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Sustainability at Work

Providing free tools and expertise to achieve your goals

Phone: 503-823-7037

Email: sustainabilityatwork@portlandoregon.gov

Ace your waste with dry erase

Cut down on paper waste by using dry erase alternatives.

Dry erase name tentsReusable name plates

If you hold a lot of meetings where you use name tents, these are a great way to cut down on one-time-use paper, plus toner and copier wear and tear.

Refillable dry erase marker and refill

Refillable markers

With refillable whiteboard markers, there’s no need to toss the whole marker when the ink runs out.

There are a variety of brands available, and we recommend trying out a few to see which you like best.

Waste-free clean up

Whiteboard eraser and microfiber cloth

Whiteboard erasers work well on newer white boards and last forever.

Tip: Aim to erase white boards shortly after use. The longer the ink stays on the board (especially more than 24 hours), the harder it is to clean off.

Older whiteboards may need more than an eraser to get fully clean; try using microfiber cloths and spray cleaners.

Microfiber cloths can be used many times before washing. To clean, hand wash with dish soap and warm or cold water (not hot water), rinse and let air dry.

Make it easy with a meeting kit

In our office, we set up a kit with dry erase name tents and refillable markers, plus a spray bottle and cloth to clean off past names.

Staff check out the kit for meetings, and there's a bag included for taking it to off-site meetings.

Other dry-erase uses

Sign-in sheets: One local eye clinic created a dry erase sign-in sheet for all their patients. At the end of the day, they scan it for their records and then wipe it clean to be used the next day.

To-do list: Keep track of project timelines and to-do lists with a small whiteboard, where you can easily edit as you move through tasks.

Need a recycling reboot?

New easy-to-read posters will help draw attention to recycling.

Is your workplace recycling getting a little sloppy? Get your coworkers' attention by replacing older posters with our new posters.

Mixed Recycling poster   Garbage poster

Food Only (compost) poster    Glass recycling poster

These color-coded, easy to read posters make it easy for your coworkers and clients to understand what goes where.

Posters are available in two sizes: 8.5x11 and 11x17.

Download posters and print them yourself or let us know how many you need and we'll mail them to you.

Or, create custom posters to fit your needs: Highlight confusing items, emphasize the waste items customers have at your business, or create signs for events.

The best recycling signs are simple

Create custom posters for your workplace.

The best recycling signs are simple: They show only the most common items people recycle at your business, shop or event.

While we recommend our standard posters for offices and restaurant kitchens, our Make Your Own Poster tool is great for creating simplified signs for a variety of purposes:

Grab attention

Having trouble getting your coworkers to pay attention to recycling and composting? Try a little humor. 

The Make Your Own Poster tool allows you to write in text, so have some fun.

Cookie  Monster Compost Poster

Highlight misplaced items 

If you see certain items consistently showing up in the wrong bin, try adding a temporary poster highlighting where they go. 

Coffee shops and cafes

Help customers by showing only the items they'll use at your shop. It’ll make it faster and easier for them to figure out what goes where.

If you'd like to show the exact items you use, like branded coffee cups, contact us, we can help you do that.

Customized garbage poster

Events

Most event waste — such as disposable cups, plates and napkins — isn’t recyclable or compostable

But if you’ll be serving drinks in bottles or cans, you can make signs showing just those items.

Hosting a big event? You can rent free event signs and containers from the City.

Get a gold star from your boss

Get certified by May, and your business's name will be in our full-page WW promotion in June.

WW ad 2016

Get your workplace certified by May, and we’ll print your company’s name in a full-page promotion in Willamette Week.

Your company gets good PR, and you get credit for it. Win win.

What’s it cost?

It’s free!

But it will take some sweat equity — you’ll have to make sure your workplace has its operations in order:

  • Recycling? Check.
  • Water faucet aerators? Check.
  • Computers set to auto-sleep mode? Check.

Get started!

Download the certification application that best fits your organization.

Office application     Restaurant application   

 Retail application     Grocery application

Want some help?

We can check off what’s already done, and help you tackle what’s left. We’re here to answer questions, troubleshoot challenges, and cheer you on until you’ve got it in the bag. Give us a call (503-823-7037) or email.

There are also three levels — certified, silver and gold — so you don’t have to do it all right off the bat.

Trim your waste, no gym required

Three ways to reduce waste in your workplace.

It's the new year, and time to get your workplace in shape! Set some waste-trimming goals for 2017:

1. Cut down on paper towel use

Cut down on paper towels

Many workplace trash cans are filled with paper towels, especially in the restroom and break room. Paper towels can’t be recycled or composted, and even if they could, using less would still be best for the environment and for cost savings.

Replacing paper towels with high-efficiency hand dryers is another great option. Learn why and how to make the switch.

2. Drop those disposables

Ditch disposables

Disposable coffee cups, take-out boxes and plastic cutlery are like junk food — they’re quick and easy, but not great for you (or the environment).

Thankfully, there are a lot of things you can do to avoid disposable items. Use re-usable water bottles and coffee mugs, and take as little to-go packaging as possible when eating out.

At work, you can do even more:

3. Lose the water weight

Bottled water vs tap water

Does your workplace provide bottled water or use a water delivery service? Switch to tap water and you’ll be doing the environment, and your bottom line, a favor.

Don’t like the taste of your tap water? Installing a filter on your tap is a good alternative to having water trucked in.

We’re here to help your workplace keep its New Year’s resolutions!

Contact us to make a plan, troubleshoot challenges or share your success.