bringing recycling to your workplace

Because we all love it so much, our workplaces are where we spend basically the second largest chunk of our time. And Lord knows, we can go through some paper and plastic during our days at work.

So, you might be wondering, how do you bring recycling and conservation to work? Start small.

At my former workplace, I started by hoarding my waste paper and soft drink cans in a desk drawer during the week, then bringing them home to put in our curbside bin. It worked for awhile, and then I acquired a business curbside bin from the recycling company for our office. Over the years, I always assumed the responsibility for getting the recyclables from inside the office to the bin, and the bin to the curb.

Do you have a lot of scrap paper that's still usable? Three-hole punch the sheets and stick them in a spare binder to create a salvaged notebook!

In my current workplace, I've gone back to keeping a small recycling bin under my desk, and take turns bringing home the larger bin in our department's copy room. And of course, I regularly have more recyclables than actual trash. (My trash basically consists of a green tea bag every morning.) I love that I'm not the only one collecting paper, water bottles and cardboard boxes!

But after working on the beginner level, I'm already dreaming up ways to go bigger. My company is pretty large, and recycling on a larger scale would really make an impact. Small bins throughout offices, larger bins for each department and weekly's what a girl dreams of! (Or, okay, just the weird compulsive litter-picker upper writing this.)

The key to getting your company on board with recycling is to do your research, figure out who to talk to and create a plan. Start with yourself, make recycling a habit and become the spokesperson, if you will.

Find out who does your trash collection and find out if they also do recycling. A good strategy in creating your recycling plan is to figure out the feasibility of adding recycling collection to the existing trash collection - what are the costs? Can you score recycling bins for your office at a good price? Are you willing to educate everyone on what's recyclable and what's not? What about confidential documents - should they just be trashed, or do you have a shredder? Draft your plan (then read over it and edit! Writer tips. You're welcome.)

Once you have your plan, figure out who to talk to within your company that can make a decision. Meet with them and show them your plan and make your case. Because recycling is a good idea for all companies, you should get a Yes!

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