Faculty and staff can support sustainable initiatives by greening their offices. To get started, write a statement of commitment to sustainability for your office. It is best to designate a green representative or team for your office to be in charge of programming. This person(s) can lead talks with your department about the importance of going green.
As a group decide on your goals as an office and how to implement them. Encourage each other in the office to start with the easiest tasks and behavioral changes, and work your way up to the more difficult ones. Create promotional materials and incentive programs to promote around the office to encourage changes in behavior.
- Cancel multiple subscriptions and share one copy
- Stop junk mail
- Share a phone book
- Print double sided
- Don't print emails unless absolutely necessary
- Centralize printing—personal printers encourage wastefulness. When there is one printer for the whole office (or floor), you're more likely to think about whether you really need to print it
- When color is not important, print in gray scale (monochrome)
- Use a ceramic mug for your coffee. The Union Café gives a discount for a ceramic or travel mugs
- Bring your lunch in reusable containers.
- Use scrap papers that you no longer need for taking notes
- Use and reuse interdepartmental envelopes for mail that stays on campus
- Recycle all types of paper: printer paper, junk mail, magazines, brochures, manila folders, envelopes
- Plastic, glass and aluminum should always be recycled
- Printer cartridges, plastic grocery bags and batteries can be recycled in the Union. Designate a box for these items in your office and have someone take it to the Union weekly
- Computers, electronics and other office equipment can be recycled through companies like Office Max
Considerations for Choosing a Supplier
What to Buy and Where to Buy it
- Does the company have a policy to reduce and prevent pollution?
- Consider the cost of the item over its lifetime: raw material extraction, manufacturing, packaging, transport, energy consumption, maintenance, and disposal
- How is the company actively working toward sustainability?
- Give preference to reusable items and those made from recycled material
Turn it Off
- Turn off the lights when you are not in your office
- Use natural light augmented with a desk lamp instead of the overhead lights
- Have meetings outside when it's nice
- Plug appliances into a power strip, and flip it off when not in use. Many electronics draw electricity even when they are turned off - this is called a "phantom load." Power strips don't have phantom loads
- Turn off your computer at night; this can save up to $70 per computer per year
- Turn off your printer, fax machine and copy machine at night, this can save over $100 per machine per year
- Use compact fluorescent light bulbs instead of traditional ones. The newest technology produces high-quality light just like traditional bulbs
- In the summer, keep curtains closed during the day and open at night; in the winter, keep curtains open during the day and closed at night
- Bring a water filter to work instead of buying water bottles
- Buy a reusable water bottle
- Make sure water faucets are completely turned off
- Walk or ride a bike to work
- Carpool to work and lunch when you can