Green Living
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Wasteful co workers

I work in a very wasteful enviroment. I am the only one that recycles and I can't even recycle as much as I want. We have compliamentary bottled water and I try to bring filtered water from home but sometimes I forget. I have a box next to my desk for paper and empty bottled waters. Everyone walks by my office and I let them know they are welcomed to throw it in there but no one does. They all throw them out in their own personal garbage can. I get them out when I can.

Everyone also over prints. Instead of making a hand written change on an order they will print a 5 page report over and over.

 I work in catering which is very wasteful in tons of areas. Sometimes I think I may need to get out of here just because all the waste drives me crazy.

Re: Wasteful co workers

  • I think at work you have to make whatever changes you can and just understand that other people might not want to follow suite.  Waste is a MAJOR part of my business as I'm in the mortgage biz (the paperwork and all the reprinting is such a waste), and though things are moving towards paperless, it's still terrible.  Fortunately the company that shreds our documents does recycle, but that doesn't take care of all the other waste.  I also have a recycle bin at my desk, and there is one co-worker who will give me stuff, and I'm grateful for that one person.  You know the old saying, you can lead a horse to water...
  • Is there anyone else interested in joining you? At our office building we have a "Green Brigade" that holds lunch seminars on green issues, talks about ways to make the building greener, and even has awards for catching people being green.
  • I think at work you have to make whatever changes you can and just understand that other people might not want to follow suite

    I totally agree with this.  If people aren't green already, preaching to them isn't going to help them.  They need to make the decision on their own.  Do what you can, when you can.

    BabyFruit Ticker
  • I agree with the others that you can't force peoplet o change. However, if you make it really easy for them to change....

    I'm a high school teacher. One of our new staff saw how much paper was being thrown away.

    He organised big recycling bins to be placed by the photocopier and in a main corridor. Then he organised for everyone to have their own bin for paper only. So all people had to do was put paper in the bin and then send a kid with it over to the big bin whenever it got full.

    Super easy and very successful. A local company empties the big bins once a week. 

    Elizabeth 3yrs old Jane 1yr old
  • Making employees happy is an important part of retention though, and your company should want to work with you on this. It also helps save them money, and in the long run can help them appeal to green consumers.

    I don't know what the corporate environment is like, but would it be possible for you to arrange for more convenient recycling bins? I think in a better location it might work out so people use them more.

  • I'm confused. Your office does not have any recycling bins anywhere--but you have taken it upon yourself to put one in your cube/office..and you take the recycling home with you?  

    I worked at a place where we had recycling, but it was only paper and we had to separate only plastic bottles because of the location. Literally less than 1/2 a mile down the road, it was a different city: they took ALL recyclables.

      Have you asked your boss why recycling isn't going on? There may be a logical logistical answer to the question.  

    You are right, I have heard that catering companies can be notoriously wasteful, but "Green teams" are growing in popularity, and there are many things catering companies CAN do that are simple...would your company be open to creating some green teams that could come up with ideas? Right off the bat, I can think that--if you were to save coffee grounds from events, places like Zoos and Botanical gardens will take them and put them in their compost piles (I know this is true b/c I have worked at both and I know they got coffee grounds from catering and hotel companies),  Another thing you could consider is--people are so into local/organic produce right now..yes, you might raise some prices...but it might separate you from the crowd (a good marketing tool)...

    at our Zoo, for many of our events, we used compostable dinnerware and plasticware..when you buy it in bulk it does undercut the price increase.

    These  are just some suggestions! We did SOO many others where I worked...I could go on and on. 

  • Maybe create a proposal of easy, inexpensive things the company can do to make itself more green?  I know our admins keep a list of caterers that are considered "green" and most won't order from anyone else unless they absolutely have to.

    So it can be a competitive advantage if you aren't the last one to do it.


    My office is even piloting composting and recycling more then just paper and cardboard. 

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