In today’s society disposable options bombard us daily. Paper, plastic, Styrofoam… most of it designed to be thrown away after a single use. In my office we have a single-serve coffee maker, Styrofoam cups, paper plates, plastic cutlery, and an endless supply of plastic water bottles.
These things probably cost the firm a small fortune every year for the convenience of the staff and our clients. I am grateful to have them. Heaven knows I take advantage of them more than I should.
However, I am also grateful for the tiny kitchen area, full-sized fridge, microwave and toaster oven. For the assortment of real bowls, mugs, and silverware accumulated by employees over the years and stashed in the cabinet. And for the installed filtered-water tap in the sink (not that regular tap water is bad).
Most days of the week I make it a point to use “real dishes” rather than the more convenient disposable kind. If I did choose real over disposable every work day, I’d save 260 plastic water bottles, Styrofoam cups, plastic forks and paper plates per year. That’s 11 cases of water, 1/4 of a giant box of cups, 5 boxes of forks and 3 packages of plates — just for little ol’ me! One day, one choice at a time I can make a difference by choosing reusable.
Sometimes it feels like we’re too insignificant to make a difference. But tiny individual choices add up, yours and mine. Let’s be intentional about them.
What options are available to you for reducing waste?