Green up the Office
Since I am unable to make a plant grow I need to find other ways to green up our office at Voyageur. I mentioned last week how I don’t refill my own ink cartridges but will attempt to do that or buy recycled cartridges. I try to limit the amount of paper I use by printing on both sides of each sheet of paper and by forwarding e-mails or using e-mails instead of printing out everything. I’ve began replacing lightbulbs everywhere but in the store and when the bulbs burn out I will replace them with more energy efficient ones. We have recently gone through some of our old computer equipment and have given it to a computer person who is attempting to find parts to use before recycling the remaining components. There’s always room for improvement as I am not very good about using power strips and unplugging things at night. Here are some action steps for the office that are provided by the US EPA.
- Manage office equipment energy use better
Office equipment and electronics use energy even when idle or on stand-by. To save energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions at work, always activate the power management features on your computer and monitor, unplug laptop power cords when not in use and turn off equipment and lights at the end of the day. Consider using a power strip that can be turned off when you’re done using your computers, printers, wireless routers and other electronics.
- Look for ENERGY STAR qualified products for the Office
When buying new products for your office at work or at home, get the features and performance you want and help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and other harmful air pollutants. Look for ENERGY STAR qualified office equipment, such as computers, copiers, and printers, in addition to more than 50 product categories, including lighting, heating and cooling equipment and commercial appliances.
- Ask your office building manager if your office building has earned the ENERGY STAR.
ENERGY STAR-labeled buildings provide safe, healthy, and productive environments that use about 35 percent less energy than average buildings. Their efficient use of energy also reduces the total operational cost of the building.
- Use less energy for your commute
Switch to public transportation, carpooling, biking, telecommuting and other innovative ways to save energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions on your way to and from work. Encourage your employer to offer commuter benefits that address limited or expensive parking, reduce traffic congestion, improve employee recruiting and retention and minimize the environmental impacts associated with drive-alone commuting. If you do drive, find out the fuel efficiency of your vehicle using EPA’s and DOE’s fuel economy Web site, and make more environmentally-informed choices when purchasing your next vehicle by using EPA’s Green Vehicle Guide.
- Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Recycle office paper, newspapers, beverage containers, electronic equipment and batteries. Reducing, reusing, and recycling in your office helps conserve energy, and reduces pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from resource extraction, manufacturing, and disposal. You can reduce, reuse and recycle at the office by using two-sided printing and copying; buying supplies made with recycled content; and recycling used printer cartridges. For your old electronics, investigate leasing programs to ensure reuse and recycling or donate used equipment to schools or other organizations.