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Topic: Has anyone's workplace gone plastic-bottle free?

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Subject: Has anyone's workplace gone plastic-bottle free?
Date Posted: 2/2/2009 7:47 PM ET
Member Since: 5/13/2008
Posts: 497
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I can't believe the number of plastic bottles that get used at my workplace. And usually thrown away. I've talked with a few people and gotten some interest and some eye rolling. I think I need to come up with a plan and then present it. Has anyone gone through this at their workplace? Any tips you can share?
Date Posted: 2/2/2009 11:22 PM ET
Member Since: 6/8/2005
Posts: 708
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Hmm...maybe having a break-room stash of reusable bottles/cups would be a good start?  Anything that makes it easier for people will help get them on board.

We don't have anything like this going on at my work, but we are stopping bottled water sales as of March 1 (bookstore that also sells drinks/snacks).

Date Posted: 2/3/2009 12:25 PM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2005
Posts: 2,372
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I *wish*.  Not even banning bottles people bring in themselves, but the person who orders for lunches & stuff "doesn't like tap water" (ours is fine--I've lived where it is horrible, it's fine here) so she orders flats and flats of plastic bottles.

The water in the bottles usually tastes worse than the stuff from the water fountain. She gets the cheap stuff that tastes like plastic. Ick!

Date Posted: 2/4/2009 9:17 AM ET
Member Since: 3/10/2006
Posts: 2,819
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I would go nuts working for a non-green company.  Here we have a water filter through the kitchen faucet, and people are to use the ceramic mugs here or bring in their own drinking cups.   We also compost and recycle all accepted materials. 

If you're thinking more green, it's very likely some of your co-workers are as well.  Ask your boss if you can form an informal "green team" and invite others to meet over lunch sometime.  Then come up with some plans that will not only be more green but save the co. $$ as well - that's usually what they can get behind more than anything else!

Date Posted: 2/5/2009 4:45 PM ET
Member Since: 5/13/2008
Posts: 497
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We do have a water cooler, and people who work here use that. Mostly, the water bottles are handed out to visitors. We have a lot of visitors.

I don't understand the people who work here who use paper cups. How hard is it to get a water bottle?

I like the green team idea, I think I'll float that out there.


Date Posted: 2/5/2009 5:23 PM ET
Member Since: 10/14/2005
Posts: 1,228
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I got bottle/can bins and put all over the office building.  I still find bottes/cans in the trash and trash in the recycling bins.  ~sigh~

Subject: Green Workplace
Date Posted: 3/4/2009 5:02 PM ET
Member Since: 6/15/2007
Posts: 1
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We have all reverse osmosis water coolers and everyone has a Tupperware tumbler or insulated coffee mug that they use. there is no styrofoam cups in the breakrooms all resuable coffee mugs and in the cafateria there are no take out containers either you eat there or bring in a Tupperware container to take it back to your office or desk. We do have a "Green Team" and the company is planning on all kinds of new "Green Initiatives" Paper recycling bins, battery recycling, electronics, cell phones, etc. are already in place.

Thanks for all the great ideas for recycling at home... all good stuff!




Subject: green workplace
Date Posted: 3/22/2009 6:06 PM ET
Member Since: 3/10/2009
Posts: 33
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As we attempt to go green in our line of work - we are also trying to green our office further.

Our office has always recycled paper. We just found a recycling company that will take our plastics and metals as well as the paper - which is great - it's halved our kitchen trash during the week. We have a watercooler instead of individual waterbottles and we all use mugs or glasses. Our office supplies ceramic/glass bowls/plates and silverwear for eating lunch and a place to wash dishes when done.

Date Posted: 4/22/2009 9:41 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2007
Posts: 1,051
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I haven't seen any plastic water bottles around work break room. I've seen a lot of SIGG bottles, reusuable nagalene bottles...plus work provides washable cups.

Date Posted: 4/23/2009 12:53 PM ET
Member Since: 3/22/2009
Posts: 104
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We have a water cooler/heater and coffee maker right next to a cabinet full of reusable glasses and mugs, so most people use those for beverages.

And it probably helps that there's no drink machine and the nearby convenience store is expensive. When the reusable is easier and cheaper than the disposable, fewer people bother with disposable. :-)

Date Posted: 5/7/2009 12:27 PM ET
Member Since: 10/2/2005
Posts: 4,648
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I wish the pharmacy I worked for was green.  I used to bring my own reusable water container, then they said...no personal items allowed, now we have to use throw away cups or buy bottles of water.  When they print out the papers for your medications...side effects, interactions and all that...for 1 drug...8 freaking pages...8 pages, never less than 3 pages.  I wonder how many trees we kill in any given day!

Date Posted: 5/7/2009 2:49 PM ET
Member Since: 3/22/2009
Posts: 104
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I used to bring my own reusable water container, then they said...no personal items allowed, now we have to use throw away cups or buy bottles of water.

Have you brought this to their attention? How do they justify this? I can understand their not wanting you to clutter space, but a single reusable water bottle? How is that different from bringing your own lunch in a lunch box, or do they try to prevent that too? I question this policy.



Last Edited on: 5/7/09 2:50 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 5/12/2009 3:17 PM ET
Member Since: 5/11/2009
Posts: 53
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I tried starting a recycling thing at my work for plastic bottles. The only bad part was that the only place I could really find to take them was a long ways away and I would have barely gotten anything for it. Not that I was trying to get rich but it wouldn't even have covered my gas to the place. So I sadly ended up stopping that and only do cans now.

Date Posted: 5/19/2009 6:37 PM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,603
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We don't have a ban on plastic, but we do have a recycling program and several of us volunteer to bring the recycling bins of plastic and aluminum cans and paper down to be emptied every few days into the larger bin on the loading dock. We are phasing out disposable plastic utensils and the styrofoam plates and cups that we used to have available in our break room, so now we have to bring our own reusable stuff, which a lot of us did anyway. I can't stand drinking from a styrofoam cup so have always had my own ceramic mug. I think they are doing that more as a cost-saving measure though, than a 'green' thing.