Companies and large businesses often generate a lot of waste. If you want to make a significant positive impact on the planet, you’re going to need to take some steps to make recycling a part of your company. Even if you believe in recycling and living a green lifestyle, your employees may not feel the same way. By incorporating these values into your culture, you’re more likely to get them on board.
1. Don’t Give Them Garbage
Don’t give your employees things that need to be thrown away. Don’t provide paper, foam, or single use plastic goods in the break room. Keep reusable containers that can be refilled with donuts and pastries for catered breakfast meetings, eliminating waste from fast food. Provide them with reusable, washable plates. If you purchase them from a discount store, you’ll recoup back the money by saving on disposables in virtually no time.
2. Gamify Eco Friendly Deeds
Gamify all eco friendly deeds – whether it’s exemplary recycling or remembering to turn off all the lights. At the end of the month, choose an eco-friendly superstar to be awarded with a special perk like an environmentally conscious gift basket or a modest gift card to an eco-friendly store. People love winning even more than they love the environment.
3. Incorporate Eco Philosophies into Your Perks
If you have an employee wellness program, shift its aims to be ecofriendly. Offer memberships to gyms with green philosophies. Host cooking classes that use locally sourced, fresh ingredients. Hold walk-a-thons. Offer guided meditation sessions. Make mindfulness, gratitude, and love for the planet a part of what makes your workplace great. Everyone will begin to embrace a philosophy that involves eliminating waste and making better choices.
4. Empower Employees Who Recycle
Your upper level staff is busy running your business. Let your employees become recycling ambassadors. It’s likely that you already have employees that recycle at home. All you need to do is give them the floor to explain recycling to your other employees. If they spot something in the trash that doesn’t belong there, they’ll know what to do with it. These employees can gently hold others accountable through education.
5. Make it Easy Enough to Feel Natural
If your employees are in a hurry and they feel as though they need to go out of their way to recycle, they’ll be less likely to follow through. Make sure there are more recycling bins than garbage bins. Clearly label them. Make the trash harder to get to. Employees will be more inclined to recycle because it’s easier to do so, and the constant reminders will inspire them to stick to good habits.
6. Keep It All Digital
If there are less things to be thrown away or recycled, there’s less to worry about. If you go the route of making the majority of your paperwork and important documents digital, there’s a much smaller chance that paper will be thrown away. Keep a recycling bag next to your paper shredder for documents that have been made secure and digital that no longer need to be kept in paper form. Going paperless saves you money and saves the environment.
7. Bring Recycling into Your Celebrations
Celebrating at work is important – especially when your employees have risen to tremendously stressful tasks and knocked them out of the park. Make eco-friendly success a part of your celebrations. Weigh the recycling before it’s picked up. Keep a count of how much you have recycled. Set a goal, and if that goal is met, celebrate its success. Since everyone has to work together to make that goal, you’re keeping your employees unified in their recycling efforts.
Your employees are unlikely to become prolific recyclers overnight, but with slow and steady changes, you’ll see them start to achieve more. Be patient, keep educating your employees, and reward them for their participation. Over time, eco-friendly choices will become second nature.