Waste Free

17 Must-Have Zero Waste Work Items – My Sustainable Office Drawer

I am excited to say that my self-isolation officially ends today which means I am able to go back into the office (did I really just say that!?). So I thought it would be fun to share some of my zero waste work essentials that I like to keep in my drawer.

A few of them are actually in my pop up shop so if you fancy picking up something use the discount BLOG10 for 10% off everything

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  1. Coffee and Tea

I have mentioned on many occasions how much I love coffee and anyone who has a full-time job will appreciate that coffee is an absolute office necessity! The coffee I currently have is the good old Brazilian from Ethical Addictions which you know I adore. Check out my full review here

Although I do love coffee, I can’t have more than a cup or two a day otherwise I start shaking! So I do like to keep a variety of loose teas in my drawer too! My absolute favourite is Peppermint but I also like to keep a couple of fruity teas as well. I actually have a couple of the ones I love in my pop up shop so make sure you check them out

  1. Cafetiere and Reusable Tea Bags  

Obviously, in order to enjoy the aforementioned tea and coffee, I need a few items to prepare my brews. I originally had a cafetiere (crazy middle class I know…) but I smashed it! Since then, as I haven’t got round to ordering a replacement jug I have been using reusable tea bags and I have to say I am super impressed. I have two different options, a tea basket and also some cloth tea bags. I use both and I have to say that they both have benefits and I will keep using both! I know I am a greedy piggy! I like to have a few so that I can save time during the day washing up and use one for tea and one for coffee. 

  1. Compost Tub 

Now if I am being totally honest, I actually just keep an old tupperware box in my drawer which I take home at the end of each week. This is perfect to pop in apple cores, fruit peels, coffee grounds and more during the week. I have to say though, I have my eye on one of these compost caddies which I would love to have because they are so darn cute, as well as being ethically and sustainably made! Will I ever get one? Who knows!

  1. Lunch Box 

I ADORE this lunchbox. Oscar and I actually have matching ones that were given to us for Christmas last year from Santa (AKA Oscar’s Mum). I would just like to add here for any children out there that Santa is totally real and Oscar’s mum doesn’t buy presents for everyone in the world, it was just a strange pandemic year. True story.  

These gorgeous metal lunch boxes, which I constantly get compliments on, are super sturdy, have a seal to keep any liquidy type options in and are a perfect size to have a sandwich and some veggies. Another great option and my backup lunchbox are these ones from Huski Home which are also amazing, and definitely worth a look. They are made of rice husks, which is super innovative, so are using up materials that would otherwise be wasted.

  1. Coffee Cup 

I am not the most organised person in the world so I actually have two different coffee cups I use at work. The first is the Huski Home coffee cup, which is amazing, totally leakproof and twin-walled so I don’t burn my little fingers. I personally love the 500ml option but you can also get 400ml ones too. 

The second cup I like to have is my Sole Cup, which has a loose tea infuser right in it! I am quite a fan of dehydrated citrus fruit in a cup of hot water – which I dehydrate in my spare time… man I need a life! The tea infuser is also great for coffee and tea so when my Huski Home Cup or Reusable Tea Bags are dirty, I love this one too. It really depends on what mood I am in. It is made of glass but it is reinforced so it doesn’t break in my backpack.

  1. Lip Balm 

If you have watched my “Favourite Zero Waste Swaps” Youtube Video you will know about this one already but  I can not live without my Scence lip balm! It takes a bit of working in, but after you get past that initial stiffness it is one of the most moisturising, long-lasting lip balms I have ever used. I kid you not, each lip balm lasts me about 6 months, and I use them a lot. Since using it, I have found that I’ve actually had to use it a whole lot less which is awesome! An added bonus, they come in home compostable packaging and are made of lovely natural ingredients. My favourites are Black Pepper and Peppermint but honestly, I love and repurchase all of the flavours! 

  1. Deodorant 

While we are talking about Scence and my “Favourite Zero Waste Swaps”, another item I have of theirs is their deodorant. Now,  I will say that it isn’t cheap, but it lasts me about 4-5 times as long as any other natural deodorant I have ever used and it is perfect for this slightly stinky girl! My favourite is the rose scent but I also really like the berry one too! 

  1. Pens and Pencils 

I work in an office so obviously I need pens and pencils. While they do have them in the office I work in, I do like to take my own. It’s not even for sustainability reasons, I am just a bit weird. My favourite pens are from A Good Company (BBLOTTIE for 15% off),  and I love them because they are made of wheatgrass and you can buy recyclable refills for them! I personally love to have newspaper pencils so I also keep some of these too.

  1. Notebook

Elephant dung is where it is at when it comes to notebooks. Yep, you read that right, elephant dung can actually be made into paper which is really cool! And, no, it doesn’t smell! I have one of these absolutely adorable elephant notebooks for all my work thoughts (totally professional!) and then I also keep a stone notebook (BBLOTTIE for 15% off) where I keep my blog ideas that inevitably come into my head at the wrong moment! I love eco notebooks so I highly recommend you check these out.

  1. Phone and Case 

I was fortunate enough to work with Reboxed a while ago and I purchased my refurbished phone there and I couldn’t be happier with it. I always keep it in my work drawer as I like to listen to audiobooks as I work. It also has a plant-based and compostable phone case from there too because I like to make sure my tech can last as long as possible by keeping it safe! If you need a phone case, Reboxed are great and you can get a discount with the code LOTTIE10 for 10% off a phone case of your own. 

  1. Sanitary Products

I guess this will only apply to about half of the population but even if you don’t have periods, you should still have tampons and pads in my opinion. Oscar always did and it is one of my favourite things about him. Nothing worse than a leak and if someone can swoop in and save the day then they are my hero! I personally keep a menstrual cup, reusable pads (LITTLEBYLOTTIE21 for 15% off) and also some organic cotton sanitary products too, just in case a colleague needs them.

  1. Reading Materials 

So I talk a lot, but when I am not chatting during my lunch breaks or on the bus I like to make sure I always have a book with me. I keep a book in my drawer, which I will crack out most days and I keep my second-hand kindle in my backpack! I love to use the Borrowbox app on my Kindle to borrow ebooks but you can also pick them up from ebooks.com if you would like to keep them. 

  1. Snacks 


I would be lying if I told you I didn’t have an abundance of snacks in my drawer. Everything from fruit, dried fruit and chocolatey snacks that I pick up from my wonderful local refill store. If you want to know more about refill stores check out this guest post

  1. Scrap Paper 

Unfortunately, the nature of my job means that people in the office have to print quite a lot. But what is great is that we have a system where we stack any scrap paper we have to use later. This means any rough notes I need to write go straight onto that, giving the paper a second life before it goes in the shredder. I kid you not, the stack of scrap paper was probably about a metre tall when I started working there!

  1. Headphones 

I have already mentioned I like to listen to audiobooks when I work and that means I have to have a pretty nice pair of headphones. Sometimes, there are Zoom (shiver) meetings going on in the office and I like to block out the noise so I can concentrate. That’s why I picked up some Marley Headphones. They aren’t officially noise cancelling but I can’t hear anything when I have them in! They are also an environmentally focused brand and have incredibly high sound quality. I have to say I am very impressed!

  1. Coasters

So given the number of hot drinks I have in a day (and occasionally more than one at once!) I actually have a stack of coasters made from recycled newspaper in my desk drawer. I love them as they are super sustainable – using up old materials – they are super pretty and keep my desk mess-free! 

  1. Hankies and Tissues 

I personally love to use a hankie as they are super easy to throw into the wash when I am done with them but I know this isn’t for everyone. I also like to keep a box of tissues for other people and the ones I get are from Cheeky Panda. They are a much more sustainable option as they use bamboo which has a much lower carbon footprint. 

I hope you enjoyed today’s post! I am super interested to hear what your zero waste work essentials are so let me know down in the comments. 

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