Earth Day: A Green Workplace

Employers, today is Earth Day. It would be hard not to notice. It seems that every media outlet is “going green.” NBC, for example has an entire website on the topic of environmental friendly options. The latest issue of Time magazine cover reads, “How to Win the War on Global Warming.”

While the green movement has certainly taken center stage in the popular press, has your workplace started to change? Are you or your coworkers stuck in a “why bother” mood? I suggest that you read Michael Pollan’s article, which asks the same question, “Why Bother?” Pollan’s article was featured in this past Sunday’s New York Time magazine, which, by the way, was titled, “The Green Issue.” Pollan tries to answer just that question. In the article, he addresses why we should all look for and make small changes, even if the environmental problems facing us and our planet seem so incredibly large. He argues, among other things, that one of the best reasons for each of us to change is that we will influence others to make similar changes which together can truly make a difference.

In honor of Earth Day, I added a small gizmo on my shower which cuts off the water when it gets warm. The device, called Evolve, was needed to combat my family’s habit of starting the shower running and then leaving the bathroom, allowing gallons of water to go wasted down the drain. I know that there are other ways to address the situation, including simply putting our hand under the water, but this approach will prevent me from becoming the shower police.

While this is just the latest effort I have taken at home, I still remain, as I have said before, a “paler shade of green” at work. Earth Day has gotten me thinking as to how to get changes started in the office. While I can replace my Styrofoam cup with a ceramic one, how can I get others to go along? Well according to Pollan, they might just do it because I did it.

That sounds ok but there must be more, right? Another way might be to get co-workers to start brainstorming on ideas to green up our workplace. I am very impressed by the list developed by the Employees of the State of Kentucky with their list of Earth Day Suggestions for Office Workers.

I would appreciate your ideas.