The Modern Workplace: Going Green in the Office Canteen

There are not many people working in an office environment who are not aware of the fact that there is a growing need to adopt a greener outlook, not just in our personal life but also when it comes to adopting good eco-friendly practices in the office as well.

Encouraging an eco-friendly attitude

There are plenty of useful tips and advice available from places such as ecosimply that encourage companies to adopt an eco-friendly attitude in the office, and especially in the canteen area where there is so much potential for unnecessary waste.

Creating a green kitchen

You can get a company like to design you an energy efficient and attractive breakout area for staff to use which includes canteen facilities. Once you have settled on the design for the space you want to ensure that everything that is in the kitchen is as green as possible.

Kitchen appliances

There is a substantial difference in the energy ratings of certain kitchen appliances so make sure that your purchasing decision is based on energy efficiency rather than price, as it will cost less to run and maintain in the long run too.

Look for fridges that have a high energy rating and are as efficient as possible and this also applies to other products that you may buy for the kitchen including the kettle, coffee maker and other appliances, all of which can vary in terms of their eco-credentials.

Reinforcing the green message

If you are trying to encourage a green outlook amongst your staff then the best way to reinforce the message is to make sure that you only stock eco-friendly products such as tea or coffee that has credentials such as Rainforest Alliance certification.

Avoid using disposable cups and plates as these are considered wasteful, so ensure that there is a good supply of plates and mugs that can be washed and subsequently re-used.

Reduced packaging

Try to encourage staff who are using the canteen facilities to eat their own food, to use the least amount of packaging possible. Bring lunch to work in re-usable containers helps to cut down on general waste and very often means that the lunch is a healthier choice, as it is more likely to have been personally prepared rather than bought at the nearest sandwich shop.


If it is not practical to have a central paper recycling point, at least make sure that there are designated recycling containers available in areas such as the canteen and breakout room, so that opportunity to be eco-friendly does not involve too much effort, even for those stubborn ones who seem to be reluctant to embrace the culture at first.


Many of us take water for granted as it is so freely available but it is a precious commodity that should be preserved and used sparingly whenever possible. Using re-usable water jugs and keeping a jug of tap water topped up in the fridge will avoid excessive use of the tap to run it until the water becomes cold enough.

So many of these measures are simple but effective ways of making your office and the staff that use it, more eco-friendly.

Kathryn Jackson is a corporate manager of many years. A passionate blogger, she likes to help others by sharing her know-how on the Web.

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