Skip to main content

Going Waste-Free at School and the Office

The start of school is around the corner and more and more employees are returning to the office. But will school and the office ever be the same? As employees return to the office, many won’t have designated workspaces. Instead, they will be asked to reserve a workspace on a day-to-day basis. Some employers are asking employees to bring their own keyboard and mouse if they like to use them with their laptops and workers will not have designated desks to leave personal belongings behind. Office perks like coffee bars, free lunches and happy hours may still be on hold and school cafeterias may continue to offer mostly grab and go, pre-packaged items. With all of these changes, employees and students need to plan out their days and remember to bring their own everything.

Following are the most important items to have when returning to school or the office.

  • Backpacks and Laptop Bags: It’s time to invest in a high quality, comfortable, sturdy backpack or workbag since workers and students will be carrying a lot more on a day-to-day basis. Some middle and high schools are planning to not have students use lockers again at the start of the school year. Choose a bag with many compartments to help with organization.
  • Portable Power Banks: These are the must-have accessory for life on the go. Make sure to choose high quality, safe electronics that are RoHS compliant, FCC Certified or UL listed like this powerful 5000 mAh wireless bamboo power bank.
  • Reusable Face Masks: While fully vaccinated people are no longer required to wear masks in many parts of the country, they will still be required in many situations including public transportation, schools and medical offices. Keep a reusable face mask or two in your backpack, purse, briefcase and car so you’ll always have one handy.
  • Hand Sanitizer: We will still see hand sanitizer stations everywhere but how frequently do you reach for hand sanitizer at a store only to find that it’s empty? Attach a refillable, USA made hand sanitizer on a carabiner to your work or school bag so you’ll never be without.
  • Reusable Drinkware: Coffee machines, water refill stations and drinking fountains may remain off limits. Save money and the environment by making your coffee at home and bringing it to work in a reusable, insulated coffee tumbler. To stay hydrated, make sure to always carry a reusable water bottle or two in the event free water is not readily available at school or the office.
  • Reusable Utensil and Straw Sets: Take out and grab and go food may continue to be the norm. When dining on-the-go or ordering takeout, be sure to always have your own reusables. For office workers who may not have a desk to stash supplies, it’s important to invest in reusable, totable reusable utensil and straw sets. This plant fiber cutlery set is perfect for on-the go with a convenient travel case that keeps dirty cutlery contained until it can be washed.
  • Insulated Lunch Bags and Containers: The communal fridge and microwave may be off limits when people return to the office. Invest in an insulated lunch bag to keep food cold or use an insulated food storage container to keep leftovers warm so there’s no need to use a microwave.
  • Foldable Tote Bags: Plastic grocery bags are a huge source of litter on land and in oceans and waterways. Foldaway bags are compact and perfect for stashing in work bags for running errands during the day or stopping at the store on the way home.  

Many employers are facing an uphill battle with employees not wanting to return to the office. Sending them welcome back gifts with any of the above items will help employees get excited about returning to the office, knowing their employer values them. A possible silver lining in the return to the office and a socially-distanced perk? Mandatory lunch breaks. Encourage employees to go outside for fresh air might be more inclined to go outside during their lunch break instead of working through it at their desks. Eco Promotional Products can help with custom kits for back to work and school. Let us know how we can help you. We love special projects!