Zero Waste Isn’t My Job.

I work in an office. I work from 9 am until 5 pm and I sit at a chair and look at a computer for most of the day. I bought myself a bouncy ball that I can use as a chair to feel more active at work. We’re all just doing what we can, right?

My office is made up of 8 people. We have a little kitchen and a conference room where important sports games will play for people to stop in on their way to get water from the little kitchen. On birthdays, the conference room transforms into a little kids birthday party, except its a bunch of adults, there are no presents or hats, and you wouldn’t be able to pick the birthday kid out of the bunch. I guess it’s really only similar in the sense that we use paper table cloths, paper plates, plastic utensils and paper cups. I find it a tad morbid that we celebrate another year older by watching an entire fork’s lifespan flash before our eyes. Seems a little like an “F U” to the fork. But alas, this is what we’ve done since childhood, so it makes sense that we carry the tradition into our places of work.

But not today, trashcan, not today. Today I turn 26 (well according to my office, technically I turn 26 tomorrow). I’ve done some of the math throughout my 26 years and it pretty much looks like this:

26 years of wasteLook at this chart. In all of it’s office glory. So professional, I mean the background is black, it’s serious. Making this silly graphic got me thinking; I have access to every office purchase we have ever made (the government doesn’t throw away anything and we keep track of almost every purchase). So as I close in on my month of zero waste, I have chosen to set my eyes on a new prize: making zero waste my job. I am going to take inventory of our single-use items and see where and when we can cut costs. I will look at our energy bills and see if we would benefit from motion detector light switches or LED light bulbs. In our kitchen I will encourage reusable cutlery and provide a bin for people to dispose of compostable materials. I will make extra trips after work on Friday to a compost drop off center because I want zero waste to be my job. And what better place for me to build my resume, than at my office?

If you’re interested in helping your office lower their carbon footprint then check this site out for a step by step guide for an eco-friendly 9 to 5.

4 Comments on “Zero Waste Isn’t My Job.

  1. Same! I keep a zero waste household as much as possible, but I have a 9-5 desk job! My co-workers and I are all in IT so physical papers are minimal or non-existent. I got my last office to take on composting though, and hope to start emailing for the same here! At the very least I have no trash can at my desk, I bring my compostables home, and I set out our metal forks whenever I see disposable sneak up next to a treat or dish someone has brought in.

    Liked by 2 people

    • That’s fantastic! I took my trash can out of my office too! I was just contemplating getting in touch with our building manager to see if I could provide some wash towels in the bathroom to dry hands. Its an added chore for me but its worth it if it gets just a couple people to question their use of paper towels everyday! Keep up the good work!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. love this, my office is slightly smaller than yours… my boss uses plastic like nothing else matters… heating full blast doors open.. paper goes in the bin.. no recycling. Know matter what I do to try an implement even recycling.. it lasts a day before i turn round and its all just in the bin!!! I wish there where council initiatives for businesses to recycle!

    Liked by 1 person

    • it can be so frustrating!! depending on where you are in the world, some places do have requirements for businesses. The frustrating part for my office is that even if we as an office decide to partake in rigorous recycling, it won’t matter unless our building managers also adhere to that standard. I’ve watched our maintenance team just toss all of our neatly sorted recycling in the garbage bin. I ended up reaching out to them. If everyone in the building demands it, the landlords will have to comply!


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