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Team Building Ideas for A More Sustainable Workplace

Learn about seven team building activities that will help strengthen your sustainability program at your business.

Shelby Bell | February 4, 2020

Seven team building ideas for a more sustainable workplace

Collaborative team building exercises in the corporate environment go a long way in fostering the problem-solving skills, confidence, and motivation to employees that businesses need to thrive. When it comes to sustainability, many organizations we work with use team-building activities to encourage environmental awareness, reinforce expectations, and build excitement around their sustainability initiatives. Sounds like a win-win situation! Read on to learn about seven team building activities that will help strengthen your sustainability program.


encourage involvement by making it a competition

Who doesn't love a little friendly competition? This concept can act as a significant driver of motivation and performance in the workplace, especially when it comes to your sustainability program. Try creating teams by department, (or whatever makes sense for your workplace) and award monthly prizes to the team that diverts the most waste from landfills. Or come up with your own ideas, like rewarding those who pack a zero-waste lunch for a week. Using your current recycling rates to set benchmarks is a great way to measure success and boost your sustainability efforts.

Get Involved Outside of the office

If you’re wondering how leaving the office can help improve your business’ sustainability program, let me explain. Finding opportunities to be of service to your local community is an excellent way for teams to bond while giving back. Not only does volunteering help conserve and protect the environment, but it also boosts employee moral. Whether you decide to plant a tree outside of your office, clean up a local park, or volunteer with a local environmental association, your employees will take these experiences back to the office and apply them to your sustainability program!

Bring Plants Into The Office

Plants are natural air purifiers, stress reducers, and a great reminder of the importance of sustainable living. Surprise your coworkers with seeds, pots, and some soil, and take some time as an office to develop your green thumbs. Once the plants start growing, your employees are more likely to head outside and start gardens or plant more trees of their own!

Build Awareness with Games

Who says recycling can't be fun? Making the process more enjoyable can help with employee buy-in and maximize recycling participation. For example, at the bottom of your business newsletter, include a trivia question such as:

Which of the following items will take the longest to decompose in landfills?

a. Plastic bags

b. Aluminum cans

c. Styrofoam

d. Batteries

 Ask your employees to respond with their answer by the end of the week, and whichever team racks up the most points over a month, wins the game! Kudos to you if you answered C. Styrofoam!

Organize a Clothing Drive

Hosting a clothing drive will establish the importance of responsibly disposing of unwanted items while helping those in need. Non-profit organizations around the world need your help! Start by selecting the item(s) you would like to collect. Charitable organizations are always in need of gently-used jeans, coats, and blankets. Once your drive is completed, organizations like Goodwill, The Salvation Army, and Savers will accept the items and recycle what doesn't sell. And aside from a nice tax exemption, your business should be proud for giving back to the planet and those in need.

Throw A Waste-Free Lunch and Learn

Lunch and learns provide an excellent opportunity for employees to learn something new and ask questions. Bring in a guest speaker or recycling expert in your area, or open the floor to your Eco-Ambassadors to present a topic of their choosing. Topics can include proper recyclable sorting, common contaminants, and sustainability goals. Go the extra mile by making your lunch and learn waste-free by replacing paper bags, bottled water, disposable utensils, and paper towels with reusable bags, drinking containers, and cutlery and cloth napkins.

Host a Recycling Awareness Day

Become a recycling super-hero by hosting a recycling awareness day for your employees! Not only will it educate, motivate, and inspire your employees to recycle more efficiently, but it will build trust in your sustainability program. During the event, your business can focus on a specific topic, acknowledge achievements, or volunteer in the community. Every year, many organizations host their awareness days on environmental holidays, including Earth Day, America Recycles Day, World Environment Day, and National Cleanup Day.

Final Thoughts

Excited to start team building activities right away? Let us know how it goes in the comment section below by sharing your experiences. If organizing the activities sounds overwhelming, we recommend starting a team of Eco-Ambassadors (or green team) who will be responsible for this.


Let's get the conversation started on how to drive recycling and cost savings for your business.