In our previous blog, we shared our plan to be a carbon-neutral and more environmentally aware business.
We have now taken the first steps towards reducing plastic in the office, which we thought we would share with you.
We decided to look at our use of plastic cups. As we mentioned in the last blog, like many firms, we are guilty of having a water cooler with a holder on the side for single-use plastic cups which get used and then thrown away.
“How bad is that?”, we were thinking. If we ditch plastic cups, are we “just” helping to reduce plastic pollution, or is there also a carbon footprint effect? A bit of research shows that one 500mm plastic water bottle has a total carbon footprint equal to 82.8 grams (3 ounces) of carbon dioxide (source “Sciencing” website). They think that the energy used in the production and use of plastic bottles is equivalent to filling each bottle a quarter full with oil.
That’s a sobering thought.
So, what have we done to reduce plastic in the office?
All plastic cups for the water cooler have been removed from our office. We have invested in some elegant glasses for clients and visitors who would like some refreshment from our water cooler in reception. Cost: very little initial outlay (twelve glasses from Marks and Spencer online!) and in the longer run, using glasses will be cheaper than plastic cups.
We have also thought about what we can do with respect to water bottles. So, we’ve invested in some water bottles for clients of and visitors to our firm.
Admittedly, these are branded (we are after all in business). From a business angle, it’s an advertising spend and one well worth making. Now, no one brings any plastic water bottles to work – we use our own and of course everyone who uses one of our bottles is reducing their own carbon footprint and plastic waste.
We have many of these in reception which are free for clients and visitors to our office – please do come and get one.
In a later blog, we will share with you the green welcome packs which we are giving to all new clients joining our practice.