Illinois EPA encourages Illinoisans to go green at the office
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[May 23, 2008]
SPRINGFIELD -- It has been said
that the average person spends 70,980 hours at work in a lifetime.
With so many hours spent out of the home and in the office, Illinois
Environmental Protection Agency Director Doug Scott reminds people
about the importance of practicing green initiatives in the
workplace and encourages employees to adopt a greener work
"Offices generate tons and tons of waste every day," said Scott.
"While many of us are working to green our home and lives outside of
work, adopting an environmentally friendly lifestyle at the office,
such as reducing, reusing and recycling, is the next step. In doing
so, we can limit the amount of unnecessary waste that lands up in
our landfills, save money and reduce demand on power plants, the
nation's leading contributors to global warming pollution."
environmentally conscious at the workplace can be accomplished by
taking a few simple steps each day. Everyone in the office can do
their part to help the office become more eco-friendly. Talk to your
employer and suggest some green solutions for the office. Having an
employer who chooses energy-efficient solutions helps them to save
money while protecting the environment for future generations.
When you start to green the workplace, you're helping to reduce
global warming pollution, preserve our beautiful landscapes, and
keep the air and water clean. Whether you work out of your own
office at home or in a more traditional office environment, here are
some steps to green your workplace:
walk or take public transportation to work.
Think before you
print! According to the National Research Defense Council, the
average office tosses out about 350 pounds of paper per
employee, per year.
If printing is
necessary, remember to keep your own daily consumption of paper
out of the landfill. Every half-pound of paper that an office
recycles saves the equivalent of 1 pound of greenhouse gas
emissions, plus the equivalent weight in trees.
paper with at least 30 percent recycled content and 60 percent
chlorine-free and lower-weight paper.
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Use e-mail for
memos, meeting notes, announcements, etc.
folders, routing envelopes and manila envelopes.
Use a reusable
office mug, which saves 500 disposable cups per person from
being thrown away each year.
Turn off machines
that aren't in use.
Get plants to
absorb indoor air pollution. Philodendrons, Boston ferns and
English ivy grow well with artificial light.
office supplies, consider recycled-content office products such
as binders, folders, clipboards, presentation folders, desktop
remanufactured or recycled toner cartridges. Choose a vendor
with a take-back program to recycle used cartridges.
lights on in empty rooms.
Turn on your
desktop lamp instead of higher-energy overhead lights when
Turn off your
computer when it is not in use for long periods.
Plan an energy
efficiency strategy for your office.
Switch to compact fluorescent light
Environmental Protection Agency
file received from
Illinois Office of
Communication and Information]