GO GREEN MANUAL TO BE RE-WRITTEN
Three Areas for Going ‘Green’ in your
Whether your office is a spare bedroom in your home or the
workspace for a number of people in an office building, there
are all kinds of ways you can ‘go green’ in your office. Plus, as
an added bonus, going green doesn’t mean you will need to
spend more, if fact, you could be saving money while you’re
helping the environment. Here are some simple ideas on how
you can go ‘green’ in your office.
There’s no such thing a paperless office.
The average American office worker goes though about 150 pounds of paper every year.
Reducing the amount of paper you use is a great way to start, you’ll reduce the amount of paper
you need to buy and help the environment at the same time.
Buy paper that contains high post-consumer recycled content. It’s available at all major
office supply stores and outlets as well as department stores.
Proofread initial draft documents on your computer screen rather than printing them out.
Set your printers to print double sided, or if that requires manual intervention, use the clear
side for printing interim documents or use it for scratch paper.
Store your documents digitally whenever possible. Accessing a digital document on a
computer is faster than looking through a paper filing cabinet, and digital storage is totally
Recycle what you can.
Even paper that has been printed on both sides can still be recycled, as can glass bottles,
metal drink cans, plastics, and cardboard. Recycling is easier if you have separate containers
for your trash and your recyclables.
It’s not just paper, glass, and metal that can be recycled. Consider recycling old computers,
office equipment such as printers or copiers, and even cell phones. You can often donate
older office equipment to local charities; there are a number of organizations who will take
old (but still working) computers and refurbish them for schools or donate them to students
in other countries. You can often get a tax deduction for donating equipment to charity.
It’s estimated that over 400 million ink cartridges are thrown into landfills every year,
creating almost 2 billion pounds of waste. Many companies will provide instructions,
packaging materials, and free postage if you wish to recycle your old cartridge, which is
then refilled and used again. You can buy remanufactured ink and toner cartridges (they’re
less expensive than new) then recycle them when they’re empty. Recycled cartridges are
available at most major office supply stores as well as online.
Cut down your power usage and save money.
CFL (compact fluorescent light bulbs) use at least 60% less electricity than regular
incandescent bulbs and last more than 5 times longer.
Plug your electronics into power strips so you can turn them totally off rather than have
them ‘idling’ and using electricity. Some estimates suggest more than 50% of the electricity
consumed by office electronics (phantom load) happens when they are “off’”.
To locate user’s manuals for your office printer, surge protector, cordless phone, or any office
equipment, visit the ManualsOnline Library.
10 Ways to Go Green and Save Green
How can we live lightly on the Earth and save money at the same time? Staff members at the Worldwatch
Institute, a global environmental organization, share ideas on how to GO GREEN and SAVE GREEN at home
and at work. To learn more about Worldwatch's efforts to create am environmentally sustainable society
that meets human needs, sign up here for weekly e-mail updates.
Climate change is in the news. It seems like everyone's "going green." We're glad you want to take action,
too. Luckily, many of the steps we can take to stop climate change can make our lives better. Our
grandchildren-and their children-will thank us for living more sustainably. Let's start now.
We've partnered with the Million Car Carbon Campaign to help you find ways to save energy and reduce your
carbon footprint. This campaign is uniting conscious consumers around the world to prevent the emissions-
equivalent of 1 million cars from entering the atmosphere each year.
Keep reading for 10 simple things you can do today to help reduce your environmental impact, save money,
and live a happier, healthier life. For more advice, purchase State of the World 2010 - Transforming
Cultures: From Consumerism to Sustainability, a report from 60 renowned researchers and practitioners on
how to reorient cultures toward sustainability.
1. Save energy to save money.
Purchase State of the World 2010:
Transforming Cultures to learn more
about the shift from consumerism
o Set your thermostat a few degrees lower in the winter and a few degrees higher in the
summer to save on heating and cooling costs.
o Install compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) when your older incandescent bulbs burn out.
o Unplug appliances when you're not using them. Or, use a "smart" power strip that senses
when appliances are off and cuts "phantom" or "vampire" energy use.
o Wash clothes in cold water whenever possible. As much as 85 percent of the energy used to
machine-wash clothes goes to heating the water.
o Use a drying rack or clothesline to save the energy otherwise used during machine drying.
2. Save water to save money.
o Take shorter showers to reduce water use. This will lower your water and heating bills too.
o Install a low-flow showerhead. They don't cost much, and the water and energy savings can
quickly pay back your investment.
o Make sure you have a faucet aerator on each faucet. These inexpensive appliances conserve
heat and water, while keeping water pressure high.
o Plant drought-tolerant native plants in your garden. Many plants need minimal watering.
Find out which occur naturally in your area.
3. Less gas = more money (and better health!).
Purchase State of the World 2009:
Into a Warming World to learn more
about overcomig global climate change
o Walk or bike to work. This saves on gas and parking costs while improving your
cardiovascular health and reducing your risk of obesity.
o Consider telecommuting if you live far from your work. Or move closer. Even if this means
paying more rent, it could save you money in the long term.
o Lobby your local government to increase spending on sidewalks and bike lanes. With little
cost, these improvements can pay huge dividends in bettering your health and reducing
4. Eat smart.
o If you eat meat, add one meatless meal a week. Meat costs a lot at the store-and it's even
more expensive when you consider the related environmental and health costs.
o Buy locally raised, humane, and organic meat, eggs, and dairy whenever you can.
Purchasing from local farmers keeps money in the local economy.
o Watch videos about why local food and sustainable seafood are so great.
o Whatever your diet, eat low on the food chain [pdf]. This is especially true for seafood.
5. Skip the bottled water.
o Use a water filter to purify tap water instead of buying bottled water. Not only is bottled
water expensive, but it generates large amounts of container waste.
o Bring a reusable water bottle, preferably aluminum rather than plastic, with you when
traveling or at work.
o Check out this short article for the latest on bottled water trends.
6. Think before you buy.
Learn more with Worldwatch's
Low Carbon Energy Report
o Go online to find new or gently used secondhand products. Whether you've just moved or
are looking to redecorate, consider a service like craigslist or FreeSharing to track down
furniture, appliances, and other items cheaply or for free.
o Check out garage sales, thrift stores, and consignment shops for clothing and other
o When making purchases, make sure you know what's "Good Stuff" and what isn't.
o Watch a video about what happens when you buy things. Your purchases have a real impact,
for better or worse.
7. Borrow instead of buying.
o Borrow from libraries instead of buying personal books and movies. This saves money, not to
mention the ink and paper that goes into printing new books.
o Share power tools and other appliances. Get to know your neighbors while cutting down on
the number of things cluttering your closet or garage.
8. Buy smart.
Great for classrooms:
o Buy in bulk. Purchasing food from bulk bins can save money and packaging.
o Wear clothes that don't need to be dry-cleaned. This saves money and cuts down on toxic
o Invest in high-quality, long-lasting products. You might pay more now, but you'll be happy
when you don't have to replace items as frequently (and this means less waste!).
9. Keep electronics out of the trash.
o Keep your cell phones, computers, and other electronics as long as possible.
o Donate or recycle them responsibly when the time comes. E-waste contains mercury and
other toxics and is a growing environmental problem.
o Recycle your cell phone.
o Ask your local government to set up an electronics recycling and hazardous waste collection
10. Make your own cleaning supplies.
Join the Million Car Carbon Campaign by purchasing your Earth-Aid kit today.
o The big secret: you can make very effective, non-toxic cleaning products whenever you
need them. All you need are a few simple ingredients like baking soda, vinegar, lemon, and
o Making your own cleaning products saves money, time, and packaging-not to mention your
indoor air quality.
11. Bonus Item!
o Stay informed about going green. Sign up for our weekly newsletter or subscribe to World
Watch, our award-winning magazine.
Green Around the Clock
This April 22 marks the 40th anniversary of the first Earth Day, started to boost awareness about the
environment — and to ensure that pro-planet types would no longer be ignored by legislators. But
you don't have to be lobbying Congress to make a difference. Do your part by practicing these six
habits each day
In the Morning
Brew "certified" coffee. A USDA Certified Organic label means it was grown using
Green "to go." Not brewing at home? Take a travel cup to your favorite java joint; they may
fill it at a discount.
Double up. Configure your office printer or copy machine so it prints on both sides of the
Put it to sleep. If you'll be away from your computer for more than 20 minutes, change it to
BYOB. Bags, that is. It's good for your wallet, too: Some retailers, such as CVS, now pay
you for every disposable bag you don't take ($1 on a special CVS card for every four trips
on which you BYO).
Truly turn off electronics. Plug your devices — the TV and DVD player, or the computer
and printer — into a UL-certified power strip; switch the whole group off for the evening to
prevent phantom electrical draw.
Start 'Em Young
Game off? Yep, get the kids to turn off video games (both the TV and the console) after
they're done playing, and you'll win back about $100 per year.
Pitch in. Live in one of the 11 states with bottle bills? Have your kids collect aluminum cans
and plastic bottles to redeem for cash to spend on a treat.
Don't tap out. Teach children to turn off the water while brushing their teeth. Leaving the tap
running during the recommended two minutes of brushing can waste up to five gallons of
water a day.
Book it. Dr. Seuss's 1971 book, The Lorax, stars a creature who "speaks for the trees"
against those who'd cut them down. Talk about the message with your tykes (book and
matching plush doll, $5 each, Kohl's).
Green My Ride
In January 1994, GH lamented that American cars were only required to average 27.5 miles per
gallon, noting, "If the U.S. required American automakers to produce cars averaging 45 miles per
gallon of gas (the Honda Civic VX already averages 55 mpg)... the country would save 3.1 million
barrels of oil a day." So how are we doing? U.S. cars are required to average 35.5 miles per gallon
— by 2016. In the meantime, use these three tricks to up your mpg.
1. Slow down. Driving 10 mph above 60 is like adding nearly 50 cents to the price of a gallon of
gas, since higher speed equals more guzzling.
2. Get pumped. Once a month, check the pressure of each of the tires against the guidelines
listed in your car's manual; add air if needed. Doing this can improve mileage by about 3
3. Air out. Replace filters regularly. A new oxygen sensor alone can improve mileage by as much
as 15 percent.
Josh Dorfman's Tips for Going Green on a Budget
Going green doesn't have to cost a lot of green! Use these simple tips to make a positive impact on the environment
while keeping your wallet intact. It's easy, even for the laziest of environmentalists.
Shut down and unplug electronics. Make small changes to use – and pay for – less energy, like shutting
down your computer when you're not using it and plugging your cell phone and other electronics into power
strips so you can turn several devices off with one switch.
Wash your clothes in cold water. By using cold water instead of warm, the average household can avoid
emitting 1,281 pounds of carbon dioxide annually and save on energy bills. 1
Fill your bottle with filtered tap water. Choose the greener solution by using a reusable bottle, like the
FilterForGood bottle, and filling it with filtered tap water. If you use a Brita filtration system you can make
another responsible choice by recycling your pitcher filter when you replace it, which should be about every
two months (or every 40 gallons). Find out more about recycling Brita filters here.
Update your wardrobe for less. Instead of consuming new products, trade fashionable clothes,
accessories, cosmetics and shoes for free (you only pay for shipping). By swapping merchandise you can
lower the amount of harmful emissions caused by the manufacturing process. Check out swapstyle.com to
Exchange CDs, DVDs and books instead of buying. Now you can avoid purchasing new products without
forfeiting your entertainment needs. Visit swapacd.com, swapadvd.com and paperbackswap.com for access
to thousands of CDs, books and DVDs.
Use refurbished electronics. You can get refurbished electronics for a steal (they often sell for less than 50
percent of the retail price!), and before they're resold to the public, they go through an intense defect-testing
process and the warranties usually remain intact. So you can save money and help reduce the amount of
waste sent to landfills. Shop at www.dyscern.com and www.refurbdepot.com.
Use kitchenware products made of recycled materials. Preserve uses items such as recycled Brita
pitcher filters and empty yogurt containers to make their line of colorful kitchen gear. Since they're about the
same price as regular kitchenware, it's a no-brainer to choose Preserve products. Visit
preserveproducts.com to find a retailer near you.