Six real-life tips to kickstart a Green Team at work

14 06 2008

A www.greenprinteronline.com dispatch

For all those days when you believe your green values aren’t aligned with your workplace but you can’t – or don’t want to – make the eco-entrepreneur step, here are some immediate action steps to try out at the office this Monday.

Remember: while many green teams start from humble beginnings, they can grow exponentially – pent up passion for green amongst employees can be powerful driving force.

For instance, one eco-savvy video games President started with an email blast to employees and 30 people (out of 90 staff) showed up for the first meeting.

Some useful tips to kickstart – and motivate – your office sustainability team:

1. Just get started no matter what! Find one passionate person to start the group and use money from savings to get the group going and moving forward.

2. Don’t turn people off by being a preacher. Instead support people for what they are doing. Find common ground. Keep it light, fun and inspiring

3. Once you start more ideas will follow. It’s always about learning.

4. Focus on the low hanging fruit first. Look at energy consumption and purchasing. For instance, it’s easy to switch over to a green office supplies company. Get your hands on easy to understand paper purchasing guides (“what does “tree free” paper look like anyway? Can I trust the FSC certification?”) from pros such as Monadnock. If it’s not easy, then it’s not fun and it’s not sustainable. Start with the easy stuff.

5. Concentrate on employee engagement activities that will promote behaviour change – things people can easily do at work at home or commuting like:

  • cheeky reminders to turn out the lights as well as turn computer and/or monitors off when not in use;
  • consider eco-friendly waterless printing;
  • have numbers or contact people to who employees can report leaking taps and toilets immediately;
  • reduce disposable food choices from coffee cups to take out green purchasing;
  • recycled paper products;
  • emphasize the four key areas to promote behaviour change including energy efficiency, transportation options, water reduction, recycling;
  • show stats and tangible, monetary energy savings like Seventh Generation did in their cold-water promotion;
  • post cool links like this one by Greenupgrader or PlantABillion.org Billion Tree Campaign from Nature Conservancy in an internal Green Team forum or list-serve to remind people what this effort is all for when motivation wanes;
  • consider new kinds of cool products on the market, like this award winning paper by Neenha, which uses green energy and manufactures many brands carrying the Green-E, Green Seal and Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification;
  • show how good of a job you are doing to your employees visually – companies like Visible Strategies can help and;
  • why not have your business donate money to bring green textbooks to local elementary and high schools? It’s a unique way to show your commitment to going green in your community and to motivate employees.

6. Last, but not least, reward good behavior with prizes, special events or speaker series and games.

Above all, keep your expectations in check. Green teams should prepare for the ebb and flow of interest. So, keep up the friendly competition and bring outside people or groups of interest in to help keep up the motivation.

Save trees, time and money the eco-friendly way with our recycled paper, sustainable printing methods and eco-calculator with Green Printer – more details at www.greenprinteronline.com. Now, wasn’t that easy?


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4 responses to “Six real-life tips to kickstart a Green Team at work”

18 02 2009
Green Printer Blog » Mighty Pixel Productions: Start Small – Ten Ways To a Greener Company (10:02:40) :

[…] 6. EMPLOYEES Everyone really should have a solid business plan, Add new guidelines to that business plan on what your companies green practices are and enforce it with your employees. Why not add a simple and easy way to encourage your staff to participate in your practices with a simple prize or recognition (“recycler of the month”) for the most green friendly employee. […]

18 02 2009
Mighty Pixel Productions on ‘Ten Ways To a Greener Company’ : Save a Tree - Print Green - Green Options (10:22:12) :

[…] 6. EMPLOYEES Everyone really should have a solid business plan, Add new guidelines to that business plan on what your companies green practices are and enforce it with your employees. Why not add a simple and easy way to encourage your staff to participate in your practices with a simple prize or recognition (“recycler of the month”) for the most green friendly employee. […]

18 03 2009
Green Printer Blog » Junxion Strategy: Eleven tips to effectively market green (11:23:02) :

[…] Involve employees in identifying ways to reduce your product’s environmental footprint to tell your green […]

18 03 2009
Junxion Strategy: Green marketing grows up : Ecopreneurist (14:44:07) :

[…] Involve employees in identifying ways to reduce your product’s environmental footprint to tell your green […]

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