To raise employee awareness of opportunities to save energy and contribute to a healthy work environment, form a green team at work. While debate exists about recycling and other aspects of environmentalism, a green team is motivational for employees who want to make a difference in their work environment. Your millennial employees are especially anxious to make a difference in the world environment. A green team at work fits the bill.
The green team may even save energy and time, keep trash out of landfills, opt for reusable dishes, share books in a library, and more for your work environment. A team is a great way to brainstorm and develop ideas.
Like any other team, a green team is an opportunity to involve your employees and to let your employees learn to work together effectively, develop leadership and team skills, and make a difference in a cause that is near and dear to many employees' hearts. A green team sounds like a win for everyone.
20 Ideas to Get Your Green Team Started
Here are 20 ideas to get your green team members started as they brainstorm and implement their own ideas:
- Keep room temperatures set at 68 degrees in the winter and 55 degrees at night.
- Experiment, because employees have to be comfortable, but use air conditioning with discretion during warm weather months.
- Turn off your office lights while you attend meetings during the day and at night and over the weekend.
- Limit the use of space heaters. Ask employees to dress more warmly instead. Space heaters can also become hazardous especially if employees forget to turn them off.
- Recycle cans, bottles, newspapers, and magazines.
- Limit the use of disposable products at company-supplied lunches and events.
- Put your computer and printer on energy-saving settings when you know you'll be away from your desk for a while.
- Purchase energy-efficient appliances for your offices.
- Turn lights off in restrooms, conference rooms, libraries, and so forth when the room is not in use.
- Send extra food from company events and lunches home with employees or deliver the food to a local charity rather than throwing it away.
- Email advisories about how employees can use less paper. Examples include setting printers to duplex by default; print on both sides of paper for internal or personal use documents.
- Purchase large or refillable containers of creamer, sugar, salt, pepper, and butter instead of individual containers.
- Suggest lighting changes and use more energy-efficient bulbs.
- Buy all employees a "green team" sweatshirt that they can leave in their offices or cubicles to wear when feeling cold.
- Evaluate packaging, shipping, and marketing materials to eliminate waste.
- Ask vendors who supply company lunches not to deliver lunches in individual boxes.
- Encourage employee carpools. Provide transit discounts to encourage public transportation use.
- Encourage employees to recycle at home; provide a listing of recycling centers or reuse sites such as Freecycle.com.
- Donate unwanted cell phones to organizations such as Recellular, Inc., that will recycle, refurbish, and promote reuse to provide funding for charitable and environmental causes.
- Buy and sell used two-way radios, parts, and equipment at locations such as UsedRadios.com.
Your green team at work is a win for the employer, the employees, and the world environment that sustains us all. Use these ideas to help your green team get started. Your team is a welcome addition to your empowering, engaging work environment for employees. Don't let an opportunity so simple, yet so demonstrative of corporate social responsibility, pass you by. Form a green team at work.