Be Mindful of and sensitive to the natural environment in your life
We are advocating the 3 R’s of environmental protection. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.
The first step to reducing your impact on the environment, is reducing the amounts of resources you consume and use. Think twice before you buy or use anything. Do you really need it? By reducing your consumption you will also decrease the amount of waste you produce.
There are also many other ways to reduce your waste. The opportunities are nearly endless. Here are just a few ideas.
- Think before you print or photocopy! Print and copy as little as possible.
- Edit on screen, not on paper.
- Use e-mail to minimize paper use.
- Send and store documents like necessary papers and business proposals electronically instead of on paper.
- When you must print or copy, do it double-sided.
- Circulate documents instead of making an individual copy for everyone.
- Change the margins on your Word documents. The default margins on the documents you print are 1.25 inches on all sides. Simply changing the margins to 0.75 inches will reduce the amount of paper you use by almost 5 percent.
There are so many ways of optimizing your energy consumption:
- Turn off unused or unneeded lights.
- Use natural lighting instead of electric lighting whenever possible.
- If you have a desk lamp, make sure it uses fluorescent bulbs (instead of incandescent bulbs).
- Dress appropriate to the season
- Select cold water for washing clothes
- Keep windows and doors closed in heated and air-conditioned areas.
- Turn off computers when they are not in use.
- Turn off printers, especially laser printers, unless printing.
- Don’t use power strips to turn on all computers and desk equipment at once.
- When purchasing computers and peripherals, buy low wattage equipment.
- Minimize use of screen savers and instead enable power management features.
- Purchase only energy-efficient products
- Move your refrigerator. Leaving space between your refrigerator and the wall increases air circulation around the condenser coils, allowing the fridge to operate more efficiently.
- Drive Efficiently - If you must drive, buck the trend toward more wasteful vehicles and drive a fuel efficient car, i.e. one which gets more miles per gallon, and don’t drive it more than you really need to!.
- Park your car in the shade. Gas evaporates from your fuel tank more quickly when you park in the sun. Parking in the shade lowers the temperature in your gas tank by up to 7 degrees, significantly reducing fuel evaporation.
Plastic containers can become food storage, paper can become wrapping paper. The ways in which to reuse things are unlimited. All you need is to be creative. If being creative is not your thing, here are some other ideas:
- Reuse envelopes by placing a new label over the old address.
- Designate a box for scrap paper and use it for printing all drafts or unofficial documents.
- Reuse plastic bags or better get a reusable canvas bags.
When buying any type of product, see if it is available with post consumer recycled content.
- Wrap presents in gift bags. Once you tear the wrapping paper off a holiday gift it ends up in the recycle bin, but gift bags can be used over and over again.
- Production of recycled paper uses only half the water and 3/4 of the energy than new paper
- Every ton of recycled paper saves almost 400 gallons of oil, three cubic yards of landfill space and seventeen trees.
- If you recycle soda cans, the energy used and air pollution created, is 95 percent less than if the cans were produced from raw materials.
- You could operate a TV set for an estimated three hours with the energy saved by recycling just one aluminum can
Thinking green means being aware of our interconnectedness with the world and reflecting on the unintended damage we cause nature in the daily course of our lives. Thinking green leads to acting green - taking corrective action to make environmental responsibility a reality.