How is MnCCC Being More Eco-Conscious?

Hand holding small globe with mountains in background

MnCCC has seen a lot of changes this past year. From staffing changes to holding a virtual conference, things are looking quite different than usual. One thing we are particularly proud of is our move toward being more eco-conscious and utilizing more sustainability practices. While it hasn't always been an easy adjustment, the changes we've made (and will continue to make) are ones that will benefit our organization and the planet for years to come. On this Earth Day 2020, we are celebrating by sharing some of these changes with you! And if you're looking for ideas to make changes in your life, take a look at this blog of 100 Easy Ways to Be More Eco-Friendly.


1. Reusable Dishware

Colorful dishes and silverware

One of the easiest ways to reduce waste is to stop using single-use dishware. In fact, almost 50% of all plastic production each year is comprised of single-use plastics! (Don't believe us? Check it out here). By having reusable dishes, including water bottles and coffee mugs, we are not only saving money but reducing waste from items like plastic and styrofoam, which are often unrecyclable and pile up quickly in our office! It's a win-win. 

2. E-Filing

Batch books with paper

Since MnCCC has been in business for just over 40 years, I'm sure you can imagine just how many paper files we've got sitting around. Instead of filing everything physically, we are working hard to create a digital filing system that will not only save paper but have a tracking system to help manage contracts. Utilizing a digital system will not only save time and money but unbelievable amounts of paper!

3. Reducing Food Waste

Garbage and scraps in junkyard

If you're familiar with MnCCC, you know how much we LOVE food. We take it very seriously around the office, especially when we've got meetings to plan for. Sometimes that can mean we've got food leftover, and that can be an issue when it comes to waste. We're working hard to order just the right amount of food for meetings so that everyone gets their fair share and we aren't left throwing anything out.

4. Sustainable Coffee

Happy coffee

Did you know that one extremely problematic item in the world of sustainability is coffee? It's true! Between unfair wages, unfair trade, unsustainable farming techniques, and other ethical and ecological issues, coffee is at risk of being a major downfall for consumers, and it often goes unnoticed. The easiest way to be sure we're buying and drinking coffee that was made sustainably is by checking the labels for things like "Rainforest Alliance Certified" and "Fair Trade USA Certified" among others, which you can learn more about here. If you're ever unsure or the labeling isn't clear, it's okay to reach out to the seller or brand to double-check (we've done it).

5. Meeting Virtually

Person accessing content on laptop

New opportunities to meet virtually are popping up every day and there are countless platforms you can use. While we almost always offer a virtual option for the meetings we hold, we're finding that more meetings can be held solely on a digital platform. We're even holding a virtual conference! And although the reasons we've moved so many things to virtual meetings are not all positive, the impact it's having on the environment certainly is.

6. Staying Educated

Blackboard with light bulb and chalk

The best thing we've been doing to make sure we continue to minimize our footprint is to simply stay informed. There are countless opportunities to learn more about how to reduce waste and make better, more sustainable choices. Doing research on different types of waste, how/what to recycle, and saving energy are all great things to kickstart and maintain a sustainable office. We're aware that this isn't a very large list, but it IS growing and we are so excited to continue implementing more eco-conscious practices in our daily office lives! 


Resources and Helpful Links

100 Easy Ways to Be More Eco-Friendly

Plastic Oceans

Roadrunner Smarter Recycling

10 Ways to Reduce Waste in the Workplace

Sustainability in Coffee: What are the Main Issues?

World Cup: A Guide to Eco-Friendly Coffee Labels

Rainforest Alliance

7 Ways to Make Your Next Event More Eco-Friendly


All photos courtesy of Pexels and associated producers.