many stores offer sustainability discounts!
BYO Bowls- If you can’t swing the meal planning and cooking required for bringing in lunch, no need to fear! All you need is a bowl! Most lunch places in NYC will let you use your own container
Print less, for real. his one is stating the obvious but it really is possible to cut down on printing. Try to schedule meetings in conference rooms where you can use a projector to pull up materials instead of handouts. If you’re going through something in detail, perhaps a phone call where you can both look at the material is actually easier than an in person meeting.
Reuse your paper. When you do have to print or if you atttend meetings with lots of handouts, save the paper and use the backs for your to-do lists!