Monday, February 7, 2011

Go Green, Week #6

I picked up this book at the local consignment shop, Treasures & More, for $1.00. 
The Green Book: The Everyday Guide to Saving the Planet One Simple Step at a Time
I am a passionate recycler, electricity saver, and cheapskate so I will be sharing a few helpful hints from each chapter with my readers that will not only help our environment but rock your inner frugality at the same time!  Check out these top three hints from this chapter below.
Chapter 5: Work
A lot of people have the attitude at work that its not their problem to recycle, reduce or reuse at the office if its not a system already in place.  BLASPHEMY.  Start your system at work or be an example and get others to follow you!
Here are a few things the authors of The Green Book have said would make the biggest impact with the least amount of effort at your job.
#1 - Double side your copies.   The annual savings of 130 BILLION sheets of paper would result if just 1 of 4 office workers double sided their paper.  I have taken to doing this at work.  We have lots of "form" letters with the same enclosures for all clients, etc.  The form letter is the most important copy so I double side my attachments in case we need proof later that it was sent.  If I have a large stack (we often send PILES of medical records to doctors), I go ahead and scan those to save to the electronic file, copy only the cover letter, and make a note that all attachments were scanned if we need proof of sent items later.
#2 - Carpool.  One person carpooling to work every day saves 500 gallons of gas and 550 pounds of exhaust emissions EVERY YEAR.  That's at least $1445.00 in gas at Iowa's prices today!  I approached my job on the second week there asking for new hours so I could join a carpool.  They didn't hesitate to let me change my hours and save money in the process.  You also save wear and tear on your vehicle and can sometimes even get a deduction on your car insurance if you then travel less than 10,000 miles per year.  Its a win win situation!
#3 - Use a ceramic or reusable coffee mug.  Styrofoam cups live for 9 GENERATIONS.  Is it that hard to take your mug home to wash it if you don't have a sink?  I often hand wash throughout the week then bring it home on the weekends for a run through the dishwasher.
Has your work implemented any easy environmentally friendly policies you can tell us about? 

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