The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reports that Americans only recycle around 35 percent of our waste every day; a very real way we each can raise that rate is by recycling in our work environments. If your workplace doesn’t recycle, you can help put a recycling system in place by using these 5 ways to help your office recycle.

  • Set up a Green Team. Depending on the size of your office, the Green Team can consist of as few as two or three people with a common goal to get the office recycling. First order of business, figure out what can be recycled in your office. Materials like paper, file folders, shipping supplies, cardboard, electronics and ink cartridges are all recyclable.
  • Encourage competition. Set up recycling goals for different departments within your workplace, give out gift cards or other awards for people who are recycling. Tie the encouragement to education to let your coworkers know why they are recycling and how it’s helping the environment and your company’s bottom line.
  • Purchase recycled. Buy more office products that are made with recycled content. The EPA estimates in a year an office worker in the U.S. uses up to 10,000 sheets of paper. If your office makes sure that paper is made with recycled content, that’s a step in the right direction.
  • Make convenient recycling stations. Set up recycling bins beside garbage cans, next to the copy machine and in the lunch room. Placing your recycling bins anywhere that will make it more convenient to recycle will ensure recycling success. If your offices are large enough (or filled with eco-friendly people), set up a recycling station with clearly labeled recycling bins to take paper, plastic, glass, electronic and so on.
  • Communication matters. Make sure everyone is in the loop about how, what and where to recycle. Make sure everyone in the building knows all the details about your recycling program.

The key is to make recycling a company-wide habit, make it part of your company’s culture, so eventually it’s a thing that people do without thinking a lot about it.