Have you been sticking to your New Year’s resolutions? Here are eleven eco-friendly ideas to keep you on track for 2011:
· Use Less Paper – ALWAYS use recycled paper and reduce waste by printing on both sides.
· Learn Recycling Guidelines – Take a moment to review the recycling guidelines for your office building in order to make sure that your paper, glass, metal, plastic and cardboard end up at a recycling sorting facility and not a landfill.
· Streamline Your Snail Mail – Most businesses and households alike receive unwanted junk mail on a daily basis. Go to www.catalogchoice.org to remove your business from mailing lists and set aside some time to call those catalogs and organizations directly to stop junk mail at its source.
· Say No To Paper Coffee Cups or Plastic Water Bottles – Use a reusable water bottle and mug to kick your paper and plastic habit. If you don’t like the way your tap water tastes, consider using a water filter.
· Commute Green – Passenger cars are one of the LARGEST sources of greenhouse gas emissions. Use public transportation, carpool with a neighbor or co-worker, bike, walk or use a combination of all of the above. You will be surprised how much money you will save, not to mention how much you will reduce your carbon footprint.
· Eliminate Ghost Energy Usage – Ghost energy is caused when electrical devices and appliances (on or off) are plugged in, using unnecessary energy 24/7. Plug these devices into a power surge strip so that you can easily turn all of them on and off at your convenience to save electricity.
· Purchase Sustainable Office Supplies – Vote with your dollar and vote green in 2011. Choose eco-friendly products from your office supply store. Not only will this reduce your office’s carbon footprint, but it will also educate employees and let them know that the company is moving with the times and becoming socially responsible.
· Reduce Daytime Electricity Usage – If you work in an office that gets lots of sunlight, try not to turn on unnecessary overhead lights. Use task lighting at your desk instead as needed.
· E-Cycle It – Contact your building management office to see if they have an electronic/Universal Waste recycling program to properly dispose of your office’s electronic gadgets. Reusing and recycling materials found in these items like copper, gold, and other heavy metals not only saves natural resources, but also reduces mining and processing.
· Send It Back – Send back printer toner cartridges through your office supplier’s free recycling program. If you are in New York, rechargeable battery manufacturers are required to offer recycling programs for their products by June, and retailers are required to take batteries for recycling from the public.
· Green Your Business Travel – If your budget allows, try to book a direct flight to your final destination to reduce your carbon emissions. Stay in “green” hotels that promote water and energy conservation. Use sheets and towels more than a night or two if you are staying for a while.