Rethinking waste is more than just at home. You can start practicing and implementing “rethink” practices at your place of business as well. No matter where you work, there are likely many opportunities to reduce, reuse, recycle — and rethink.
When it comes to “rethinking” at work, waste prevention is the fundamental first step. A little pre-planning and strategy can save resources and create more efficient, and sustainable workplace procedures. For more information on sustainable businesses, download the Sustainable Business Getting Started Guide.
- Get support and buy-in from management for your waste reduction goals and programs.
- Create a “green team” to help identify waste-reducing opportunities throughout the workplace.
- Set goals and prepare to track progress. Do you want to reduce your paper costs by half? If so, assess what you are already using and figure out a way to track progress.
- Gather data and assess the situation. Is there any “low-hanging” fruit that you can start with? Are there some very simple things you can do right away to reduce waste?
- Announce the plans and educate the rest of the staff. Utilize company newsletters, staff meetings, or other communication means to spread the word.
- Keep everyone informed as you track progress. People become more motivated when they see that they CAN make a difference!
Take the Rethink Pledge at Work
- Pledge to set up a successful workplace recycling program.
- Use “durables before disposables”, especially in the break room.
- Set printing defaults to double-sided. You’ll save nearly half the amount of paper and money too!
- Buy recycled paper, print cartridges and office equipment where available.
- Reuse and refill as much as possible. 1.6 million pounds of single-use pens are tossed each year in the U.S.
- Explore non-toxic cleaning supplies and other products when available.
- “Rethink” work events and parties by eliminating disposables and by recycling as much as possible.
- Consider organizing an annual clean out week. Set aside a room to recycle and reuse as much as possible from the event.
- Offer discounts to customers for bringing their own bags or cups.
- Compost organic waste such as food or yard waste.