Looking To Become Even More Eco-Friendly At Work? Here’s How You Can Kickstart The Transition To A Zero Waste Office
The average office worker generates an astonishing 2 pounds of waste just from paper products each day. While becoming a bit more eco-friendly is certainly attainable and has been done before, going zero waste is another thing entirely, especially in India where the rising population and high amounts of waste (that often end up in landfills) present additional obstacles. Thankfully, there are a few ways that implementing certain techniques in the office can be done effectively and successfully, and can help put your company on the road of becoming entirely zero waste.
Discovering the origin of office waste
Indian landfills contain so much waste that the country will reportedly need a landfill that’s the size of New Delhi by the year 2050, according to a joint report by Assocham and PwC. However, before taking action and actually gearing your office to become a zero waste workplace, it’s important to determine exactly where the waste in your particular office originates from. Whether it be primarily food waste or from paper products, simply having the knowledge will allow you to implement positive changes accordingly as well as see where the main issues are.
Carrying out a DIY audit can be especially beneficial in doing just that, and can be done by creating a tracking and monitoring system for office waste (such as by keeping separate bins for paper, plastic, cans, and other waste). After a set amount of time, analyzing how much waste your office has produced and logging the results will allow for a future reference point to look back on. Getting your employees involved with this process can easily be done by designating a team to lead the project, which is a great way to get everyone informed and open their minds to making a more zero-waste change.
Taking action via sustainable changes
After determining exactly where your office’s waste originates from, you can then determine what sustainable and zero waste techniques would fit your office’s needs best. For example, if your office’s waste stems primarily from paper waste, then implementing a policy on reusing or recycling semi-used paper could easily be put into place. However, bigger issues such as food waste within the office might be a bit daunting when it comes to figuring out the right course of action.
In the United States alone, food waste amounts to a shocking $240 billion in food each year, with much of it heading straight to landfills. For comparison, India wasted over 68 million tons of food back in 2019. On a global scale, however, it’s estimated that 1.3 billion tons of food are wasted each year, highlighting just how major the issue is on a worldwide scale as well. If your office’s primary source of waste is seen via things like takeout containers and leftovers from office functions, implementing zero waste practices can be done by encouraging employees to bring lunches from home in reusable packaging, or even by making the option to compost leftovers available via installing a composting bin. Similarly, encouraging your employees to bring their own reusable coffee cups, or use communal mugs at the office can also help in regards to limiting waste from paper to-go cups.
Converting to a zero waste office can seem like an impossible task, though in reality, there are numerous ways that you can get the ball rolling. By first determining where the waste comes from and then taking action in small yet impactful ways, you can put your workplace on the road to success in becoming zero waste.