Whenever there are people in any location for more than an hour or two, there is going to be trash, food, cars and issues that need to be dealt with. Let's limit this conversation to issues of environmental concern and see what we can do to green up America's workplace. A lot of people work in some kind of office environment, whether it is a small business with 3 or 4 employees, or a large corporate center with thousands of people in a single facility.
Most of us are aware of simple recycling efforts that we can do like recycling cans, bottles and all of those wasted photocopies that were fed into the copier the wrong way, or those monthly reports that no one can decipher. Oh, and those hundreds of coffee cups that we go through every day just trying to stay awake to get the job done. What if most of that stuff wasn't recycled, but composted, and what else could be done to eliminate more waste from the work environment so that we throw out less, and avoid the need for more landfill space down the road.
Let's look to the company kitchen first and see what can be done to eliminate the trash from one of the biggest waste contributors in the office. By making the switch to biodegradable tableware
and disposable plates that are compostable, your office could be composting everything from plates to cutlery, coffee cups, bowls, platters and even a hot cup lid for the coffee. You don't have to have a compost pile in the parking lot, you just need to hook up with a local composter or let a local community garden with a compost pile come and take it away for you so that they can feed their plants with the rich nutrients found in the finished compost.
What kinds of things in the office would belong in a compost pile? You can add coffee grounds, tea leaves, egg shells, fruit and vegetable scraps and even peanut shells to a compost pile, and while some of these items may not go into the waste stream every day in your office, most are pretty common to all work places. Consult with a reliable resource to see what items can and cannot go into a compost pile, and what types of items need to be added together to achieve the right balance between carbon and nitrogen for your finished product.
If you have a large kitchen on the premises that is producing meals for your co-workers, they have the ability to compost all of their fruit and vegetable waste, before cooking, as well as many other common kitchen scraps, which if dumped into a landfill, are believed to contribute about 1/3 of the methane gas output produced by humans on this planet. So with some simple solutions like buying biodegradable tableware and disposable plates that are compostable from a fiber like sugar cane or bamboo, we can eliminate a lot of the standard kitchen trash that an office produces. And by focusing on the overall waste picture of the company kitchen and the rest of the office, we can make some serious strides in reducing the amount of garbage we put into landfills every year, and minimize the methane gas that we put into the environment and reduce our need to build the next landfill, and the next one after that.
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