Spending 8-9-10 hours a day in the office, I generally eat breakfast, lunch, and an afternoon snack away from home. Some of my coworkers get by with bringing a sack lunch everyday in neat storage containers, but I am not that organized - and neither is my stomach. I have a spare drawer that serves as my mini kitchen cupboard. Here's what I keep in there that makes it easy being green at work, as illustrated in my cubicle:
1. Reusable mug/cup. These plastic cups are everywhere, and if you're prone to spilling or have a lot of very important papers on your desk, they're pretty ideal. Mine is courtesy of my very generous boss, and the whimsical frog mug was made in Thailand. Whimsy is very important in a cubicle.
2. Tea strainer. I drink about eight cups of tea at work everyday. Even reusing a teabag three times still equals a lot of extra packaging every week, so I started keeping looseleaf tea at my desk.
3. Bowl/plate. These were actually hand-me-downs from my dad's office! Easier for heating up leftovers, or eating a serving out of a larger container (versus just eating out of the full yogurt container. It's the little things that let you know you're officially out of college).
4. Forkspoonknife. Also courtesy of my awesome boss, this is the coolest utensil ever. The knife has been tested on and conquered a block of mozzarella cheese, and the fork and spoon get the job done (the tines make stabbing a salad a bit tricky, but doable). Here's one place to buy the Light My Fire Spork.
5. Travel chopsticks, courtesy boyfriend from a summer trip to Taiwan. I've learned from him that chopsticks can be used to eat anything, including ice cream and the aforementioned salad.
6. Sponge and dish towel. I'm embarrassed to say how long it took me to realize that I was using a lot of paper towels to do my dishes at work. I used one of those little clippy things to hang up the towel on my cubicle wall.
7. Not pictured: snacks, typically including oatmeal or granola, dried fruit, nuts, and definitely dark chocolate.
Don't work in an office setting? Consider some of the above items as potential gifts the next time a loved one's birthday rolls around. It's a great way to encourage green living steps in a positive light (hello, you just gave them a present! Maybe wrapped like this?)
Next step: I've been hunting down plate sets and utensils at thrift stores to build up a supply for the break room. I'm hoping to sway my office into ditching the disposables for meetings and events. Wish me luck!
Shared over at Your Green Resource and Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways