This morning at our weekly update meeting, CEO Sharon asked us all to think about ways we can green our own daily office practices. As a company selling “green” products, it’s important for us to understand our customer’s values of sustainability and practice what we preach. Currently some of the ECOBAGS.COM team does so more than others, but we’re hoping to take steps to help us all lighten our carbon footprint.
Our first experiment in greening our office’s practices involves reducing our use of takeout lunch containers. If you’re a fan of our Un-Green Confessional, you know this is an issue I’ve battled with for quite some time. Rather than banning the containers from the office altogether, Sharon has asked that any containers we bring into the office which are not recyclable be brought to our homes and disposed of. Explaining her reasoning behind this particular experiment, Sharon says, “I want everyone (including me) to think about the packaging aspect of takeout food and to consider how, or if, it affects our purchasing decisions. When do we experience the AHA moment and commit ourselves to sustainability? It may very well be when we feel the true “weight” of our purchasing decisions.”
The reactions from the crowd were mixed but leaning towards the positive.
Ann notes on her way out the door to lunch, “I’ll see how difficult this is and if it will work with my austerity budget. I usually bring my own supplies and make a chef salad here. The Japanese restaurant and local health food store both use containers that are not #1 or #2 recyclable plastic. This is going to be a challenge.”
Andrew took a more lighthearted view: “I like the idea of reducing our usage of takeout containers. Doesn’t work for soup!”
Fraser has no fear – “I did it for 3 summers while I worked at Channel Islands National Park. I’m used to it.”
Susan says “This will not really affect me as I always bring a sandwich in a baggy. But just the fact that the office is thinking about these things will heighten my awareness. I’ll search for reusable alternatives to my plastic baggies.”
Raya was a little more apprehensive: “Making me take my trash home is probably not going to affect where I eat or what I buy. Convenience is key for me and there are times when it just isn’t convenient to bring my lunch or tote my trash home.”
Personally, I think it’s a great idea and a good starting point on our journey toward becoming a Green Office. Takeout food not only weighs on our planet but also on our wallets and waistlines. It’ll force me to think about lunch in advance which, in my case, almost always means healthier and more cost-effective meals.
Check back in the coming weeks to see how the Takeout Food Container Experiment at ECOBAGS.COM HQ unfolds…