Staying Sustainable at the Office

1. Green your morning beverage. Zero waste tea and coffee are a snap to make. Choose loose leaf tea over prepackaged varieties, and brew coffee in a french press to avoid using a disposable filter or a Keurig cup. Voila, you've already started your day off on the right foot!

2. Pack your lunch - and your compost. Bringing your lunch to work means you won't have to run out for takeout and you can make sure your containers are all reusable. Additionally, you can save any food scraps from the day - apple cores, orange peels, carrot tops - in your emptied lunch container, to bring them home to compost.

3. Go paperless. There are many tools that can help you ditch pen and paper entirely. Try an application like OneNote to corral all your post-it-note-worthy thoughts and to-do lists. If going paperless isn't an option for you, consider using a refillable fountain pen & writing on scrap paper corralled from abandoned projects near the printer.

4. Be prepared. Envisioning what you may need ahead of time will help you avoid making trash. Stash a few things in your desk to help you get through the day waste-free. A few that I keep around are: cotton bags for unexpected grocery runs, a few snacks purchased in bulk for the inevitable snacking-while-bored, and an extra handkerchief or two.

5. Do your own thing. If your office isn't set up to operate trash-free and sustainably, that's okay! Just make your own choices. I bring a ceramic plate and a small folding metal utensil to shindigs where everyone else uses disposables. You can keep a cloth napkin in your desk to bring to lunch, reach for a piece of fruit instead of the packaged granola bars in the kitchen, or tote a water bottle around in lieu of the plastic cups by the water cooler. You're not weird, I promise :)