10 Green Tips for the Eco-Trainer

Posted August 18th, 2008

Most people accept these days that we have a responsibility towards our environment. Many businesses are also taking their responsibility to the environment very seriously and many more are waking up to the need to do this.

Quite apart from anything else a demonstration of corporate social responsibility is good for public relations. There is also the fact that a ‘greener’ approach can save costs.

As trainers, we have a part to play in minimising our effect on the environment. This is partly through the message we give out during the training we deliver but also through our own behaviour.

Over the last year the training team I work for have been taking a number of steps to reduce our environmental footprint. Perhaps this has only had a minimal effect on the environment but if everyone was to think in the same way then the overall impact could be significant.

However, one effect that has been very clear for us to see is a reduction in our expenses. For example, our stationery bill seems to have halved and we are also sure that we are doing our bit to contain our energy costs. We also feel pretty good about ourselves.

Here are our top ten tips for reducing our environmental impact. They are not in any particular order but all contribute a little to a greener approach. We are sure you have plenty of tips of your own. Why not share them with us?

1. Instead of giving all participants paper copies of course hand outs deliver them by e-mail or publish them on your intranet.
2. Where paper hand outs, workbooks or instructions are absolutely necessary print them on both sides of the paper. Also, consider printing two pages on a single page.
3. Instead of handing out individual paper instructions for syndicate exercises display the instructions on a flip chart or PowerPoint slide. Alternatively, laminate the instructions and use them on future courses.
4. Recycle paper when you have finished with it.
5. Where it is not necessary to keep work for any time why not use a whiteboard instead of using flipchart paper? If you have to use flipchart paper why not use both sides of the paper?
6. Don’t forget turn off the lights and any electrical equipment when you have finished in the training room. Don’t leave electrical equipment on stand-by.
7. Buy green and/or recycled products when obtaining materials for training.
8. Review the paperwork you produce for your courses. Do you need it all or can this be reduced.
9. Deliver course joining instructions by e-mail instead of sending paper copies.
10. Arrange for course participants to complete course happy sheets instead of a paper version.

This article was written by Wolfgang Halliwell who is a learning designer for the Trainer Bubble team. Visit to purchase his work.


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