In the Break Room
Pack a Waste-Free Lunch
Save fuel: pack your lunch. By eliminating the drive to your local eatery, you can help reduce emissions. Pack your food in durable, reusable containers, and use a reusable lunch box and utensils. To save money and reduce waste, consider buying items in larger quantities, avoiding individually packaged items. Pack your lunch with realistic expectations of your hunger to prevent throwing out part of it.
Use Reusable Dishes
Stock your office kitchen or break rooms with reusable glasses, plates, and flatware instead of disposables. Encourage employees to reuse coffee mugs and dishes daily by washing and drying them on a dish rack. To further reduce waste, invite employees to bring their own tableware and napkins to office luncheons and parties.
Try setting up a bin in the break room to collect coffee grounds, vegetable scraps, and fruit scraps. Instead of throwing out those scraps and leftovers with the garbage, recycle them by composting. Recycling food waste and turning it into compost has many environmental benefits such as improving soil health and structure, increasing drought resistance, and reducing the need for supplemental water, fertilizers, and pesticides. For more information, download our Mulching and Composting Guide.
Start the Day with Energy-Efficient Appliances
Set your coffee makers and other small appliances to use their built-in timers. Timers can start and stop coffee brewing at specific times. This helps save energy and keeps your coffee fresh. When replacing break-room appliances, consider using ENERGY STAR certified products that incorporate advanced technologies that use 12–25 percent less energy and 30–45 percent water than standard models. ENERGY STAR commercial products include vending machines, ice machines, water coolers, refrigerators, and water heaters. To ensure you get the best product and environmental savings to suit your needs, look for the ENERGY STAR symbol to compare water and energy usage.
Check for Leaks
Fix any leaks you find in office faucets and toilets. A faucet leaking one drop per second can waste up to 3,000 gallons of water each year. That’s the amount needed to take more than 180 showers! Toilets account for most of the water lost to leaks, and 20 percent of all toilets leak. Use a leak-detection dye tablet to check toilets; otherwise, you could waste about 200 gallons of water per toilet every day—that’s 73,000 gallons of water per year.