You might be more green than the definition of the word at home but does this carry through to when you step into the doors of your office? Not according to Envirowise, British sustainability business experts who says that good domestic environmental practices do not necessarily translate to the workplace.
According to Envirowise research, individuals committed to cutting waste at home are lapsing into bad habits as soon as they get to work. The survey of more than 1,800 UK office workers found that a third took no action whatsoever to reduce the amount of resources they use during the working day – meaning vast amounts of resources and money are being lost without trace.
So what’s the fix? Create sustainability practices in the office.
Entrepreneurs are ideally suited for encouraging sustainability practices in the office. Here are five tips for encouraging employees to think green:
1. Separate Trash in the Office
Encourage your employees not just to recycle but also to compost bits and scraps leftover from lunchtime. Invest in a sealed compost container and encourage staff to take turns taking the compost home to add to their own compost piles. You can also chip in to get a worm composter for your office kitchen.
2. Bike to Work
Did you know that the $700 billion bailout package includes tax credits for bicycle commuters across the nation? What better to way to conserve energy, get your exercise done and get to work all at the same time?
3. Sign Up for a CSA Box
Signing up for a fruit box delivery to the office encourages employees to have healthy snacks and it also keeps them in the CSA mindset.
4. Start a Magazine Exchange
In this era of green thinking, there is still plenty of print material coming in through the door. Encourage staff to bring in magazines that they have read and place them in a common area so that others can pick up, read and benefit too.
5. Share Utility Bills
Envirowise advises bosses and business owners to share bills with their employees so that they area aware how much they are shelling out for gas, electricity, water and recycling to encourage them to reduce the impact of their business.
While all the tips can make a difference, this last one will really encourage employees to think in terms of the company’s interests. Here is what Mary Leonard, the Marketing Director of Envirowise has to say:
“With the credit crunch continuing to bite, cutting costs through better resource efficiency and minimizing waste have never been more important. Those businesses that make positive changes to reduce their environmental impact and reduce costs now will be better equipped to survive and thrive during the current downturn.”
There are many other ways in which businesses can help employees take more ownership of minimizing waste and reducing energy consumption. Envirowise suggests waste-busting initiatives, urging employees to switch off lights and computers at the end of the working day, installing self-closing taps to conserve water and even reducing mains water usage through rainwater harvesting. The company offers a range of free initiatives, toolkits and guides to help businesses improve environmental performance and resource efficiency.