Saving the Planet, one Brotdose at a time

We Germans are known for our love of renewable energy, energy saving lamps, and recycling. I am allowed to say that, as I am one of “them” :) Our office in Berlin had another idea to reduce waste: Lunch boxes (“Brotdose” being one possible translation of that).

Most of us like to leave the office for lunch break. Once in a while we also pick up food from nearby stores, to eat it in our kitchen in the office. That means you will get a doggy bag to transport your food, mostly a box box made of styrofoam, or plastic. “ewwwww”

To fix this, we are trying something simple. We bought glass boxes with a lid, and labeled them with the Meltwater logo. When somebody goes out to pick up lunch, they take one of these lunch boxes. Instead of receiving their takeaway lunch in wasteful packagings, they hand the lunchbox to the cashier and ask them to place the food in there. Once done eating, instead of throwing their styrofoam packaging away to live on earth forever, they put the box in the dishwasher, so that somebody can reuse the box the next day.

The “lunch boxes MVP” consists of 10 boxes. So far adoption rate looks good :) Should the experiment succeed, we will buy more boxes, to save even more waste.

One positive side-effect is that other companies in our area are starting to notice our boxes, and our company logo as well. It also leads to good conversations with the store owners. There were even sights of possible copy-cats, which is great!

Our Sales colleagues wrote a more detailed account about this experiment in German, which you can read at Nachhaltigkeit im Arbeitsalltag – Meltwater Lunchboxen.

Let us know what you think of the idea, and what other things you are doing in your company to save the planet.