It may be difficult to believe, but I bet that you could find a few employers that care more about the environment than the bottom line (maybe not a huge percentage but I would still bet there are some). The more likely case is that green employers try to do everything they can to encourage their employees to go green at the office while still showing a healthy profit at the end of each quarter. Employers who care about the environment can share that passion with their employees by making small changes within the office to create a greener working environment.
Some innovative ways that employers have found to encourage their employees to work greener include:
- Instead of purchasing disposable pens and pencils, purchase a refillable pen and pencil set for each employee with their names clearly stamped on each writing implement. Encourage the use of refillable pens and pencils by only purchasing refills for those items and reward employees with a gift card to their favorite restaurant at the end of the year if they can produce their pen and pencil to prove they worked greener all year long.
- Contract with a recycling company that provides small recycling bins for each desk. Employees fill their recycling bin each week before dumping it into the larger recycling bin to be shredded by the recycling company. It is a great way to save trees and keep documents confidential.
- For employee appreciate days, give employees a reusable water bottle and encourage them to use the water fountains at work rather than purchasing disposable plastic water bottles.
- Reward employees for finding ways to save on toner, paper, office supplies and electricity by having a quarterly contest for the best green idea and implementation.
- Install energy-efficient fluorescent light bulbs and encourage the use of direct sunlight to light offices during the day to save energy.
- Encourage employees to bring their lunch to work in reusable lunch boxes or lunch bags.
- If you serve coffee to clients and/or staff, purchase each employee their own mug with their name printed on it and several mugs with the company logo. Implement a rotation schedule where all employees share equally in washing the coffee mugs at the end of each day to cut down on waste from paper coffee cups. (If you really want to encourage your employees, purchase an energy-efficient dishwasher and install it in the kitchen area at your office.)
- Switch to all-green cleaning products for the office and encourage employees to keep green plants in their office to help improve air quality throughout the office.
Going green in the workplace is not difficult when everyone pulls together for the common good of our planet. Share your ideas for going green at work in our comments section – – we would love to hear how you have encouraged a greener work environment.