5 Things From Your Job Site You Can Recycle
Reuse. Repurpose. Recycle.
Our planet could be spared from untold amounts of pollution if only we took those three words seriously. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Americans generated an estimated 254 million tons of trash less than 3 years ago. From that amount, only 87 million tons, which is less than 35 percent of the total, were actually recycled. https://www.epa.gov/smm/advancing-sustainable-materials-management-facts-and-figures
In the workplace, there is a place for everything, even when it is no longer needed. Thinking with some creativity, and with a true interest in keeping our planet fit enough to live in, we can spare mother Earth from becoming its own, worst enemy. Make your job Earth friendly by recycling these:
All glass jugs
Glass jugs come in every form, from wine bottles to leftover flower arrangement vases. Make a collective effort to gather each and every glass jug, container, or holder that is brought to the work place, and covert each one of them in any of the following:
- “Flower boxes” to decorate the office with fresh plants
- Spare change banks for an end-of-the-year office party fund
- Pen, pencil and scissor holders = add sand, rocks, or other binding powder and stab the sharp objects onto it, while the glass container holds all in one place.
- Ice coolers to keep drinks cool- they also make great ice-cold water coolers if you fill them with ice that will eventually melt.
- Creative fish tanks to keep one beta fish in each
- Snack serving trays for community lunches.
- Water and juice pourers (cleaned out, glass vases are especially beautiful for this)
Wood or plastic crates
These are used in workplaces to transport bottles, cartons of products, and other items that are bought in bulk. Do not get rid of crates. Everyone at the workplace will end up needing one if you make them into one of these:
- Stepping stools- With a solid wood top, any crate can be creatively made into a stepping stool for the “vertically challenged” coworkers that cannot reach certain high areas.
- Foot rests- Crates can be personalized and made into foot rests to keep feet elevated while sitting at work. Everyone likes the feeling of elevated feet.
- Extra storage seats- Crates can also become storage and sitting cubes for the common areas, and you can store things inside the crates as you use them, too. Just make sure that the tops can be lifted.
- Recycling bins- assign a recyclable material to each crate so coworkers can deposit glass, plastic, paper, and other reusable items once they are finished using them.
Take out containers, especially those with lids!
Create a “company china set” using take out and refrigerator containers, such as butter tubs and sour cream tubs, that can be washed and reused. Systematically divide them by
- soup bowls
- salad bows
- dessert plates
- bread baskets
- entrée plates
Assign a place for these items and make a sign asking people to “contribute to the company china set” by washing and leaving their best take out containers (some restaurants are better than others) and placing a label on the container stating the use of the bowl, like the list above shows. Nothing shows esprit the corps more than sharing a common cause.
Decorate the office space with old CDs, DVDs, floppy disks and discarded technology
Rediscover your love of “steampunk” with an office deco that shows your creativity reusing “old school” technology, and your desire to have a clean and better world. CDs and DVDs make awesome wall decorations, especially when you put them together as one big mirror.
If all else fails, put together all of the discarded tech items and see if you can sell them at auction for a company fund. Ask people to bring their items, and find one of many online sites that will take it from you and pay for it, too!
Boxes and paper
The worse culprits of garbage, these can be properly recycled by placing them in a recycling bin to be taken, or re-used for other purposes.
- Boxes can be re-used to re-pack things
- They can also serve as mini garbage cans, carriers, and recycling boxes
- Make a habit of not sending out flyers; that is what emails are for.
- Ask for all workplace catalogs to be sent online and refuse paper copies
- Establish a zero paper policy and give incentives to those who use the least amount of paper products in a specific period of time.
Jessica Kane is a professional blogger who writes for Econoheat., the world’s #1 leading waste oil heaters manufacturer.