Earth Day had many of us thinking about how we can reduce our waste and carbon footprint, especially at the office. Aside from paper waste from printing, a large amount of waste comes from the office breakroom. In our own homes, we often use dishes and reusable products, but at the office, we tend to consume more single-use items, like disposable coffee cups, plates, plastic utensils, and so on. Below are several ideas on how to make your workplace more eco-friendly and incorporate more eco-friendly office products in day-to-day life.
Consider your coffee and equipment
The first things to consider when becoming more eco-friendly in your office are your coffee machines and other beverage systems. Single serve coffee machines have become incredibly popular in the past few years, and for good reason. They are convenient and offer a wide variety of flavors. However, one important aspect to consider is that they can be a significant contributor to plastic waste due to the disposable pods. Just last year alone, over 56 billion coffee pods ended up in landfills. If your office is currently using a single serve coffee machine, consider using biodegradable or compostable pods, or try changing to a bean-to -cup machine. Bean-to-cup coffee machines embody all the benefits of a single serve pod (convenient, quick, and with tasty multi-drink options) without the extra waste.
“Last year alone, over 56 billion coffee pods ended up in landfills.”
Other ways to reduce your office’s impact on plastic waste:
- Use bottleless water dispensers instead of bottled water
- Personal water bottles
- Reusable cups
- Compostable cups
Use paper straws, cups, and/or reusable mugs
Many offices offer disposable plastic or styrofoam cups for water and coffee, however, these types of cups are no friend to the environment. One way to make your office more eco-friendly is to offer options like biodegradable or compostable cups made from recycled fiber. You could also consider implementing a reusable mug program.
Rethink traditional paper and products
Paper towels and napkins are necessary for any office breakroom, but your office can be more eco-friendly if you switch to products that are made from 100% recycled materials. An average American uses over 3,000 paper towels at work per year, so by switching to recycled alternatives, you can help reduce existing waste and decrease the demand for paper-only products, ensuring that fewer trees will be cut down. These single-use items made from recycled materials are probably the easiest eco-friendly office products to start using right away since they likely won’t change your day-to-day routine.
Alternative utensil options
Did you know that Americans use over 100 million plastic utensils every day? Due to a low recycle rate, a large percentage of these utensils end up in our ocean and threaten wildlife. Reduce plastic utensils in your office breakroom by offering biodegradable or compostable options, providing reusable silverware, or encouraging employees to bring their own. Switching to reusable or plant-based utensils and plates with 100% renewable resources will play a significant role in getting your office to be more eco-friendly. Additionally, you can also replace plastic straws with paper ones to further reduce your office’s carbon footprint and impact on wildlife. To help offices achieve their goal of a lessened environmental impact, Aramark Refreshments makes these eco-friendly office products available to all customers.
There are many opportunities to reduce waste and make your office more eco-friendly. These are just a few simple ideas that will make a big difference!
Our eco-friendly office refreshment packages do all the work for you by providing environmentally-friendly options. If you’re interested in learning more, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us with any additional questions.