After a busy few months with visiting groups, events and site inspections, I’m back on the blogging scene to campaign for Green Business Tourism! Today I’m taking you behind the scenes at Hello Scotland to see how I keep our office ‘Green’.
At the Hello Scotland office our everyday routine includes three key elements that allow us to keep our office running ‘green’. It’s simple, they are:
Reduce. Reuse. Recycle.
Seems simple enough, but you’d be surprised at how much everyday office material is wasted before people even think of the 3 R’s!
Here’s some examples of what the Hello Team do to reduce, reuse and recycle….
We drink a lot of tea (regular, fruit & green) and before we introduced green policies, we were going through tonnes of tea, because 1 cup = 1 teabag. Start using a teapot, or 1 teabag for 2 cups (and sometimes I push it to 3,much to the disgust to my tea loving colleagues J) and you’ll soon notice a reduction in the amount of tea you’re using – saving you money too!
Other easy ways of reducing wastage are:
- Put on a jumper and not the heating – and when it’s really cold, make sure the heating are on timers
- Place a 500ml bottle in the toilet cistern to reduce water wastage when flushing
- Use energy saving light bulbs
- Promote public transport commuting to your staff
We’ve found something great that has really reduced our wastage, saved us quite a lot of money and is really easy to do! We reuse paper that has only been printed on one side for printing internal documents. You can easily half your paper cost and your paper wastage!
Other easy ways of reusing:
- Reuse shopping bags when you go for your lunch
This is one of the most obvious things you can do, but isn’t always the easiest to implement. To make it straightforward for everyone in our office, I separated the physical locations of the recycling bin, and non-recycling bin, then labelled them both with exactly what is allowed to be disposed of in each one.
When the recycling bin is full, myself or another member of the team, takes a lovely stroll to the councils recycling centre to deposit the recyclable materials. It only takes 5-10 minutes and sometimes it’s a welcome breath of fresh air, to gather your thoughts away from our busy office!
Other easy ways of recycling:
- When yout IT breaks down (computers, printers etc) – don’t just chuck it out. There are plenty of computer geeks that will recycle the computer elements and give them new lease of life.
A Final Great Tip
If you’re thinking, ‘these ideas sound great, but how am I going to get my team onboard and involved?’, then I’ll tell you what worked great when I introduced all of the above to the Hello Scotland team: make it competitive! (be warned: this may not work for all teams, but it did ours!)
So, we started a competition called “The Green Scheme” that involved each member of the team being awarded points for their ‘green’ efforts. Everything from getting the train/bus to work, to recycling paper and reusing shopping bags was recorded. Prizes were rewarded monthly for the efforts achieved (cheap and simple prizes such as eco washing up liquid, but you could get more inventive, if you wanted to?)
This was all just a bit of fun, but with a bit of encouragement and passion I found it the perfect way to engage the team in the important issues of sustainability and the concept of “making a change” starts at home (or office ).
Coming up next on the Green Platform:
World Responsible Tourism Day & the revealing of 'Going Green with Hello' Suppliers