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How to incentivise reuse of surplus assets furniture and equipment

In this article we talk about how incentives increase participation in your surplus assets or furniture reuse program. We also give you a free communications template to download at the end.

Why read this article?

An incentive is an object, item of value or desired action or event that spurs an employee to do more of whatever was encouraged by the employer through the chosen incentive.

It’s nice to get a gift. It makes people all warm and fuzzy. People will do things for a gift.  Give a gift away to increase engagement with your reuse system. You can give away small things to staff who engage with your system, or you can give away big things in a prize draw.

Here are some ideas to incentivise participation in your reuse system.  Reward staff for any of the following:

  • Registering
  • Adding an item
  • Claiming an item

Adding an item to your reuse system is the life blood reuse- so we tend to favour adding an item as the best activity for incentives. 

In this video we see John Bailey, Head of Sustainability at  University of London talk chocolate!



The incentive should match the level of energy required to participate.  Chocolate seems to be the most popular but we have also seen

  • Bacon sandwiches
  • Bags for life
  • Mugs for life
  • Easter eggs
  • Shower timers
  • Energy efficient lightbulbs
  • Healthy Pot Noodles!
  • CAKE!! Yes I said CAKE!

You can also organise a prize draw to give away a bigger prize. Where anyone carrying out the activity is added to a hat and the prize is drawn in front of a crowd! This works well as a coffee morning or cafe meeting. Northumberland County Council organised a prize draw for a food hamper to boost their system- and gave away the hamper during staff dinner time in the canteen!  We have seen the following given away in prize draws

  • Kindle
  • Local food hamper
  • Cycling gear
  • Vouchers

You could also offer up for winners of a prize draw

  • Best car parking on site (always an issue!)
  • Pizza party for their office
  • Pamper session
  • Have their home cleaned!

However; Here is the quickest and easiest way to deliver this activity with the biggest impact:

Step 1: Get chocolate 

Do you know anyone who doesnt like chocolate? No me neither. The Aztecs were not wrong.

Buy a box of good chocolate. You can get 100 bars for £40-£50. If you get one person to trade just one cabinet you get your money back! (If this investment is holding you back on this activity get in touch and we can help.)

Step 2: Add the items to your reuse system

Add the chocolate bars to your reuse system. A nice picture always helps.  You might want to add a flowery description and remember to tell staff why you are doing this! Why reuse is important to the organisation. Tell them your reuse vision with enthusiasm. 

Step 3: Tell staff

You need to tell staff what they need to do to access the treats. This might be: "To access your free chocolate bar please add one item that is surplus to requirements on to the reuse system. We will track who has added items and send you a chocolate bar in the internal post". 

We have created a communications template which you can download at the end of this article.

Step 4: Send chocolate in the internal post!

Your reuse system should track activity and so you can see who has added items and their address. To produce a list of staff who have added items on Warp It:

  • Log in as admin
  • Go to active items
  • Click download as CSV
  • Filter the date range

Step 5: After the event tell staff how well they have done

You need to feedback to staff the impact of the activity. It is a no brain-er to leverage the benefits you have accrued to further increase participation. You might want to involve your comms team. Guide here.  You can use this communication template. 

 Incentives help to drive participation in your reuse system. Use them wisely!

We have created a template for you to send out as a staff newsletter or email about your incentive. This document is designed to help you communicate with your staff about your giveaway. Click the image below.  

reuse carrott

 Let us know how you get on! We would love to do a case study!

Here's another Warp It hack

Use our templates to save time and get ideas!

Free Download

Daniel O'Connor

Daniel O'Connor

I use my time and experience to contribute to the transition to a regenerative sustainable society for all.


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