Green offices
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  • 1. Green OfficesRecycle, Reduce, and ReuseNovember 9, 2011Connie Scott
  • 2. Table of ContentsExecutive Summary..................................................................................................... iComputers ................................................................................................................ 1 Energy star equipment ................................................................................. 1 Computer/Monitor combinations.................................................................... 1 How to choose wisely ................................................................................ 2 Power down at night .................................................................................... 2Recycle .................................................................................................................... 3 Ink Cartridges ............................................................................................. 3 Paper Products ............................................................................................ 3Reduce .................................................................................................................... 3 Waste ........................................................................................................ 3 Paper ......................................................................................................... 4 Printing ................................................................................................... 4 Proofread ................................................................................................ 4 Office intranets ........................................................................................ 4 Online transactions ................................................................................... 4 Websites ................................................................................................. 4 Why brown bag it ........................................................................................ 4 Transportation ............................................................................................ 5 The office of the future ................................................................................ 5Reuse ...................................................................................................................... 5 ReUseIt Network ......................................................................................... 5 Ideas for reusing ......................................................................................... 6Summary ................................................................................................................. 6
  • 3. Executive SummaryCurrently, our nation’s landfills arefilling up at an incredible rate. Offices today playa huge part in the waste that is produced. As a nation, we must develop anawareness of how our habits and choices impact the carbon footprints, which weleave for future generations. One of the effects, greenhouse gases,hasresulted inan increase of catastrophic storms that have been evolving over the last decade.Printers, monitors, and computers haveturned out to be a huge problem forlandfills. If these products are not recycled correctly then, these products willproduce toxic gases and destroy our atmosphere. Desks and chairs are also majorcontributors when it comes to the vast amount of this landfill contributed by offices.Emissions from our vehicles, as we drive to work, are destroying the ozone. It isessential to look for alternative sources of transportation such as trains, buses,carpooling, biking or walking as a means to reserve our fuel supply.A considerableamount of the paper supplyiscurrently not being recycled and we arenot consciously aware of our printing habits. Start asking yourself these questions?Do we really need to print? How many copies do we really need? Do we need tosend out brochures or can we refer our customers to our website?By converting to green offices,we can make a difference by choosing toreduce,recycle, and reuse!November 14, 2011 Page i
  • 4. Green OfficesGreen Offices are a very important factor in today’s society. We should each oneberesponsible for the carbon footprints we leave. With technology increasing at arapid speed, offices are generating more waste than ever. It is our dutyto createawareness in recycling, reducing, and reusing our resources. Going green in theoffice is a great way to reduce some of these carbon footprints.ComputersWhen you’re not using your computer, turn it off. It saves energy, protects yourcomputer against lightning strikes, and the viruses that computer hackers try toinstall. Out-of-date monitors should be replaced with energy starcompliancemonitors. The cathode ray tubes in ancient monitorswill use 66 percent more powerthan newer flat screen monitors(The Green Office Guide).Energy star equipmentTo meet the criteria required byEnergy Star, monitorsmust beequipped with twosettings. A low-sleep setting and one deep-sleep settingmust be installed. Lowsleep settings willpermit the monitor to rest, while operating at two watts when ithas notoperated for aspecific interval of time. Deep sleep willdrop the monitor’ssettings to a one watt setting, after beingidle for a selected period of time (EnergyStar).It is necessary for computers to power down into sleep mode,and consume lessthan 4 watts of power to be regarded as energy star efficient product. In sleepmode, computers save up to 90 percent more power (Energy Star).Computer/Monitor combinationsA laptop will save the greatest amount of energy. Toobtain the mostefficiency,integratethe computer with the monitor. Compared to desktop computers, whichare capable of consuming up to 160 watts of power, laptops merely use 15 watts ofenergy.November 14, 2011 Page 1
  • 5. How to choose wiselyWhenchoosing a computer, laptop, or monitor an office should take intoconsideration the following: 1. Increased energy isexhausted, when aprocessor with a high speedis installed. A higher processor speed willadd to the amount of energy used. 2. Installinga larger memory into a computer triggers the basic limits of your energy supply to run at full capacity. 3. If you install add-ons, your computeryou will consume more energy. 4. Next time you think about buying a new computer,consider purchasingan upgradable computer. Acquiring a new computerfrequently creates excessive landfill, and produces toxic gases from improper disposal.When an office researches theproductsthey wish to buy, and chooses theseproducts wisely, theoffice will: 1. Roughlysave the United States$100 million ayear in electricity. 2. Put a stop to the 1.4 billion pounds of greenhouse gasesthat are beingdischarged yearly (Asimilar amount of gas wasreleased when consumers used approximately125,000vehicles). 3. Prevent an excess of 900 million kWh ofelectrical energy from being used annually.Power down at nightMake sure when everyone leaves the office;shut everything downfor the night. Turnoff the computers and the lights. Also, turn off the power strip on your computer. Itis still using energy even though the computer may be turned off. This is a greatway to conserve energy when the building is not in use. When you have naturallight, use it. If it isn’t necessary to turn on the lights, thendon’t waste uselessenergy.
  • 6. RecycleInk CartridgesInk cartridges should be recycled. If you need to recycle your cartridges, Staples isundertaking a project to reduce the amount of ink cartridges being sent to landfills.They will accept empty ink cartridges and recycle them. Also, converting to soycartridges is a wonderful idea. Soy ink requires less energy to manufacture, andgenerates a brilliant coloronce you print. The price of soy ink is the same asoil-based ink.Paper ProductsUse recycled paper products such as printer paper, envelopes, memo pads andbusiness cards.Recycled paper comes in many of the same forms as virgin paper.Recycled paper only has a 10% market share, so the cost may be slightly higher.(Scott Cornell).Seventh Generation and Marcel Small Steps currently make tissue paper forrestrooms out of recycled paper. They also produce tissues and paper towels fromrecycled products. When surveyed consumers have commented, that theseproducts are just as soft as non-recycled products.ReduceWasteToday’s offices waste paper in vast amounts. The city of Portland put the followingstatement in its report. “Nurses at Legacy determined that much of the photocopying they did was unnecessary. Previously,seven copies were made of each admitting record”. “They found that less than half that many weretypically needed.”” Now they only print one record, which is then copied only when needed.” “This savesmore than $125,000 per year.”November 14, 2011 Page 3
  • 7. PaperPrintingDo you really need to print all of those copies? Think before you print. Is there abetter way to distribute your information? Instead of making multiple copies andwasting paper can you use inter-office email?Do you really need to print this story,or can you read it online?ProofreadHave co-workers proofread your composition before you print. Two sets of eyes arebetter than one. Make sure that your printer is set to the right settings. Beforeprinting all of your copies, print just one. If the first one doesn’t work out, thenadjust your settings and try again. It is better to ruin just one and catch a mistake;then print 76 copiesand catch a mistake later. Scan documents as an alternative tocopying them. Some employers may equip their employees with mobile scanners tocut down on waste.Office intranetsConstruct an officeintranet. This will allow only your office to view these onlineconfidential pages. You can store company policies and procedure, human relationsdocuments, employee benefits, and phone directories on this site.Online transactionsGreen officesmayadvise their employees to enroll in direct deposit. This option willpermit the company to savethe use of paper, and also encourage employees toparticipate in online banking. Other online business transactions such as E-Filingmay be prepared in this manner to save resources.WebsitesDon’t mail your customers brochures, letters, and advertisements. Set up a websitethat is customer friendly, and encourage them to use it.Why brown bag itDon’t brown bag it. Bring a reusable lunch container. Use plastic containers to carrythe food in, and not sandwich bags. Bring your own mug to work. Don’t use the
  • 8. paper cups provided at work.Carry your own utensils. Don’t use the plasticones toeat with. And lastly, don’t bring bottled water. Use tap water. Each one of theseideas will reduce the waste sent to landfills each year.TransportationGas is becoming a precious commodity. Do you live close enough to your co-workers that you may car-pool? Can you take the bus or train? Does your companyoffer a car-pooling van? Are you capable of biking or walking to work? Theemissions from driving to work are causing the earth’s temperature to rise fourdegrees every two decades. Scientists believe these emissionsare the causeofglobal warming. Conserving energy isessential. We all need to do our part.The office of the futureThe office of the future may help us to reduce energy consumptionas well. Withmore people working at home and not commuting, we will save millions of dollars ingasoline consumption. Now,we don’t have to fly to conferences. We may make useof teleconferences, webinars, or telepresence to conserve energy.ReuseReUseIt NetworkHave you heard of the ReUseIt Network? Today many items are sent to landfills,while they are still in good condition. This is an admirable site, developed by peoplewho are mindful about the filling up of our landfills. “The ReUseIt Network helps getthings from people who have them but dont want them, to people who want thembut dont have them” (What is ReUseIt?).It is a great way to recycle and reuse unwanted items while making a great effortto save our natural resources. The site commented that, items don’t even have tobe in working condition; because, some people like to tinker. All you have to do iscontact the website and join. You may list and item or receive an item. What agreat way to find office furniture!November 14, 2011 Page 5
  • 9. Ideas for reusing 1. If your office has used pieces of paper, cut them up! They make greatnotepads! 2. Reuse the coffee at work and don’t let it go to waste. Pour it over ice and have a nice iced mocha. 3. Salvage those packing peanutsand the bubble wrap that you in find boxes. 4. Utilize the old CD’s you receive in the mail as light reflectors. Put them up to a lamp and use them to reflect light while you are working. It prevents you from having to use a higher watt bulb. 5. Use these old CD’s as mirrors, if you have to connect something behind your computer and can’t see using a CD is a great way to look behind your desk. It won’t hurt if you scratch a junk CD. 6. Save your cell phones, PDAs, and pagers. Numerous sites now take these devices anddispatchthem to military personal in need.You canuncover a way to reuse anything. Our landfills are filling up at a rapid paceand offices play a major part of this problem. Think of ways to recycle items,beforethrowing anything away.SummaryThe offices of today need to make smart, effective choices. They should go green.They realize what an impact their choices make on our environment.These officestry to reduce the carbon footprints they leave on society. By reducing the energythey use, conserving the products they use, and reusing the products they do havethey: save energy, reduce the size of landfills, save the atmosphere from toxicemissions, and provide a more eco-friendly environment for future generations.Please consider going green today!
  • 10. Work CitedCornell, Scott. Green Alternative Office Products. N.p.: n.p., 2011. http://www.ehow.com/info_8091553_green-alternative- office-products.html. Web. 14 Nov. 2011.ENERGY STAR® Qualified Office Equipment. N.p.: Natural Resources of Canada, 2009. http://sbinfocanada.about.com/gi/o.htm?zi=1/XJ&zTi=1&sdn=sbinfocanada&cdn=money&tm=2058&gps=169_5_13. Web. 9 Nov. 2011.Nichols, Curt. A Guide to Greening. City Of Portland: n.p., 2001. http://www.oregon.gov/ENERGY/CONS/BUS/docs/Green_Office_Guide.pdf?ga=t. Web. 10 Nov. 2011.What is ReUseIt? N.p.: ReUseIt Network, 2011. http://www.reuseitnetwork.org/. Web. 14 Nov. 2011.Ward, Susan. The Green Office Guide. N.p.: The New York Times Company, 2011. http://sbinfocanada.about.com/od/environmentbiz/a/greenoffice.htm. Web. 9 Nov. 2011.November 14, 2011 Page 7