4 Ways to Reduce Waste in Your Workplace
Whether you want to reduce your company's carbon footprint, attract forward-thinking employees or you're taking your first steps toward becoming a zero-waste business, there are simple changes you can make to reduce waste without significantly increasing expenses or damaging your company's reputation. Here are four ways you can cut workplace waste right away:
Ditch Disposable Plates and Cutlery
If your workplace kitchen or cafeteria uses paper and plastic products, you can make a huge dent in the amount of waste your business produces by simply switching to reusable crockery and utensils. Although there's an initial financial outlay, you will save money in the long run by not having to continuously purchase disposables, and employees can wash their own dishes when they are finished eating.
There can be a significant amount of waste produced in an office kitchen, such as coffee grounds, used teabags, unfinished lunches and fruit cores. If your workplace has a garden or other outdoor space, consider purchasing a compost bin that staff can deposit leftovers in. This can then be used as fertilizer for bedding plants around the building, or staff can help themselves to it for their gardens at home. If you have no outdoor space, you could still provide a small compost bin in the kitchen if you have employees who'd appreciate being able to take the office food waste home for their larger composting system.
Install A Water Filter
Does your workplace have vending machines that dispense water in plastic bottles, or do your employees regularly keep a plastic bottle of water at their desk to stay hydrated throughout the day? It's not uncommon for people to have reservations about drinking tap water, but you could slash plastic bottle usage in your workplace by offering free filtered water. Under sink water filters are relatively inexpensive to install and maintain, and if your staff are on board with reducing plastic waste, they may be willing to chip in the cost of a bottle of water to pay for the filter.
Introduce a Shopping Bag Sharing Scheme
Have you ever had to unexpectedly pop out to the store during your break only to realize you don't have a reusable shopping bag with you? This often leads to the purchase of plastic shopping bags that end up being binned or stuffed in a drawer and forgotten about. Eliminate the need for employees to buy plastic bags by providing a bag sharing station near the main exit point. Staff could deposit plastic bags they longer need, or reusable canvas bags could be purchased for employees to share.
These are just a few ideas for reducing workplace waste, but there are many other simple steps you can take. You may find it useful to start an informal waste reduction group that meets every few weeks to brainstorm ideas relevant to your specific business.