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how to motivate employees and colleagues for sustainability

10 tips on how you can better motivate colleagues or employees to live sustainably

Want to motivate your colleagues or employees to be sustainable? Then you've come to the right place. Perhaps you've often had to watch your colleagues at work do anything but act in an environmentally friendly manner. For example, when the garbage wasn't separated, a lot of paper was wasted, the lights were on all night, or the heating was on full blast in the summer. It can't go on like this, that's clear.

In this article, I'm going to present you with 10 tips that you can use to motivate your team to be more sustainable. Let's go!

  1. Inform yourself thoroughly
  2. Do not criticize your colleagues
  3. Explain why it is important to live more sustainably
  4. Make it clear that sustainability affects each and every one of us
  5. Explain that even small steps help
  6. Be a role model for your employees
  7. Show the positive impact of sustainable behavior
  8. Give your team positive incentives to participate
  9. Understand that others develop at different rates
  10. Don't let negative feedback get you down

1. inform yourself thoroughly

Promote environmental protection at work

First of all: Inform yourself thoroughly. Because only then can you Answer all possible questions and provide them with the best possible arguments. If you are passionate about environmental protection and sustainable living, experience shows that this will come very easily to you.

Talk to others who have already adopted sustainable practices - gain valuable experience and Tips for a sustainable lifestyle. (you'll find a whole list of them in the linked post).

In short, get smart and then motivate your colleagues and employees with your insights!

2. do not criticize your colleagues

Your employees and colleagues live not necessarily environmentally friendly? Then don't criticize them for it. After all, most of us have had a time in our lives when environmental protection didn't matter at all.

And so even today, not every person is aware that their own lifestyle may be bad for the environment. The realization of this is already difficult to cope with for many - additional criticism on your part is inappropriate.

Instead, you should try to motivate and support. Give them time to get to grips with the topic. Whether during the lunch break or over coffee in the afternoon, sustainability is bound to come up again and again.

3. explain why it is important to live more sustainably

There are many good Reasons to live more sustainably. The most important reason: It's good for the environment! We conserve resources, reduce our ecological footprint - and solve the biggest Environmental problems of our time. From climate change, to species extinction and rainforest deforestation, to plastic waste in the environment.

On the other hand, it is good for our health! We reduce our consumption of unhealthy foods and products and exercise more in the fresh air. At the same time, the air, waters are cleaner and the soil is more fertile.

Last but not least, an environmentally conscious lifestyle is also good for our finances! Finally we save money through sustainabilityby consuming fewer superfluous items and making our lifestyles a little more minimalist.

For many, however, it is not necessarily about the financial advantage, but rather about the desire for a simpler and thus better and easier life. We want to invest our time and energy in things that make us happy. Short-term satisfaction is only cool in the short term - and exhausting and expensive in the long term.

All these reasons, and of course many more, speak in favor of living more sustainably. And there is always a good opportunityTalk about it with your colleagues and co-workers.

4. make it clear that sustainability affects each and every one of us

Everyone can and must make their contribution to sustainability. No matter how hard it sounds, it doesn't matter if someone "doesn't personally believe in environmental protection or the climate change believes" - the fact remains that our resources are limited, the planet is heating up and garbage is replacing sand on the sea. We definitely can't just keep doing what we're doing. Because if we do, we will eventually reach a point of no return. So WE must act now and work together to save our planet.

5. explain that even small steps help

Anchoring sustainability in the team in small steps

It is important that we realize that also our everyday actions have a great influence have on the environment.

Even if you can't force a complete lifestyle change on your employees right away, you can still contribute through small stepsthat they live more sustainably. Here are a few examples of ideal small steps, and how you can motivate them:

  • Place fair trade and/or organically grown products (regional and seasonal) ready for your team.
  • Organize one day a month (or preferably one day a week) to eat only fresh, sustainably grown food together for lunch.
  • Start a company garden with your team. Not only will you have sustainable products on hand at all times, it will also make it clearer how much work is behind our daily food.
  • Make sure that everyone has their Separate waste correctly. For example, by hanging an "explanation sign" over the trash can.

6. be a role model for your employees

You can motivate your employees not only through words, but also through deeds. Be a role model for sustainable behavior and live the way you expect your colleagues to live. Because only if you walk the path of sustainability yourselfyou can motivate others to do the same. Neither you nor others have to do everything perfectly. The important thing is that the direction is right!

7. show the positive effects of sustainable behavior

Sustainable behavior has a whole cornucopia of great benefits. Both for the environment and on the individual.

The best example of this, with immediate results, is the Cleaning beaches (on vacation) or other natural plants. The result of a clean beach can be seen directly. In addition, you are physically active - and therefore kill two birds with one stone. Every sustainably oriented activity has positive effects - for the environment, body and mind. Actually, only the time interval between the beginning and the result of the activity varies.

So, show your employees that we are already a part of your company through our daily actions - for example through the economical use of resources like water and electricity - can move a lot. Even if the result is not immediately visible.

8. give your team positive incentives to participate

A large part of the motivation for sustainable behavior lies in so-called positive incentives. These are rewards that people receive when they engage in certain behaviors. Positive incentives can be a great effect have and help people make more of an effort to be more environmentally conscious. (see also Nudging)

There are many ways you can use such positive incentives in your business. Well suited are rewards like Vouchers or financial rewards. Also work very well the favorite snacks or in the style of the company refined clothing for your team - gladly sustainably produced!

9. understand that others develop at different rates

You can't force your employees to change overnight. Each person has their own pace in the transition of your own habits, and you must accept this individuality. Some People find change difficultOthers love such challenges. Instead, focus on the hurdles they have already overcome and praise them. That way, you're much more likely to motivate them to continue living sustainably. Change must also be funfor it to function sustainably.

10. don't let negative feedback get you down

Negative feedback should be Do not ignoreif you want to motivate your employees more to live sustainably. But you shouldn't let it get you down. On the contrary, use it to find out what's not going well and what you can change.

Accept the challenge and identify optimization potentials. Try to see the positive in the feedback and learn from it. Because if you let the negative feedback get you down, you won't be able to motivate your employees to live sustainably.

Stay tuned and motivate your employees and colleagues for sustainability!

Inspiring employees and colleagues for sustainability

What you want to achieve in your company is important. Shaping your own lifestyle in a sustainable way is already a big task - initiating a similar process among your colleagues therefore requires at least as much time and patience.

Your efforts are important and will pay off in the long run. After all, everyone is happy about a clean environment, an intact planet - and about the fact that their own children and grandchildren will also find a great basis for life on earth.

I hope that this article has given you some valuable tips on how to motivate your colleagues and employees to be sustainable.

Do you have any questions, suggestions or further tips? Then I look forward to your comment.

Stay sustainable,

Christoph from CareElite - Plastic-free living

PS.: Similar challenges also play out in the circle of one's own family. At Getting parents and family excited about sustainability you will receive further valuable tips! Good luck!

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* Links with asterisks are so-called Affiliate links. If you click on it and buy something, you automatically and actively support my work with, because I get a small share of the sales revenue - and of course the product price does not change. Thank you for your support and best regards, Christoph!


Christoph Schulz

I'm Christoph, an environmental scientist and author - and here at CareElite I'm campaigning against plastic waste in the environment, climate change and all the other major environmental problems of our time. Together with other environmentally conscious bloggers, I want to give you tips & tricks for a naturally healthy, sustainable life as well as your personal development.

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