Zero-Waste/minimalist tips for the workplace

Work is a fact of life. Working brings in the money that we need to survive, pay rent, buy food, etc. No matter what sort of job you have, there are ways to bring your zero-waste/minimalist aspirations into play.

Here are some tips:

  1. Bring your own lunch– this is an easy one if you work in an office-ish environment, or even if you are on the road most of the time. Bringing your own lunch is both wallet-friendly and eco-friendly. I take my lunches in a cloth bag, reusable glass containers, and a metal lunchbot container (I also bring my own silverware).
  2. Ditch the tissues- Bring a few hankies instead, you can keep a small zipper bag in your purse/desk to hold the used ones and then just wash them with your weekly load of towels.
  3. Check out these tips for eco-friendly shipping, they are great if you are in the position of buying things online.
  4. Let go of the sticky notes– they clutter up computer edges and desk space, it is less wasteful to use the note/sticky note program on your computer which puts your notes right on your desktop.
  5. Pens/Pencils– for the minimalist in you, do not hoard writing utensils. I finally went through all of my drawers and found over 100 writing utensils….you only need a handful at most, preferably reusable ones (mechanical pencils/ refillable pens).
  6. Carpool if you can- if you have a co-worker that lives near you, ask if they want to carpool, take turns with whose car you drive, that way you save half the money on gas.
  7. Minimize your printing/copies- instead of paper files, try to go paperless if it is possible.
  8. Take the initiative– does your workplace have recycling bins? How about a paperless filing system? Etc. If your workplace doesn’t have these things, try to see if they would get one. If you speak up, you can make a change.

Always remember….one drop of water raises the ocean.

Maybe they don’t seem like big, profound moves, but each choice you make has an impact 🙂

What other tips would you add to the list?


2 thoughts on “Zero-Waste/minimalist tips for the workplace

  1. At meetings and events organizers have been asking us to bring our own water bottles and coffee mugs, which is awesome when your colleagues or employers support this! Not everyone follows it, of course, but at least the encouragement and awareness is there.


  2. When I used to work in an office I will admit I took the old newspapers to shred to make bedding for my caged animals and I took the empty copy paper boxes to reuse for fabric storage. We had a kitchenette so there was reusable utensils, cups and plates so bringing lunch from home was easy. I usually packed home my compostables. The only naughty things were disposable paper towels and disposable kleenex. I used both at work which is a luxury/waste I do not use in my real life. : ) Looking back I should have brought hankies like i use normally! I am grateful I do not have that job any longer as my commute was between 2 and 3 hours a day! YIKES!


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