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30 Steps to Another Way Business: Workplace

Step 13: Kitchen

The kitchen is a massive contributor to our carbon footprint; the food we eat, all the waste produced, and the amount of single use plastic packaging are all problems associated with staff kitchens. There are lots of little steps that can be taken in the staff kitchen that will help reduce your business’ carbon footprint. You should get employees to work together and take part in these next few steps to have the greatest impact.

  • Switch to buying loose leaf tea for the office kitchen.
  • If there is a coffee machine in the kitchen, purchase a new machine that uses reusable coffee pods instead of disposable aluminium/plastic ones and provide lose ground coffee. This not only reduces plastic waste but will also be cheaper for you in the future.
  • Encourage employees to bring packed lunches and discourage going out and buying prepacked lunches and snacks – this will greatly reduce plastic consumption in the office. This can be used as criteria for the Green Employee of the Month.
  • Meat, fish and dairy consumption have led to deforestation, high water usage, high individual carbon footprint, water pollution, wildlife loss and inefficiency. Going vegan is one of the single most effective things individuals can do to help our environment, therefore encouraging this within the workplace is such an important step. To effectively encourage employees to consume less meat and dairy, your business should introduce ‘Meat free Monday’s’ or ‘Vegan Weeks’, where all employee lunches have to be vegetarian, or even better vegan. This can be part of the criteria for Green Employee of the Month.
  • We recommend signing up to Veganuary, who for the month of January will send a daily email with 2 new vegan recipes for you to try, and some benefits of eating more plant-based food. Every other month they will send out an email every fortnight with some recipes. We recommend signing up to this and sharing the recipes with employees to try.
  • Source milk from a local supplier/delivery to reduce food miles. It is even better to encourage employees to drink more oat or nut milk, as dairy milk has a higher carbon footprint than other alternatives.
  • Provide food waste bins or start an office compost, ensuring that you stir it regularly.
  • If the workplace or kitchen has a water cooler with plastic cups, the best thing to do is to get rid of it in the most sustainable way you can. If it is necessary to keep the water cooler, switch to biodegradable or paper cups at the very least.