When people talk about zero waste at work, I get the impression they’re talking about making zero waste fit around a relatively flexible office job.
I don’t work a traditional office job, so I’m here to totally empathise with those whose work may interfere with their zero waste efforts. I an required to be “on”, present, and supervising children every moment of my day. There’s no time to walk to lunch or drop my trash into a box or… anything that would make zero waste easy.
Still, with a bit of effort, everyone’s workday can get a little more zero waste.
Have a “desk stash”
I don’t have a desk so my stash is in my locker, but the point stands: wherever your little personal spot is, put together a small stash of items that can help you avoid producing waste.
Check out my zero waste essentials kit for inspiration!
Pack your own lunch
If you have time to take a lunch break at your job, avoid the biggest trap of all and pack your lunch daily. Not only does going out to lunch waste tons of money daily, it also has the capacity to produce a ton of waste. Think about even a semi-decent lunch place: you’ll likely get excess napkins, other paper waste, plastic utensils, etc.
If you’re in dire need of homemade lunch inspiration, I highly recommend the YouTube channel Mind Over Munch. She’s got a variety of meal plan videos for all sorts of budgets and diets.
Yes, it’s kind of a pain, but you’ll get used to the routine and feel super virtuous about keeping your lunch routine low waste!
Find a good note-taking app
No matter what you do, chances are you use paper to take notes in some capacity. As an avid note taker and someone who remembers by writing, it’s taken a long time to wean myself away from paper waste.
That being said, I’m pretty close to having done it and I now keep a rolling note about my clients’ day on a simple note app for iPhone.
It took me quite a while to find an app I was totally happy with but I’ve settled on one called Skriva. Don’t be afraid to download a bunch of options and test out what works for you.
Green your commute
For some people it may be impossible, but most people can find a way to green their commute at least a few times a week. I woke 70+ hours per week but I still find ways to reduce my waste on the way to my jobs.
What do I mean by green your commute?
Simply, take a less wasteful form of transportation. Consider taking public transport, carpooling with coworkers, riding a bike, or even walking. Even doing this just a few times a week can make a big impact.
Create a recycling space
The easiest way to get started with this is by creating a dedicated spot for all of your recyclable goods to be housed at work. If you know there’s a place for them, there’s a better chance they won’t end up in the trash. This recycling space does not have to be fancy: mine is just my locker, stuffed full of paper and plastic to take home with me.
Want to level up? Talk to your organization about expanding recycling efforts company-wide! You never know, it’s worth bringing up.
How have you found success in going zero waste at work? Or how have you been not-so-successful? Tell us in the comments and let’s brainstorm as a community!