How to Be More Sustainable When Going Back to Work

Being more sustainable at work may seem like an intimidating habit to adopt, but carrying and cleaning reusables can actually be an easy, enjoyable experience. The key is carrying functionally designed reusable gear that is compact, portable, and easy to use and clean.

Having a proactive mindset is key to being greener at the office. Because recycling is proving to be an ineffective solution to mitigating packaging pollution, utilizing reusables while on the go feels better to use and feels great knowing you’re doing a good thing for the planet.

The basic staple reusable items that I consistently carry to be more sustainable when eating lunch at work are a travel cutlery set, reusable containers, and washable cloth napkins. These three items alone will make your lunch greener than ever. With that in mind, let’s take a more in depth look at how to best utilize them to have a waste free meals during the workweek.

3 Ways to Be More Environmentally Friendly While Eating At Work

1. Using Travel Cutlery Sets

2. Reusable Containers

3. Bring Your Own Napkin

Using Travel Cutlery Sets

Some estimates state that the amount of individual plastic utensils wasted every year is 40 billion in the United States alone. Even if you choose to recycle them when you are finished, the majority will end up in a landfill or worse, the ocean.

Using travel cutlery is a crucial step to eating in an environmentally friendly way. At the office, food trucks, or grabbing lunch with colleagues, it seems like there are plastic utensils everywhere you look. In comparison to flimsy and wasteful plastic utensils (not to mention that crusty bamboo fork in your backpack), metal cutlery sets just flat out feel better, cleaner, and easier to eat with. Ever tried cutting cheese with a plastic knife? No thanks. Be ready to just say know, confident you’ve got your cutlery set by your side.

So, having a reusable cutlery set is a crucial step to eating at work. Most will forgo that trip to the office or Chipotle restroom to rinse-off their utensils and throw them dirty into their bag. That’s why we included a designed portable dishwasher included in every Cliffset.

Reusable Containers

Utilizing reusable containers may seem like an obvious choice if you’re bringing food from home, however, they can be of use in several occasions. If you’re like many Americans, you find yourself at a hot food bar during the lunch rush. And instead of using a plastic clamshell or plastic-lined cardboard box, bringing your own container from home is the better choice.

There’s nothing better than bringing your own leftovers, but also having a compact on hand to pack up restaurant leftovers is a pro move. It’s fine if you don’t have time to cook at home everyday, but making sure that you have a reusable container will always save at least one piece of trash from ending up in the landfill or environment.

In addition to a food container, using a reusable water bottle is a crucial piece of equipment for any sustainably-focused eater. Having a few pieces of reusable, portable food wares will help save an incredible amount of unnecessary trash from ending up in a landfill. Ask your barista if they’ll fill your reusable mug, some are still requiring disposable cups because of COVID. Sometimes life gets busy, so non-lined, paper or fiber packaging is the next best thing when ordering take out.

Be sure to identify restaurants that use such packaging while also communicating that you’ve brought your own and would prefer to skip the disposable plastics. But remember: using or bringing your reusable containers is the best solution to pollution and usually makes for a better eating experience at the end of the day.

Bring Your Own Napkin

Bringing your own napkin makes for a more sustainable and pleasant experience when eating away from home. Skip the paper napkin dispenser. The production of one ton of paper towels requires 17 trees to be cut down and uses 20,000 gallons of water.

Utilizing reusable cloths is a great alternative. That’s why we designed colorful and compact cotton cloths. Every Cliffset cloth pack comes with 9 washable, reusable cloths that are made of 100% cotton. This means that you can throw them in your backpack, and then right in the laundry. They’re perfectly portable: small enough to get a couple uses without overloading your laundry.

If you're not concerned with aesthetics, don’t buy reusable napkins, or just want to start with for cleaning rags, cut up some old t-shirts as a way to skip the paper.


Being Sustainable at Work is Possible

Put a sticky note on your front door that says “DON’T FORGET YOUR REUSABLES” until you get in the habit of grabbing them before your commute. Whether you use a portable cutlery set, food and drink container, a washable napkin, or any other piece of green equipment, being more sustainable and carrying is a habit worth adopting. It will improve the quality of your life while conserving the earths resources and environments. 

If you already have portable reusables that you love to consistently use, no need to buy new ones. Though, habits stem from enjoyable experiences so don't try to convince yourself you love that using crusty bamboo fork, leaky tupperware, or those gross and cumbersome rags. Find reusables that you love so that you'll reuse them over and over again for a long time! 

Our aim is inspire easy, clean, and pleasant eating experience while avoiding pollutive disposables. The path to a living a zero-waste lifestyle is never perfect, especially during the work week. But taking active steps to do your best is crucial to saving money, time, and the environment.

@cliffset Check out my favorite everyday reusables. #sustainableliving #reuse #plasticfree #everydaycarry #foodie #picnic @Stojo ♬ original sound - cliffset