Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Leading by Example: Recycling in the Workplace

It is sometimes uncomfortable to constantly be telling people to recycle their paper, cans, and plastics. You may come across sounding as preachy. There are ways to introduce changes in the workplace without irritating your co-workers. Lead by example. Create a recycle center in your office. Label containers for paper, plastic, and aluminum. Mention to staff members that you put them in a specific location, and ask them if they would mind using them. Then, make sure you use them, especially when your co-workers are in that area. If they see you using them, they will follow your example.

As the cans, and plastic fill up, take them to the recycle center, cash them in for $$. Once you have collected a fair amount of $$, use that money to bring in treats for the staff, mentioning that you bought the treats from the recycle dollars.

This takes very little effort, but has an effect on the environment, as well as promotes a fun work atmosphere.

- Kelsi Brewer, Meeting Planner

Editor's Note: Kelsi's point about "leading by example" can also be extended to events of every kind. While it is great to talk to folks about reducing, reusing, and recycling materials, it can be so much more powerful to simply do those things. When others see that good things come from your actions, they can be inspired to follow suit. The meetings industry generates a lot of waste. Think about all of the handouts, give away items, and other disposable goods (plates, cups, etc.) that you see at a typical event which end up in the trash and consider how we, as planners, can reduce or eliminate the environmental impact of the events we produce. It can be as simple as following someone's example...

- Karl Baur, CMP