Employee Education Tips
There are many ways to convey waste reduction messages to employees. The examples below describe a range of activities that WasteWise companies have used to begin or expand employee education efforts.
Message From Management
- Develop and institute an environmental policy or mission statement
that can be framed and displayed in a central location, distributed,
or posted on the organization's intranet.
- At a staff meeting, have a senior official speak to employees
about the organization's environmental policies and goals.
- Encourage employees to take a voluntary pledge to reduce waste in the workplace.
New Program Kickoff
- Hold a special kickoff event at which you describe waste reduction
program goals (such as creating a paperless office, increasing
the use of recycled products, or increasing employee participation
in existing waste reduction activities) and how they will be implemented.
- Highlight the benefits of the waste reduction efforts, including
the quantity of waste reduced, reused, and recycled; recycled
products purchased; and cost savings.
- Describe the roles and responsibilities of employees.
- Showcase photos of a waste assessment or facility walk-through.
- Make it fun!
- Incorporate training on waste reduction into existing training
programs, especially new employee orientation.
- Introduce employees to waste prevention by providing examples
and explaining how it differs from and complements recycling efforts.
- Provide data and information on the amount of waste generated
within the organization and explain how this can be reduced.
- Emphasize that employees are on the waste reduction "front line" and that their participation is vital to the success of all organization waste reduction efforts.
- Outline legislative, environmental, and cost savings reasons
for participation in waste reduction activities.
- Supply names and phone numbers of program coordinators and supervisors
so that new employees can obtain more information and get further
involved in waste reduction activities.
- Provide examples of successful waste prevention activities that save the organization money.
- Distribute pens, Frisbees, hats, T-shirts, or reusable mugs
with your organization's name and environmental logo.
- Award bonuses based on savings from waste prevented or revenues
earned from recycling.
- Give stock shares, certificates for free dinners, or cash to
employees who identify practical ways to reduce waste in the workplace.
- Use revenues from recycling collection to fund parties and other
- Donate recycling revenues or money saved from waste prevention
activities to a charitable organization selected by employees.
- Hold a special event, such as a "green day" or "green
fair," to energize employees, promote program successes,
and reward employees for their waste reduction activities throughout
- Give a 5 or 10 cent discount to employees who bring their own mugs to the cafeteria.
- Honor employees with plaques or other awards recognizing efforts
for distinguished environmental efforts, and involve management
in presenting awards.
- Recognize employees' environmental efforts through your organization's
newsletter or in office displays.
- Organize competitions between different divisions or facilities
and present awards to the winners.
- Compete in annual award programs sponsored by local, state, and environmental organizations.