Going Green at Home and at the Office

Green is simultaneously one of my favorite colors and a way that describes how to help preserve Mother Earth. There are a lot of little things that each of us can do at home and at work that make a big difference. For instance, my husband and I drink a lot of water and recently stopped buying bottled water and started to filter it instead to save on all the plastic bottles we were disposing of. It feels really good to be a part of something good.

Do Your Part at Work

Here are some things you can to help out the environment:

  1. Turn off equipment when not in use. This can decrease energy by 25 percent. Additionally, turning computers off at the end of the day can save another 50 percent.
  2. Communicate via email. Read messages on the computer screen first to determine if there is a need to print. If there isn’t, don’t print and save the paper.
  3. Smart faxing. Use a fax-modem if possible. This allows faxing to be done from the computer, eliminating the printed paper fax. Also, use cover sheets only when necessary.
  4. Double up when printing or making copies and make them double-sided whenever possible.
  5. Recycle. Have bins available for paper recycling. Also, if there is a kitchenette or break room, provide containers for employees to recycle their plastic bottles. Ink toners and cartridges can also be recycled, so check with your supplier to see if they pick them up.
  6. Paperless agendas. Use a dry-erase board or display the meeting agenda on a screen instead of making multiple paper copies.
  7. Avoid paper cups for coffee and other beverages. Encourage employees to bring in their own coffee mug or cup instead of disposing a paper cup each day.
  8. Use recycled products whenever possible. Paper, toilet paper and plastic products can be purchased from recycled materials. Paperclips are now made from recycled materials as well.
  9. Get a plant. At least one large plant helps to recycle the air in the office. So get one and breathe easier.

Making Changes at Home

Things you can do at home to make a difference:

  1. Tap it and make sure taps are turned off completely. One drop wasted per second adds up to 10,000 liters of water wasted a year!
  2. Turn off all lights when not in use. Also, use and change to energy saving light bulbs.
  3. Recycle paper, plastic, aluminum etc. Check your local resources to see if there is a recycling pick up or where you can drop off these items.
  4. Unplug appliances when not in use. Smart power strips sense when appliances are off and reduce “phantom” energy use.
  5. Washing clothes in cold water reduces energy as much as 85 percent since most of the energy goes into heating the water. There are certain laundry detergents that are specifically intended for washing clothes in cold water.
  6. Consider buying in bulk. This saves in packaging and can also save money.
  7. Recycle Your Cell Phone.

What do you do to go and stay green? Please share any ideas on how we can collaboratively help to keep our Earth preserved for as long as possible!

References: The Green Office Guide, worldwatch.org

Photo credit: Cayusa

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