Slowly, but surely, we’re making progress on a more sustainable work place!!

Hopefully with the new plates and bowls, we can start to squeeze out the use of styrofoam and plastic products around the office!

Hopefully with the new plates and bowls, we can start to squeeze out the use of styrofoam and plastic products around the office!

Yesterday, my spirits soared when I walked into the kitchen at work and saw stacks of ceramic plates and bowls on the counter. Yes! My boss and I have “discussions” from time to time on the merits of reusable plates, bowls, and cups versus the styrofoam that currently stocks the shelves, and I have requested that we please acquire enough plates and cups to completely eliminate the need for plastics and styrofoam (see my previous blog about recycling in the office). We do have a mish-mash of cups and plates in the cupboards that serve most of our team members’ purposes, which is awesome, and now we have plenty of both to go around now – so nobody has an excuse to use anything else!

It’s the small steps.

On a side note, I had this exact same conversation twice last week with two different team members:

  • Me: Would you mind using a coffee mug from time to time instead of using styrofoam every morning?
  • Offender: We have coffee mugs?
  • Me: Seriously? We have an entire cabinet shelf full of them. Right here. Take your pick. (I open the cabinet doors in the kitchen)
  • Offender: Huh. I never knew we had those.
  • Me: Wait, you’ve worked here a year and a half and never in that time did you open a cabinet door in the kitchen?
  • Offender: No, I guess I didn’t. But I don’t mind using the mugs. Too bad I’ve been using styrofoam all this time. Oh well.
After two people claiming that they had no idea we had real cups and plates in the kitchen cabinet, I  put up this hand-written note in front of the styrofoam cups as a deterrent!

After two people claiming that they had no idea we had real cups and plates in the kitchen cabinet, I put up this hand-written note in front of the styrofoam cups as a deterrent!

In general, I try not to berate people too much, instead encouraging them to choose a more environmentally friendly option, but c’mon. Really? You’ve worked some place for a year and half and didn’t think that the kitchen cabinets might contain, I don’t know, kitchen stuff like mugs?? Both of them said they would use mugs from now on. At that point, I made a hand-written sign and placed it in front of the styrofoam cups for all to see, politely suggesting that they please consider using regular cups instead of styrofoam.

In another small victory, I walked in and saw a coffee mug on another team member’s desk for the first time in his two years of working there (previously, he had lived and died by styrofoam). I immediately noticed it, but wasn’t quite sure when he had made the switch, until he said, “Jenny, did you notice that I’m using a real mug today?” And I said yes, and thank you!!

My boss also bought more cups last week (red, restaurant-style plastic cups which we can fit a lot of in the cabinets), for which I was grateful. Luckily, I am not alone in my quest for a more sustainable office, and we have agents who are just as frustrated by the use of styrofoam. Collectively, we seem to be shifting things. I just hope there’s an advocate in each work place to keep people moving in the right direction!

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Comments
One Response to “Slowly, but surely, we’re making progress on a more sustainable work place!!”
  1. avie designs says:

    keep fighting the good fight! you are nothing if not persistent!

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