When the economy crashed almost two years ago, we as a company did what everyone else did and trimmed the fat, which included our snack budget. In looking at what we spent on snacks, one thing that stood out to me was how much we spent on kitchen paper and plastic products for the convenience of our employees. These buggers are expensive!
It's easy to find ways to go green. (Image courtesy of Atul Tater via Flickr)
Before the budget was cut, we spent more than 3k a year on various and sundry paper cups, bowls, plates and cutlery. I thought to myself, if we purchased a dishwasher and people brought mugs, plates and silverware from home we could not only get our ROI within a year, but we could continue to provide the snacks that the employees were accustomed to having. We would lose a bit of convenience, sure, but we would also reduce the waste that our office generated, significantly.
To me, it was no longer just about saving money, but also about being part of the green revolution at the office! Most of us are conscientious at home but are we as conscientious at the other place we call home for at least 40 hours a week? We’re in Seattle for Pete’s sake, how hard could it be? Well, as it turns out…it’s not that hard. Here are some examples of things that we did to green-ify our office kitchens:
- We brought in compost bins.
- We (of course) already had our recycling in place, but we created a separate bin for those annoying plastic bags we get at the supermarket.
- We use phosphate free dishwashing detergent.
- We use reusable plates, cups, bowls and cutlery.
- We purchase recycled paper towels.
We also founded Ban the Phonebook, an initiative to promote opt-in legislation for the delivery of White Pages phone books. We’re at over 38K supporters, and growing every day! (Find us on Facebook here!)
So far, it seems like everybody here at WhitePages has been on board with this mini green revolution. Sure, I still occasionally have to pick paper towels out of the garbage and put them in our compost bins, but it is great to see how significantly we have reduced our waste. The revolution has to start somewhere, and I’m glad that our office is a part of it!
What does your office do to reduce waste and go green?
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