Article, Sustainable Business

Going Green in Your Office? Avoid these 5 Common Pitfalls

Apr 20, 2020
Shelby Prins
Contributing Author
Shelby Prins
Contributing Author

As more businesses are embracing sustainability initiatives, offices are finding that it is no easy task going green. Just remove disposable plastic cups and utensils, recycle, and make sure to keep lights off in unused rooms, right? Although it may seem simple, sustainability within the workplace can lead to some baffling issues. 

No, you don’t want guests to gulp water from the sink because they can’t find a cup. And yes, this has happened. Here at Boxed Water we strive to find a better solution and take steps towards saving our planet. So, we’ve compiled some pathways to common pitfalls that offices experience when making the switch. 


Everyone will wash their own mugs and eating utensils.


For workplaces eliminating disposable utensils a key question is, who will do all the dishes? Find a system that works for you and your office. One firm found that placing a bus bin for workers to place used cups in worked out well. Another company engaged with employee interviews and trials of various cup-washing devices. If some employees express hygiene concerns, you can purchase customized mugs for personal use.


Going green only impacts the environment.


When switching to sustainable alternatives, the benefits can go beyond the environment. According to the recent WSJ article, instead of personal trash bins, companies like Google and Etsy have moved to using communal bins. This can create spontaneous social interactions while workers are en route to the trash and can also contribute to cutting down waste. And best of all... employees get a little extra movement incorporated into their day. 


Recycling is good enough.


The common thing that people think about when going green is recycling. Even though it is the clear environmental winner when it is compared to landfilling, what people are forgetting about is the first two words that come before that: reduce and reuse. Encourage and emphasize the importance of reducing single-use and reusing when you can! 


People will make the sustainable choice.


Not all workers are going to make the most sustainable choice of using a reusable water bottle. Especially if it’s a fast-paced environment where people are not prioritizing what they’ll drink out of. So, instead of plastic water bottles, give them a better default. Boxed Water is the perfect alternative that is sustainable and allows employees to reuse the carton all day long. Or serve your visiting clients and guests that are in the office.


Everyone will be onboard and will adapt.


Trying to make so many changes all at once can be overwhelming, so try to do it in a thoughtful way. Give everyone a heads up a couple of months ahead of time on the specific day you plan to phase out disposable goods. This way people can feel prepared and know what to expect. Also, educating employees on the “why” is also important. When people understand the mind-blowing facts of how harmful plastic is on the environment, they are more inclined to get on board. 

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