There’s been a huge push to cut down on single-use plastics for a while now.
The UK is proposing plastic straw and cotton bud bans, to go along with their microbead ban from a few years ago, while some US cities have already put plastic straw bans in place.
While these decisions have been criticised for their ‘peak slactivism’ nature and the actually life-threatening repercussions they could have for disabled people, they’re at least (faltering) moves in the right direction and are encouraging many people to get their shit together when it comes to their single-use plastic waste.
With that in mind, here are some ways to cut out plastics during an office relocation.
Order takeout the right way
If you own a small business and will be conducting the move yourself, along with your helpful staff (who are, we hope, receiving overtime for their efforts), then you’ll likely need to stop and refuel at some point.
While it seems like the easy, affordable option to get a quick takeaway from the local Indian or pizza place, the environment can end up shouldering the true cost of your decision.
Think about it: takeaways come in plastic tubs, plastic bags and accompanied by plastic cutlery. They also necessitate (usually) someone on a bike or in a car bringing the food to you in the first place too.
So, get your staff members to walk down to the restaurant with their Tupperware, bamboo utensils and reusable water bottles and have them serve the food in those instead. It may seem small, but even the most miniscule of steps will get you going in the right direction.
Buy the right removals supplies
Moving offices requires packing and packing very often means endless metres of packing tape, sellotape and polystyrene packing peanuts. All of which is pretty terrible for the environment.
To help keep your move polystyrene and plastic free, look into biodegradable packing peanuts made from wheat starch.
Meanwhile, replace sellotape with eco-friendly, recycled and recyclable packing tape.
You’ll feel a weight off your conscience when you get to your new location and aren’t surrounded by tons of unrecyclable plastic.
Choose reusable packing boxes
Sure, you can collect together a bunch of cardboard boxes for your packing needs, but that can be time-consuming, require space to store them and isn’t really very practical if you’re moving a large office to its new location.
Buying new cardboard boxes isn’t much better—they might be cardboard but you’re still adding to the waste of the move.
Instead, go for a non-single use plastic option, in the form of rentable milk crates that make packing and stacking easier than ever before. They might be made of plastic, but they can also be used for years and years, so they’re actually better in the long run.
Bonus: you don’t need any tape at all, eco-friendly or otherwise, if you choose this packing option.
Find eco-friendly movers
Removals companies are, by nature, not very eco-friendly.
Transportation businesses typically use a lot of plastic (boo) and transport belongings over long distances in gas guzzling vans.
However, buzzmove is one of the few removals companies that is actively working to address the potentially un-eco-friendly nature of long distance removals, through their use of carbon offsetting programme.
If you decide to hire a removals company, then you might as well do it through a socially-conscious middleman. On their website you can view and compare their reputable movers in order to find the best one for your needs and rest easy knowing that they’re on top of the carbon offsetting game.
Invest in eco-friendly office equipment
Finally, don’t let the eco-friendly approach to changing offices start and finish on moving day.
In the run up to your move, start recycling old equipment through eco-friendly local programmes and when you reinvest in new equipment, make sure it’s the most eco-friendly option possible.
Similarly, when everyone’s back and settled, take a leaf out of this small business’ book and offer glass bottled drinks in the office, rather than leaning on plastic-filled vending machines.
Overall, the best thing you could do is continue this plastic-free attitude and approach, reducing the wastage of single-use plastics and upping recycling efforts on a day-to-day basis.
Fingers crossed this has post has given you the inspiration you need to get started.