Thursday, 21 May 2009

Small Potatoes

Have you tried implementing a recycling scheme in your office?

It can be a bit more hard work than you think. Just because the bins are there doesn't mean they're going to be used and just because they've been told to use less paper, doesn't mean that employees won't continue wasting.

After having tried everything else, a carrot and stick approach - if nothing else has worked- is necessary. We have a penalty whereby employees using too many forms pay 10p. Realizing that 10p wasn't enough to deter them, the fine was increased to 40p. Now they're hiding the forms so they don't get fined. But the repressive machine is just round the corner. Asked if they wanted training on how to complete forms without re-writing them, one of them, having previously vigorously protested as to his ability to use a single form, was all of a sudden "perfectly able to use just one form"!

A bit of managerial prodding is all takes. Our office waste has noticeably reduced since implementing the penalties.

With this small victory, I'm still left wonder how much of an environmental impact we've really achieved. With the summer days coming up, the air conditioning machine is on full blast 6 hours a day at 1400 watts an hour and the building's electricity certainly doesn't come from renewables.

I guess what's important is to keep on trying.

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