A few weeks back, Casey, Poppin’s Cheif Culture Officer, decided it was time for everyone in the office to get serious about recycling. And over the last few weeks, all of our habits have improved quite a bit. Here are the easy things we’ve done to make sure we’re recycling whenever possible:
1. Learn A Little.
At our weekly Monday morning meeting, Casey presented a short powerpoint to all of the employees explaining both the importance of recycling and what is recyclable and what is not.
Part of our problem had been that it is too easy to just throw all of our trash into our own individual trash cans at our desks. It’s simple, when you have a garbage can, the instinct is to throw whatever trash you have on your desk into it.
Instead now we have one main receptacle for paper recycling in the main part of our office, and we have our regular trash and glass and aluminum recycling in the kitchen. Turns out, having to get up to throw things out makes everyone much more thoughtful about what of their trash can be recycled.
I know this concept sounds annoying. However, just keeping a little pile of garbage on your desktop and making a few trips a day to the trash is really not a big deal. Not to mention, it’s always good to get up from your desk a few more times a day: take a short walk, stretch your legs, say hello to your pal a few desks away.
3. Remember your trash could be someone else’s treasure!
So what about all of the non-recyclable items that aren’t really trash? In Poppin’s case this includes: sample products, old foam core boards, and unsaleable (but still useable) products. This is where Materials for the Arts comes in…
Materials for the Arts is a 501c3 organization born from the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs. MFTA accepts donations of new or used arts and crafts materials and office and school supplies. They then distribute to individuals from arts and cultural organizations, public schools and various community programs. Twice a week MFTA has allotted times for the aforementioned organization, education and community leaders to explore their enormous selection of donated materials and take with them what they need for their organizations and classrooms.
The best part? Not only does MFTA put supplies in the hands of those who will use and appreciate them, they’ve happily taken our ‘extra stuff’ off of our hands and out of our office space. Simply put, we we’re able to simultaneously give back and recycle things that, let’s face it, we’d normally just toss.
My point with these tips? Implementing an office recycling program is much simpler than it sounds. So build it into your companies identity, incorporate in your Spring Cleaning, just make it happen.