Wednesday, April 16, 2008

How GREEN is Your Office?

How GREEN is Your Office? Thirteen tips to Sustainability by Heidi Richards

1. No more styrofoam! Instead use coffee mugs and drinking glasses made of glass or ceramic. Wash, rinse, reuse.

2. Buy recycled! Paper and plastic such as wrapping papers, writing papers, etc.

3. Mop it up! With a sponge or mop instead of paper towels.

4. Refill those water bottles with filtered water from your tap or the water cooler

5. Make it into Scratch! Paper that is! Use the backs of printed documents to jot down notes, in your fax machine and more.

6. Recycle those old manila file folders by relabeling them.

7. Reuse bubble wrap, styrofoam peanuts and other packing materials you receive in shipments.

8. Use refillable pens instead of disposable pens.

9. Donate your magazines to local libraries and senior citizen centers.

10. Recycle newspapers.

11. Conserve energy by purchasing compact florescent bulbs. They use less energy and last years longer than incandescent bulbs.

12. Buy energy efficient appliances and machines such as copiers, faxes, etc.

13. Look for ways to create new uses for product scraps and methods for reducing waste

What are you doing to live the Sustainable lifestyle? We want to hear from you...

Take the Women's GREEN Commerce Survey and tell us. In exchange for your input, we will share our Directory of more than 200 Green Resources with you. And you will be entered into a drawing for a FULL Page ad in WE Magazine for Women.

Here's the link to send your friends to, too! www.WomensGreenCommerce.com.

Thanks for your input!

Heidi

2 comments:

Ryan said...

Here is a list I made to live a more sustainable life at Home!

1.Live in urban areas and avoid living in new subdivisions or the suburbs to reduce urban sprawl. (Unless it is close to your school or work)

2.Use a human-powered mower, not a gas-powered one, to reduce air pollution and energy use.

3. Use a rain barrel to collect water for your garden, showers, and toilets.

4. Whenever possible, purchase used furniture and household items and fix them up.

5. Try to repair your possessions rather than discarding them and buying new merchandise.

6. Use high levels of insulation for walls, foundation and roof.

7. Seal up house tightly with a continuous vapor barrier and an air barrier. Use super efficient furnaces and A/C equipment.

8. Use natural ventilation to cool the house; supplement with a whole house fan instead of air conditioning.

9. Replace old furnaces with a super efficient new furnace. In an older home, this may pay for itself in five years or less.

10. Use efficient appliances: the refrigerator uses one-third of household electricity; dehumidifiers also use a lot of electricity.

11. Tune-up, service and clean the furnace and air conditioner regularly. This is also good for indoor air quality.

12. Use non-toxic household cleaners from 7th generation or Green Works.

13. Use an electric range. A gas range is better from a global energy standpoint, but it must be direct vented to the outside in order to avoid contaminating the air with combustion by-products.

14. Use recycled plastic lumber for outside projects such as decks instead of wood. This plastic lasts forever, and does not need to be painted or stained.

15. Install a metal roof instead of asphalt shingles.

16. Buy carpet from Flor, and recycle your old carpet with them too. Alternatively, refinish your hardwood floors instead of covering them up with carpet.

17. Use a rag or hand towel instead of napkins or paper towels. Reusing items instead of using disposable items is usually a better thing for the environment. Reduce the need to cut down trees, the power needed to turn them into napkins, and the space in the landfill once you throw them away.

18. Do not print. Read it on the computer instead of on paper.

19. Use CFC light bulbs. If your light bulb burns out, replace it with a Compact Fluorescent. They are more expensive, but if you just replace them one at a time, it does not cost much, and the energy savings is great. And as they last longer, over the long run, you will save money.

20. Talk to your kids/family about the environment. Just a 5-minute conversation every now and then about fuel consumption, greenhouse emissions, wasting food and trash, energy consumption, preserving habitats … this can help educate your children about the issues that will be affecting them tomorrow.

21. Reuse printed-paper. If you have non-sensitive documents that have been printed out, but are no longer needed, try marking the printed side, and using the clean side for non-official printing. In fact, if you can get your office to do this, you will save tons of paper a year.

22. Turn down your water heater. Most people have their water heater's thermostat turned up too high, wasting energy. Turn it down to 130 degrees, saving energy but still hot enough to kill bacteria.

23. Hang out your clothes. If it is a nice sunny day, hanging clothes only takes a few minutes, and you are using solar power instead of electricity to do the job. It also makes your clothes last longer.

24. Get a low-flow shower head. Stop at the hardware store on your way home, and get a low-flow shower head. Takes a few minutes to install, and it will save gallons of water a day. .

25. Participate or organize a clean up. Sure, this will take a little more of your time, but if you do not have much to do on the weekends, this can be tremendously fun and fulfilling. Clean up a beach, a street, a park, a lake or a river.

26. Avoid fast food. Instead, eat at home or at a sit-down restaurant. Fast food restaurants are one of the worst polluters of the environment, both in the massive amounts of beef they must raise, in the wasted packaging, and in the energy they use in so many ways. And they are tremendously unhealthy.

27. Use acrylic paint. Oil-based paints are toxic and create a lot of pollution during manufacturing. Instead, if you are going to buy paint, buy acrylic.

28. Wash clothes in cold water. Hot water is unnecessary for most clothes. When needed, use warm water.

29. Fill your toilet tank. Put a plastic bottle or two, filled with water and rocks, in your tank to reduce the amount of water used in each flush.

30. Buy recycled products. As much as possible, get the recycled version of products you buy.

31. Plant shade trees near your house. It will take awhile before they can make a difference, but shade trees greatly reduce the need to cool a home.

32. Use rechargeable batteries. Instead of throwing your batteries away all the time, reuse rechargeable batteries.

33. Walk instead of driving. You don't have to do this all the time, but walking the short trip to a store, or to lunch from work, or some other short trip like that, can reduce the amount of fuel you use over the long term, and you shed some fat at the same time.

34. Unplug appliances. If you don't use an appliance several times a day, it's better to unplug it, as they often use energy even when turned off

35. Unload your car. Remove excess weight from your car (such as stuff that might be in the trunk) to reduce the amount of fuel you use.

36. Install a water filter. If you buy a lot of bottled water, use your tap instead. Some places need a filter to make tap water taste drinkable, but they do not cost much and they can save money, water, and plastic bottles over time.

37. Use cloth shopping bags. Do not cost much, and can save a lot of paper or plastic.

38. Mend your stuff. Try not to throw stuff away and buy new stuff if the old stuff can be fixed. Torn clothing? Takes a few minutes to sew up.

39. Try and use mass and public transit.

40. Buy durable. Look for long-lasting, well-made products instead of cheap, disposable ones. Use less disposable plates, cups, utensils. Use cloth diapers instead of disposable.

41. Use your oven less. The oven not only uses a lot of energy, it heats up your kitchen, requiring more cooling. Instead, use toaster ovens, crackpots, microwaves, and electric grills when you can. And when you do use your oven, open it less — you lose 25% of the heat every time you open the oven door.

42. Buy an EPA "Energy Star"-rated washing machine—it will cut your water use by 7,000 gallons a year at the same time

43. Turn off the faucet while brushing your teeth.

44. Buy a dual-flush toilet

45. Buy a $35 power strip and eliminating the energy drain (phantom load) that accounts for 5 to 15 percent of your monthly electricity bill

46. Adjust the thermostat three degrees Fahrenheit up in the winter or down in the summer. This will prevent the release of 2,683 pounds of carbon emissions from your home. Regulate Room Temperature- Reduce energy costs by maintaining heating and cooling systems regularly to ensure efficient function and install a programmable thermostat.

47. Incorporate smart landscaping. Strategically planting trees and shrubs to shade your home can lower surrounding air temperatures during warm summer months by up to 9 degrees Fahrenheit and can reduce wall and roof temperatures by 20 to 40 F, reducing energy costs for cooling and home carbon emissions by 3,952 lbs per year.

48. Be a Green Business Traveler –Using today's technology such as video conferencing, you can save the cost of airfare and hotels too.


Ryan Wegner
UW-Madison School of Business
ryanwegner@gmail.com

Virtual Woman's Day said...

Ryan,

Love your tips and would like permission to share them with the readers of WE Magazine for Women!

Thanks,

Heidi Richards Mooney, Publisher & Editor-in-chief