One way to make progress in sustainability in your daily office life is to launch a green committee at work. I’ve launched a few green committees in my day and I’d like to share what worked:
- Just do it. You don’t have to be an expert in green to start a committee. A commitment to Earth is the only requirement; start the club today! Put regular meetings on the calendar (weekly, biweekly, monthly, whatever works), and even if it’s just you at those meetings, it provides structured time to focus on researching green opportunities and to plan the next project. This is the most important tip!
- Make the meetings fun! If you need help with this, check out my eco comedy page. Or include pictures of cats. Green people love cats. It’s a genetic truth: the cat-loving gene was found on the same chromosome as the crazy cat person gene.
- Use resources like:
- Chicago Green Office Challenge: a free contest that pits your office in a friendly competition with other offices and provides a checklist of 100 ideas your office can do to reduce its carbon footprint, and
- Patagonia’s The Responsible Company checklist is a set of free downloadable ideas that any company can use to facilitate socially and environmentally conscious progress.
- Chicago Conservation Corps is a great organization that educates & organizes community leaders to give them the tools they need to lead green projects. They also have a facebook page of green events in Chicago where you can find event like beach cleanups in your back yard.
- Secure the Call restores donated used cell phones, matches them with chargers and donates them to senior centers & domestic abuse centers. Rather than let your old cell phones go to a landfill and leech harmful chemicals into earth, they will now help someone who needs it.
- Plan events at the company to garner interest. Events generate interest & attention. Your green events should be marketed beforehand and be educational and fun; then share the good news of the impact afterwards and then invite attendees to your next green meeting. People like to be part of fun groups who plan cool events.
- Share the good news of your efforts. Reference your past successes to preserve & amplify value (& future funding!)
There are countless resources available to help you successfully participate in a solution for our current environmental crisis. The most important action is to just start progress by setting up a regular meeting. The content will evolve and you will learn as you go, but getting momentum takes that critical first step.
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”
– Margaret Mead