Waste Reduction at Work: Forming A Green Team

Last week, we celebrated Earth Day by having a table at Evergreen Hospital’s 6th Annual Earth Day Event:

Who made this event possible? Evergreen Hospital’s Green Team plans, organizes, and implements this well-attended event every year.

A Green Team is a group of passionate employees that promotes sustainability practices in their workplace.

Does your workplace have a Green Team? Would you like to have a Green Team by the time the next Earth Day comes around?

Here are a few tips to starting a successful Green Team at your workplace:

1. Get buy-in for the Green Team and its initiatives from the top management level.

Connect how the Green Team’s goals support your business’s mission. Let managers know that the Green Team can even help the business save money by implementing initiatives/projects about waste reduction, energy/water conservation, and commute options.

2. Diversify your membership.

Recruit members from various departments/divisions who have diverse perspectives and skillsets to implement the team’s initiatives. Project managers, janitors, interns, receptionists, marketing coordinators, graphic designers, and accountants have different skills that would be valuable in a Green Team.

3. Create a mission statement and goals for the team.

What do you want to achieve as a team? Write down those goals and make sure everyone in the team knows those goals and are supportive of putting effort in making them happen.

4. Start small.

Projects that are easy to implement and don’t cost a lot of time/money will allow you to build momentum to progress to bigger projects in the future. How about making sure that your business has a recycling cart/dumpster? How about asking your IT department to set each printer in the office to print double-sided by default? How about e-mailing all employees a “green tip” once a month? Easy enough to do, right?

5. Meet regularly and have an agenda.

Once a month on a certain day of a week should be enough to ensure that your team doesn’t fizzle or employees don’t get burned out.

6. Have fun!

If being part of a team isn’t fun, who would want to be in it?

Margaret Mead once said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”

Good luck forming your Green Team!