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A Green Life

Updated on December 7, 2017
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going green

Each and every one of us can take steps towards a "greener" life. There are so many big and small things that you can do that can benefit the environment and save you money at the same time. With fossil fuels being depleted and ozone slowly diminishing, it is important for everyone to take some type of actions to make their lives a little greener.
Everywhere you go, "Going Green" seems to be a popular subject. When remodeling my home, I was able to take advantage of all sorts of "green" products. When it came to my kitchen, I purchased energy star certified appliances which cut down on my energy consumption. When picking out flooring for my living room and bedrooms, I chose bamboo flooring, which is a very "green" choice. When choosing lighting fixtures, I tried to pick out ones that were the most energy efficient. There are tons of stuff you can do around the house to make things "greener."

Besides making your home "green," you can also make your office a little "greener" as well. When I attended the last staff meeting at the office, my VP passed out some literature to everyone to pass on to our employees (Greenlife.com). Some simple changes around the office can save energy and resources at work, and these small steps can be multiplied by persuading employees and coworkers to be environmentally friendly. These tips have been very helpful around the office, so I figured I would share them with everyone on CIAO.
1.) CONSERVE LIGHTING:

Artificial lighting accounts for 44 percent of the electricity use in office buildings. Make it a habit to turn off the lights when you're leaving any room for 15 minutes or more and utilize natural light when you can. Make it a policy to buy Energy Star-rated light bulbs and fixtures, which use at least two-thirds less energy than regular lighting, and install timers or motion sensors that automatically shut off lights when they're not needed.
2.) MAXIMIZE COMPUTER EFFICIENCY:

Computers waste tons of money each year. Make it a habit to turn off your computer-and the power strip it's plugged into-when you leave for the day. Otherwise, you're still burning energy. During the day, setting your computer to go to sleep automatically during short breaks can cut energy use by 70 percent. Remember, screen savers don't save energy. Make it a policy to invest in energy-saving computers, monitors, and printers and make sure that old equipment is properly recycled.

3.) MINIMIZE PRINTING:


The average U.S. office worker goes through 10,000 sheets of copy paper a year. Make it a habit to print on both sides or use the back side of old documents for faxes, scrap paper, or drafts. Avoid color printing and print in draft mode whenever feasible. Make it a policy to buy chlorine-free paper with a higher percentage of post-consumer recycled content. Recycle toner and ink cartridges and buy remanufactured ones. According to Office Depot, each remanufactured toner cartridge "keeps approximately 2.5 pounds of metal and plastic out of landfills...and conserves about a half gallon of oil."
4.) GO PAPERLESS:

Make it a habit to think before you print. Sometimes items can be read or stored online instead. When you receive unwanted catalogs, newsletters, magazines, or junk mail, request to be removed from the mailing list before you recycle the item. Make it a policy to post employee manuals and similar materials online, rather than distribute print copies. They're easier to update that way too.

5.) RECYCLE MORE:


Make it a habit to recycle everything your company collects. Just about any kind of paper you would encounter in an office, including fax paper, envelopes, and junk mail, can be recycled. So can your old cell phone, PDA, or pager. Make it a policy to place recycling bins in accessible, high-traffic areas and provide clear information about what can and can not be recycled.
6.) WATCH HOW YOUR EAT:

Make it a habit to bring your own mug and dishware for those meals you eat at the office. Make it a policy to provide reusable dishes, silverware, and glasses. Switch to Fair Trade and organic coffee and tea, and buy as much organic and local food as possible for parties and other events. Provide filtered drinking water to reduce bottled-water waste.

7.) REVAMP YOUR TRAVELING:

Make it a habit to take the train, bus, or subway when feasible instead of a rental car when traveling on business. If you have to rent a car, some rental agencies now offer hybrids and other high-mileage vehicles. Make it a policy to invest in videoconferencing and other technological solutions that can reduce the amount of employee travel.
8.) CHANGE YOUR COMMUTE:
Make it a habit to carpool, bike, or take transit to work, and/or telecommute when possible. If you need to drive occasionally, consider joining a car-sharing service like Zipcar and Flexcar instead of owning your own wheels. Make it a policy to encourage telecommuting (a nice perk that's also good for the planet!) and make it easy for employees to take alternative modes of transportation by subsidizing commuter checks, offering bike parking, or organizing a carpool board.


9.) CREATE A HEALTHY WORKPLACE:

Make it a habit to use nontoxic cleaning products. Brighten up your cubicle with plants, which absorb indoor pollution. Make it a policy to buy furniture, carpeting, and paint that are free of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and won't off-gas toxic chemicals.
There are so many things that you can do around the office to make things "greener." If you are an employee working for a big company, most of you will never use the information above, but if you own your own business, then these tips will definitely help cut costs and benefit the environment at the same time. Everyone has a responsibility to be as "green" as possible. Whether its in your home, office, or just driving around town, you can take "greener" steps in everything you do!

Each and every one of us can take steps towards a "greener" life. There are so many big and small things that you can do that can benefit the environment and save you money at the same time. With fossil fuels being depleted and ozone slowly diminishing, it is important for everyone to take some type of actions to make their lives a little greener.
Everywhere you go, "Going Green" seems to be a popular subject. When remodeling my home, I was able to take advantage of all sorts of "green" products. When it came to my kitchen, I purchased energy star certified appliances which cut down on my energy consumption. When picking out flooring for my living room and bedrooms, I chose bamboo flooring, which is a very "green" choice. When choosing lighting fixtures, I tried to pick out ones that were the most energy efficient. There are tons of stuff you can do around the house to make things "greener."

Besides making your home "green," you can also make your office a little "greener" as well. When I attended the last staff meeting at the office, my VP passed out some literature to everyone to pass on to our employees (Greenlife.com). Some simple changes around the office can save energy and resources at work, and these small steps can be multiplied by persuading employees and coworkers to be environmentally friendly. These tips have been very helpful around the office, so I figured I would share them with everyone on CIAO.
1.) CONSERVE LIGHTING:

Artificial lighting accounts for 44 percent of the electricity use in office buildings. Make it a habit to turn off the lights when you're leaving any room for 15 minutes or more and utilize natural light when you can. Make it a policy to buy Energy Star-rated light bulbs and fixtures, which use at least two-thirds less energy than regular lighting, and install timers or motion sensors that automatically shut off lights when they're not needed.
2.) MAXIMIZE COMPUTER EFFICIENCY:

Computers waste tons of money each year. Make it a habit to turn off your computer-and the power strip it's plugged into-when you leave for the day. Otherwise, you're still burning energy. During the day, setting your computer to go to sleep automatically during short breaks can cut energy use by 70 percent. Remember, screen savers don't save energy. Make it a policy to invest in energy-saving computers, monitors, and printers and make sure that old equipment is properly recycled.

3.) MINIMIZE PRINTING:


The average U.S. office worker goes through 10,000 sheets of copy paper a year. Make it a habit to print on both sides or use the back side of old documents for faxes, scrap paper, or drafts. Avoid color printing and print in draft mode whenever feasible. Make it a policy to buy chlorine-free paper with a higher percentage of post-consumer recycled content. Recycle toner and ink cartridges and buy remanufactured ones. According to Office Depot, each remanufactured toner cartridge "keeps approximately 2.5 pounds of metal and plastic out of landfills...and conserves about a half gallon of oil."
4.) GO PAPERLESS:

Make it a habit to think before you print. Sometimes items can be read or stored online instead. When you receive unwanted catalogs, newsletters, magazines, or junk mail, request to be removed from the mailing list before you recycle the item. Make it a policy to post employee manuals and similar materials online, rather than distribute print copies. They're easier to update that way too.

5.) RECYCLE MORE:


Make it a habit to recycle everything your company collects. Just about any kind of paper you would encounter in an office, including fax paper, envelopes, and junk mail, can be recycled. So can your old cell phone, PDA, or pager. Make it a policy to place recycling bins in accessible, high-traffic areas and provide clear information about what can and can not be recycled.
6.) WATCH HOW YOUR EAT:

Make it a habit to bring your own mug and dishware for those meals you eat at the office. Make it a policy to provide reusable dishes, silverware, and glasses. Switch to Fair Trade and organic coffee and tea, and buy as much organic and local food as possible for parties and other events. Provide filtered drinking water to reduce bottled-water waste.

7.) REVAMP YOUR TRAVELING:

Make it a habit to take the train, bus, or subway when feasible instead of a rental car when traveling on business. If you have to rent a car, some rental agencies now offer hybrids and other high-mileage vehicles. Make it a policy to invest in videoconferencing and other technological solutions that can reduce the amount of employee travel.
8.) CHANGE YOUR COMMUTE:
Make it a habit to carpool, bike, or take transit to work, and/or telecommute when possible. If you need to drive occasionally, consider joining a car-sharing service like Zipcar and Flexcar instead of owning your own wheels. Make it a policy to encourage telecommuting (a nice perk that's also good for the planet!) and make it easy for employees to take alternative modes of transportation by subsidizing commuter checks, offering bike parking, or organizing a carpool board.


9.) CREATE A HEALTHY WORKPLACE:

Make it a habit to use nontoxic cleaning products. Brighten up your cubicle with plants, which absorb indoor pollution. Make it a policy to buy furniture, carpeting, and paint that are free of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and won't off-gas toxic chemicals.
There are so many things that you can do around the office to make things "greener." If you are an employee working for a big company, most of you will never use the information above, but if you own your own business, then these tips will definitely help cut costs and benefit the environment at the same time. Everyone has a responsibility to be as "green" as possible. Whether its in your home, office, or just driving around town, you can take "greener" steps in everything you do!

© 2017 Jerry Wong

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