Posts Tagged ‘green cleaning supplies’

SIMPLE STEPS TO GREEN YOUR OFFICE

A typical modern office

As you move towards a greener lifestyle, don’t forget to green your office whether you work from home or away!

  • When possible, use energy star equipment – computers, printers, copiers, fax machines, coffee makers, etc. – for maximum energy efficiency.
  • Recycle print cartridges at office supply stores and use soy ink cartridges, which require less oil to manufacture and emit fewer air pollutants.
  • Keep your screen saver blank instead of the energy hogging, hypnotic graphics ones.  They aren’t good for our eyes anyway!
  • Paper copies are less important these days, but if you do have to print something, print on both sides of the paper – most printers have a 2-sided property – and use recycled paper.  Also, set your printer to economy mode or eco-tone.  Most new printers have this setting, which uses less ink.
  • If your office is not already recycling used paper, set up a recycling center (for cans, bottles and plastic too) and organize a weekly or monthly pick up from a local recycling company. Or reuse unwanted paper for scrap paper.
  • For interoffice memos, use email rather than paper.  Most offices already do that and even email is becoming antiquated with facebook messaging, google chatting and texting!
  • In your office kitchen, install a water filter system instead of using individual water bottles or big plastic water containers.
  • The average American goes through 500 disposable cups every year, so use ceramic mugs, not polystyrene (Styrofoam®) or plastic cups for coffee or water. Use real spoons instead of plastic stirrers. Set up a recycling center in the kitchen too.
  • Replace incandescent light bulbs with longer lasting, energy efficient CFLs (compact fluorescents) or LED bulbs.
  • Clean your office with green cleaning supplies.
  • Reuse old packaging materials for shipping.
  • Houseplants are effective air cleaners, removing indoor air pollutants.  Place several plants near your printers, fax and photocopiers. They add beauty and tranquility as well.
  • When remodeling your office, use natural materials for furniture and carpet and low VOC paints instead of man-made laminates,  synthetic materials and conventional paints that outgas toxins.
  • When possible ride public transportation, walk or carpool to work.

We spend most of our time at work, so setting up a green office is an important step to using less energy and leading a healthier lifestyle.  Remember, every little step helps!


“GREEN” DISAGREEMENTS AT HOME

Does your husband throw away plastic containers?  Does your wife idle the car too long?  Do your children constantly leave the lights or the tv on when they leave the room?   Is your family complaining because you have cut out processed foods and feed them only local, organic food? Do some members of your family think climate change is a myth? Do you find yourself getting frustrated and angry because not everyone is on board?

Even though you know you are doing the right thing, it’s inevitable that not all family members will be as passionate about the environment as you are.  I know I am constantly taking used paper towel rolls out of the trash and putting them in the paper-recycling bin.  Or I have to stop my husband from throwing away an empty jar.  Whether it’s arguments over the correct way to discipline a child or planning your retirement, a certain amount of conflict is normal between spouses, family members or friends.  When tensions arise about going green, handle it just like any other disagreement.

  • Educate – explain the importance of a greener lifestyle and why it is necessary. Taking care of the earth now will insure a better earth for future generations.
  • Lead by example – no one is going to adopt new methods if you don’t do it yourself.
  • Try not to nag – be patient, everyone eventually catches on but it takes time. 
  • Introduce new habits slowly – start with the easiest habits first like turning off the water when you brush your teeth, add non-toxic cleaning supplies and work up to an electric car!
  • Make it fun!  Let your kids decide for themselves which green tip they want to do.
  • Reward the family with a fun outing using the money you have saved by conserving electricity or cutting back on junk food.

There will come a time when we look back and say, “Can you imagine we used to put toxic chemicals on our lawn? “  Start making a difference now, it’s easy!