Are you looking to make a Plastic Free impact outside your household? You can influence others’ behavior in many places, including your workplace, your place of worship, and the organization you volunteer for. Here are some ways you can create change in these shared spaces:

Start a coffee cup library. If you have staff members who make regular runs for coffee, start a library of reusable coffee cups that staff can take each time they hit the coffee shop.

Have a lunch area packed with plastic plates, cups and utensils? Ask people in your office to bring their own plate and silverware for a week. Point out the collective impact your office can make by choosing reusable over disposable. Set up a small area with soap, a sponge and a drying rack for people to use during the week trial. If people are hesitant to try this, remind them it’s just for a week.

If you can’t get everyone to make the switch to reusable water bottles, create a designated recycling spot. Read how the nonprofit Food For Others created a recycling area in their office. Having a central location for plastic recycling will encourage people not to toss plastics in the trash. You can jazz up your recycling space with eye-catching informational graphics.

Have a snack or candy bowl? Consider buying snacks in bulk and having a scoop to portion out servings.

Use pitchers of water and reusable cups, plates and silverware at the next office meal or party. If the supplies are already available, most people will agree reusable is the environmental and budget-friendly option. If your office is not stocked with reusables, find supplies to donate at a yard sale or Goodwill.

The best way to promote a Plastic Free shared space is to encourage your friends and coworkers to avoid single-use plastics. Offering tips for going Plastic Free will help others see how easy it is to make the switch.

Looking for more ideas to implement in your office? Check out these sites:

Trash Is for Tossers

Plastic Free Friday at the Office

Practically Plastic Free

—Jackie Verrecchia, Faith Alliance for Climate Solutions