Work Green in 2013

Tips provided by NRDC

Save Resources at Work

Buy energy-efficient office equipment - Energy Star-rated equipment is an option at work as well as at home. Energy Star equipment has power management features that allow it to reduce its power use or turn itself off when not in use. According to the EPA, Energy Star-labeled equipment can save up to 75 percent of total electricity use.

Recycle - If your office doesn't have a recycling program, work with your office manager and custodial staff to set one up. Paper, aluminum cans, and plastic bottles are easy to start with, and additional materials can be added as the staff gets used to recycling. Set up bins in convenient areas to collect each type of material your office recycles, and make sure everyone knows they are there. For more information about the benefits of recycling, visit NRDC’s Recycling page.

Commit to environmentally friendly purchasing practices - Encourage your company to make a commitment to purchasing paper and other materials made with post-consumer recycled content. Companies should avoid paper products made from 100 percent virgin fiber content, and switch to paper that is at least 30 percent post-consumer content. Also look for plastic and metal products made with recycled or scrap material. Also see“Paper Purchasing” at the NRDC Greening Advisor for more information about environmentally preferable paper.

Be thrifty with paper - Don't print out each report, memo or email you receive. Read and delete the ones you don't need to save and electronically file others you might refer to later. Make sure your office printer and copier can make two-sided copies, and encourage others to get into the habit of doing so (better yet, change the default settings to double-sided). Save even more paper by using the blank sides of used sheets of paper for note-taking and printing drafts. Also see "Reducing Paper Use" at the NRDC Greening Advisor.

Use reusable utensils for office parties - If you work in one of those offices where there's no excuse too small for a mid-afternoon get-together, encourage the office manager to invest in a set of dishes, cups, and utensils that can be used each time, rather than breaking out plastic utensils and paper plates.

Bring a waste-free lunch - Store your food in reusable containers rather than wrapping it in foil or plastic. Keep a knife, fork, spoon, and cloth napkins at work to avoid the need for plastic utensils and paper napkins. Bring your hot or cold drinks in a thermos, and drink them from a mug you keep at your desk or in your work area.

Set computers to sleep and hibernate - Enable the "sleep mode" feature on your computer, allowing it to use less power during periods of inactivity. In Windows, the power management settings are found on your control panel. Mac users, look for energy saving settings under system preferences in the apple menu. Configure your computer to "hibernate" automatically after 30 minutes or so of inactivity. The "hibernate mode" turns the computer off in a way that doesn't require you to reload everything when you switch it back on. Allowing your computer to hibernate saves energy and is more time-efficient than shutting down and restarting your computer from scratch. When you're done for the day, shut down. And don’t forget to turn off the screensavers on your computers—you don’t need them to protect your screen, and they use more energy than just leaving your computer idle. You can also turn down the backlighting on your computer screen to save energy even while it’s in use (look at the top of your keyboard or under program settings for both Macs and PCs).

Energy Conservation:

  • Unplug your chargers when you're not charging electronics. Plug all your electronics (computer, monitor, printer, fax) into power strips to easily switch them all off when you aren't using them. Even when you think these products are off, together, their "standby" consumption can be equivalent to that of a 60 watt light bulb running continuously.
  • Drastically cut the amount of energy your computer and monitor use by putting them in sleep mode when they aren’t in use. And avoid screen savers—those moving images on your monitor can cost an extra $50 or more of electricity a year.
  • Configure your computer to "hibernate" automatically after 30 minutes or so of inactivity. The "hibernate mode" turns the computer off in a way that doesn't require you to reload everything when you switch it back on. Allowing your computer to hibernate saves energy and is more time-efficient than shutting down and restarting your computer from scratch. When you're done for the day, remember to shut down.
  • Turn out or dim the lights in unused conference rooms and when you step out for lunch. Work by daylight when possible. A typical commercial building uses more energy for lighting than anything else.

Some helpful hints:

Too Hot –
  • Draw the shades at 10 am – before the sun is at its highest
  • Keep the convector grill covers free of any items
  • Make sure the convector airflow is not restricted at floor level
  • If your office has a thermostat control, make sure it is at the proper setting


Too Cool –
  • Pull the shades up – and let the sunshine in!
  • If your office has a thermostat control, make sure it is at the proper setting

Paper Use:

  • Don't print email messages unless necessary.
  • Work on drafts electronically, using "edit" and "comment" word-processing features, instead of working on paper.
  • Print less: Keep mailing lists current. Don't print more copies than you need or order extra on outside print jobs.
  • For meetings, wherever possible, use PowerPoint projections for presentations and circulate electronic versions instead of printing hard copies. If you truly must bring hard copies, print double-sided and use recycled-content paper.

Travel:
  • When possible, choose alternatives to driving to work (public transit, biking, walking, carpooling), and throughout the day bundle your meetings and/or errands together so you'll make fewer trips.
  • Swap a flight for the train or stay local if you can. Air travel is one of the fastest-growing sources of global warming pollution: the average jet pumps almost one ton of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere for every passenger it carries roundtrip from Los Angeles to New York. So try a train or host a teleconference, video conference, or online meeting instead of face-to face meetings when possible—and make the most of each time you fly by scheduling more than one meeting in each location.

For the latest full list of tips from NRDC that the NBA is distributing to their fans nationwide, encouraging them to save energy and natural resources, save money, and benefit the environment please see the NRDC Greening Advisor for the NBA

More Tips:

NRDC’s Green Tips
NRDC’s Smarter Business News
Green Tips For Athletes & Sports Fans