Choose eco-friendly food service items over paper plates and plastic cups
Offices consume disposable plates, cups, and cutlery for meetings and conferences and every day lunch breaks. The average 2,500-person conference will produce waste to the tune of 75,000 disposable cups, 87,500 paper napkins, and 90,000 cans or bottles. In an average year, most office workers throw out 500 disposable cups.
Choosing reusable dishes and flatware can go a long way to cutting overall waste in the office kitchen. For instance, opting to serve food “family style” using large reusable trays and serving bowls rather than one-use, single-serving boxes at the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce for 40 weeks resulted in 600 fewer boxes going to the landfill. One Meeting Strategies Worldwide client saved an estimated $87,000 by choosing water pitchers over bottled water.
To start reducing your office kitchen waste, try these tips:
- Buy reusable food service items;
- Choose dishes and flatware made with recycled content;
- Opt for biodegradable dishes and flatware;
- Supply staff and conference guests with pitchers rather than bottles of water.
- Green Meeting Industry Council - Why We Do It: Good for the Earth
- Clean Air Council - Waste Facts and Figures: Waste Producton
- US Environmental Protection Agency - WasteWise Update April 1998: Minnesota Chamber of Commerce Watches Its Weight at Lunch Page 8
- Meetings Strategies Worldwide - How can I save time and money?