Promote Office Sustainability With Low-Waste Office Parties

Birthdays, holidays, special celebrations: parties can be a staple at the office. They promote workplace camaraderie and help keep morale up. However, they are also usually full of single-use items. Single-use items are generally not recyclable, meaning they just become waste. Luckily, there are some ways the party scene at the office can be more environmentally friendly.

Pot Lucks

Food that has been ordered usually comes in disposable containers, which usually aren’t recyclable. If employees are encouraged to supply the party food in an environmentally friendly way (on their own flatware they can bring home or in a recyclable container), significantly less waste is created. Another fun version of the potluck is a competition! Host a chili, soup, or cookie contest. Employees will bring in their dish in their own container that they will be responsible for.

Office Flatware

The office could buy a set of plates, bowls, cups, and utensils to be reused at every party. Different groups or departments can be assigned clean-up duty, which spreads the extra effort around evenly and fairly. If this isn’t feasible because the office lacks the storage space or a proper sink, recyclable single-use items should be used instead.

Set Green Goals

Make clean-up part of the party so that everyone can see how much waste they’ve created. Set a goal of a maximum amount of trash bags needed to fit all of the party waste, and make sure there’s some reward to the office for meeting the goal. The rewards can be simple things like a dress-down day or a pass to leave 15 minutes early (to be recycled). Employees will work together to ensure that they find green solutions that cater to their office’s specific needs.

Save the Decorations

Decorations for holidays and birthdays can be saved and reused for multiple parties. Seasonal decorations are kept and stored at home, so they should be collected and stored at work, too. Using items until they are genuinely in need of replacement can easily cut down on waste in a big way.

Parties can be an important part of office culture, and they can be had without creating excessive amounts of waste. Clear access to recycling bins and recyclable or reusable materials will ensure that the office party generates as little waste as possible.