It’s a Green Revolution!

It’s a Green Revolution!

By Rita Wirth, Sara Dethloff, Brianna Johnson, Emily Panci, Valerie Romack, and Jennifer Westlund

Being environmentally conscious and creating a sustainable footprint is a global concern, but how easy is it really for organizations to adopt “greener” practices? Pretty easy as it turns out. Small, simple-to-implement habits can have a big impact and lead to a healthier and more sustainable workplace and Earth.

This year 911’s Young Professionals special interest group (SIG) formed the Going Green Task Force (GGTF) to improve our sustainability practices. Though 911 has always recycled, we wanted to see if we could decrease even more of the physical and economical waste we produce. By implementing several small changes, such as purchasing reusable silverware and donating used coffee grounds for composting, we were easily able to reduce our waste and build a more sustainable work culture.  

Along the way, we discovered that “going green” doesn’t have to be a chore or cost extra money. Instead, it can be a team-strengthening effort that actually saves money. Here’s how:

What does 911 already do to be green?

  • Provides compostable instead of disposable dishware
  • Offers reusable dishware, drinkware, and silverware
  • Maintains a recycling program for paper, plastic, and aluminum
  • Turns off lights when they are not in use
  • Installed motion-censored/timed lights
  • Posts news and communications on a company Web page in place of paper communications
  • Replaced sugar and cream packets with dispensers
  • Installed a coffee machine with compostable coffee pods
  • Installed water bottle refill stations

How has the GGTF expanded 911’s green practices?

  • Donates and composts coffee grounds and coffee pods
  • Initiated a pen and marker recycling program
  • Promotes paper towel reduction in bathrooms
  • Encourages the use of reusable silverware, dishware, and drinkware in place of single-use/disposable products
  • Educates employees on how to be more sustainable in their personal and professional lives

What can you do to be green at your work place?

  • Minimize printer use. When it is necessary to print a document, print on both sides of the paper and in black and white.
  • Unplug or turn off equipment when not in use.
  • Keep note of which recycle bins are for which materials.
  • Eliminate one-use plastic water bottles and switch to reusable bottles.
  • Use fewer paper towels for hand drying in the bathrooms and kitchen areas.
  • Rinse and recycle disposable containers from to-go lunches.
  • Use reusable bags for lunches and snacks, or wash and reuse plastic bags.
  • Recycle all aluminum cans and plastic bottles.
  • Avoid using drinking straws or invest in reusable ones.
  • Make it fun. Challenge your coworkers to see who can be the most green for a week and award a prize to the winner.

If you have questions about 911’s new task force or initiatives or would like to learn about going green, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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