It’s a bandwagon everyone wants to jump on, but when it actually comes to pulling their weight, they’re reluctant to do so. It’s all well and good to say that you want to do your bit to help the environment and that you’re going to make your office a greener place because you care. But unless you can actually make these green measures work and show positive feedback, your efforts don’t count for much. There are many easy and simple ways to go green at the office, but most of them don’t work out in the long or short run because not much thought is given to their implementation. The ideas are good, but without commitment and perseverance, they don’t work. Green measures at the workplace work only when:
- Every single person is committed to the task. Your office may have a plan to recycle, but if your colleague or you don’t bother to sort your trash before you dump it, your green measures are going down the dumpster too. So unless every single person is committed to the task of lowering energy usage and costs, minimizing the usage of paper and ink, and reducing their impact on the environment, you cannot claim that your office has “gone green.”
- The returns can be measured quantitatively. If you have a “minimize paper usage” rule, you must determine your usage every month and confirm that the numbers are lower with the passage of time. Unless you’re able to judge for yourself and see visible signs of a greener office, your green measures are not worth anything. The returns need not be immediate, but they have to start trickling in slowly at first and steadily as time goes by.
- The efforts are continuous and constant. You cannot give up on your green measures just because they’re hard to follow or difficult to implement. You must put in a sustained effort to see them through and encourage your co-workers and subordinates to do all they can to contribute to a cleaner environment. Unless your efforts are continuous and constant, they will not bear fruit.
- People are held accountable for their actions. While this may seem extreme to some people, sometimes, the only way to enforce rules is to hold people accountable for breaking them. So if a colleague is found guilty of not powering down their computer after the day’s work (and has instead left it to hibernate or sleep), he or she could be made to pay a small fine or reprimanded in a suitable way.
When you care about the environment and want to make a difference at your workplace, you must realize that it is a team effort that requires dedication and discipline, just like one of your projects.