Recycling plays a key role in mitigating the disastrous effects of global warming—from extreme temperatures to microplastics in people’s bloodstreams. One of the best ways to ensure that you and those around you play your part in protecting the environment is to focus on building recycling habits in the workplace. The more commonplace these behaviors become, the better off everyone will be in the future. Check out these tips on how to encourage recycling at your business to help get things started.
Understand the Impact
Many people have an apathetic attitude toward recycling, and this mindset can stem from either disinterest in the subject or a lack of in-depth knowledge of the situation. To remedy this, you can host environmental workshops so your employees learn the importance of small acts like recycling. It’s worth emphasizing how important of a role they play in the environment and the positive effects that their actions can have.
These workshops should center around the consequences of pollution. From oil in the water to increased greenhouse gas levels, the way these issues impact daily life is significant. But remember: fearmongering isn’t the idea for these workshops. Instead, the idea is to provide your employees with information, then hope it makes for positive habit changes. While you can’t force everyone to develop a passion for preserving the environment, educating them creates the chance for a more authentic movement within your company.
Present the Bigger Picture
It’s a common argument and belief that one’s actions amount to a drop in the ocean, so individual habit changes do effectively nothing to help the planet. This leads to an apathetic mindset concerning environmental issues.
It’s true that one person is just one among billions and that large corporations are the most responsible for harming the environment. This can make battling pollution feel hopeless, especially since it’s impossible to control the actions of every human being. However, it’s important to note the danger of that mindset. If people assume no one else is doing their part and therefore give up, it ensures that nothing is ever done.
Presenting the bigger picture to your workers is essential to demonstrate their efforts are worth it. Local communities can make large impacts with what little they have. Whether it’s picking up garbage on the beach or recycling a water bottle, the smaller acts add up over time and create a culture of environmental care. Showing your employees that their actions are creating a positive impact and reducing the overall waste you produce as a company is a great way to motivate positive change.
There’s nothing wrong with a little competition in the workplace. By involving everyone in either individual or group recycling activities, you can engage them to make it more fun. One way to do this is by measuring the amount each person successfully recycles and tallying it up at the end of the week or month for a prize.
Keep in mind, though, you have to offer prizes that employees actually want. One good prize might be giving the person with the most recycled goods a reserved parking spot for an allotted period. The more convenience it provides your workers, the more likely they are to try to succeed.
Your team can also compete against itself to hit a set recycling goal. If met, you can reward the whole team with gift cards, shortened Fridays, or food.
Avoid Single-Use Items
There are plenty of environmental issues that come with single-use items. Mainly, they are not efficient uses of materials like plastic, as the parts of them that can’t be reused—like bottle caps—land immediately in landfills.
Encouraging your employees to use less single-use plastics is a good strategy to reduce the waste produced by each employee. You can make this easier by limiting the number of single-use items available in the workplace. For example, you could remove plastic cutlery from the premises and provide metal silverware instead. While this does require cleanup, it drastically reduces the amount of waste produced in your business each day.
Offer Recycled Office Supplies
A great way to reduce the need for employees to buy new office equipment is to provide an open space where employees can donate old office supplies. Whether through email or in-person, updating everyone when something has been added to the pile of donated items ensures that people are aware of anything they need. This type of engagement also opens up a great path forward by getting your employees to communicate and engage with each other, all while reducing the overall waste in the office.
Consider bringing in things from home that are about to be thrown out. Things like printers can be given to employees if they have the space for them, offering them the convenience of printing from their own desks. Your employees will appreciate the extra tools, and you prevent waste in the process.
Have Lists of Recyclable Items
Even if your team is on board with making an effort to recycle, knowing what can actually be recycled is complicated! If a person doubts an item’s recyclability, that doubt may lead to them throwing it away to be safe.
To avoid this, consider having a graphic poster above each of your indoor and outdoor recycling bins that lists simple examples of things that can and can’t be recycled. These lists may seem basic, but they are extremely helpful in empowering your employees to recycle correctly, preventing them from contaminating recyclable material with something that is not recyclable.
Knowing how to encourage recycling in your business does not have to be difficult. By educating and incentivizing your employees, they learn the importance of reducing the waste they produce, doing a lot in the long run to help the environment. Regardless of whether your employees do it for themselves, the business, or their loved ones, the higher a priority that recycling becomes, the better it is for everyone.
At Trash Cans Depot, we want to help make this process as easy and convenient as possible for your business. Our high-quality trash and recycling bins provide the perfect means for you and your employees to dispose of waste properly. Check out our products today!