As more companies realize the financial benefits to recycling rather than the environmental ones alone, the number of companies with recycling programs continues to climb. Since savings and profits depend largely on the amount you recycle, many offices are trying to find new and effective ways to encourage more employee recycling. Whether you're motivated by environmental concerns, monetary ones, or both, I think we have just the thing.
There's a quote that goes something like, "People never really grow up, they only learn how to behave in public." So armed with the knowledge that your employees are really 8-year-olds in disguise, why not use that to your advantage? Here are some tips for gamifying recycling that are sure to light a fire under them.
Waste Reduction Showdown
One of the best forms of motivation, in games and corporate America, is the idea of beating the other guy. Breaking the office into teams, using existing departments, or even making a deal with a competitor to see who can produce less waste, are all great ways to get people in the winning spirit.
Upcycling is recycling one thing into something better, like turning an old birdcage into a vintage light fixture. Have people put things they're getting rid of into an upcycle section for others to reuse rather buying something new. Have monthly competitions for the most useful, creative, and well-made items from the upcycle section.
Have everyone do their best to use email and other electronic methods to communicate. See who can print the least pages this month. This can be done individually or by department.
Feel free to come up with your own competitive recycling ideas that work for your office. You can even use negative reinforcement by framing x amount of waste as one sad polar bear and putting reminders by recycling bins! The options are endless!