I Got Green: One CafeMom "Greens Up" the Office

water bottle

For the past week, CafeMoms have been sharing their green efforts in 2008 and green aspirations for 2009. There are so many small, easy, and cheap ways to go green.

Today I talk with CafeMom lmaywild1, who started a recycling program in her workplace. These days her desk, the office recycling center, is even a "point of interest" on the New Employee Tour.

Let's find out how she made recycling the norm at the office.


Cafe Sheri: You recently got your office to start recycling. How did you sell your co-workers on the idea of recycling? 

lmaywild1: My office drinks a lot of bottled water, so I started with that. I put out a small trash can for them, then the soda cans, and finally the cardboard. I put signs up in the break room, and it slowly took off.

I don't use paper cups or plates or plastic silverware. I purchased kitchen towels, and the number of paper towels used is dropping slowly. So they are slowly picking these habits up as well. Several thermal coffee cups are making appearances. I also have a community canvas bag that is available for people to take to the store. 

Cafe Sheri: Do you know if your recycling message has spread beyond the workplace?

lmaywild1: Yes, it is making a difference. People are getting into the habit now. Several are starting recycling programs at home. They accuse me of invading their little heads, so I know I'm making a difference. It wasn't that difficult. Sometimes I bust people not recycling—usually just seeing me is enough to have them grab whatever out of the trash and put it in the proper place. I'm even on the New Employee Tour now: "This is Laura, and here's were the recycling is done."

Cafe Sheri: How long have you been personally recycling?

lmaywild1: My family has been recycling for a couple of years. As soon as our city began offering curbside pickup, we started. With each month, we add more and more to our recycling. Our family goal for the moment is to reduce our outgoing trash to one can every two weeks. We are getting more conscientious about the things we bring into the house.

Cafe Sheri: Why is recycling important to you?

lmaywild1: I firmly believe that it is our responsibility to leave the world a better place than we received it. Recycling, conserving energy, carpooling, and eating organically and from the local farmer's market are just natural parts of that. Showing hubby that he could save money helped get him on board. My daughters noticed that things are easy  and foods tasted better. It's just part of their lives now.

Cafe Sheri: What greener living effort do you want to take on in 2009?

lmaywild1: Our goal for 2009 is another $20 electric bill and to use more and more green cleaners and products in our home. We want to continue to make our home greener (paints, insulation, etc.) to save money and live in balance with our world. Finally, I hope to continue to spread the word by example and explain how easy green living is. It makes a difference if you have facts and numbers to explain to people and can put it into terms that they can understand. After all, it's the small things that we do that can change the world.

You're awesome, lmaywild1—a real role model for greener living. I think I'll go tell a friend right now about what I have learned today. ;)

+++ What about you? How do you spread the word about greener living?

More in the "I Got Green" series:

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