As you reflect on your resolutions for 2012, consider making a 2012 work greener resolution. Here are a six easy ideas for living green in 2012. Ok. These small things alone are not going to save the world. But collectively, these small steps add up. And they make a statement to your employees that you are walking the green talk!
Is your company walking the talk when it comes to using bottled water? This is an easy place to make a tangible, visible difference. Work with the powers that be to eliminate bottled water at the office, events and meetings. Genentech has reduced its use of bottled water, saving $200,000 annually by using filtered water machines and reusable containers.
One of eBay’s Green Teams was determined to phase bottled water out of the office. It invited employees’ children to participate in a poster contest with the theme “what does water mean to you?” Winning posters were displayed around the office, along with facts and statistics to educate employees on the environmental impact of bottled water production and consumption. The team credits the poster campaign with increasing awareness and support for the project. The City of Mill Valley, my home town, has a good model one-pager on bottled water.
Here is a plug for my friend Michael Davis’ company US Pure Water. They have helped the City of San Francisco install water filtration units to reduce bottled water use and can help you make the switch too. They also provide water filling stations for events.
2. Make it Harder to Throw Things Away
Diverting waste from the landfill is a no non-sense strategy for reducing carbon emissions and reducing waste disposal fees. However, reaching ambitious diversion goals usually means getting smart, busy people to change their behavior and to think twice before they toss something into the trash.
Borrow a great play from eBay and Bloomberg and replace individual trash cans at employee desks with centralized waste stations that make it easier to recycle and compost. eBay increased its diversion rate increased from 73.5 percent in 2008 to 99 percent in 2010 after making it harder to throw things away.