Is Green The New Black? Business Recycling & Green Initiatives
Have you noticed that more companies are promoting themselves as being “green?” Although many of us have adopted environmentally friendly practices in our personal lives, this is still a fairly new concept for many organizations. To truly walk the talk, companies need to explore ways to be good corporate citizens, as well as encourage their employees to get involved and participate in their company’s green initiatives. Once established, policies should be shared with employees so that everyone knows what they can do to help. Here are a few ideas.
- Teleworking. Consider letting employees work from home one day a week.
- Lights Off. Ask employees to turn out lights when they leave their office, or common rooms like kitchen or restrooms.
- Power Options. Make sure computers, printers and other office machines are set to power down after use.
- Cell Phone Donation. Encourage employees to donate old cell phones instead of throwing them away. For instance, Verizon has a program called the Hope Line. They refurbish phones, then donate minutes and phones to victims of domestic violence. http://aboutus.vzw.com/communityservice/hopeLine.html
- Paperless Invoicing. Sending and receiving invoices via email may be faster and cheaper than sending paper invoices, saving printing time & cost as well as postage.
- No Plastic Bottles. Encourage employees to bring re-usable water bottles. Install a filter on the office kitchen faucet. Provide paper recyclable cups by the water dispenser. Ask employees to use a nearby water fountain if one is available.
- No More Styrofoam. Ask employees to use glass coffee cups and wash after use.
- Environmental Products. Use earth friendly cleaning products in restrooms and kitchen areas.
- Company Carpooling. Encourage employees to ride together to and from work if convenient.
- Install Bike Racks. Encourage employees to ride their bikes to work if they live nearby.
- Green Causes. Consider making your company’s charity cause or community outreach project one that is kind to the environment. (i.e. local tree re-planting, World Wildlife Fund, clean water initiatives)
- Recycling Stations. Create recycling areas for newspapers, office paper and boxes.
- Green Ideas. Ask employees to submit an idea once a quarter. The best idea wins a nice gift certificate or other goodie!
How does your company stack up? What other ideas or policies are you implementing? I’d love to hear your ideas and feedback!
*Photo is of the famed green curtain dress worn by Scarlet (Vivien Leigh) in Gone With The Wind. (public domain)