Going Green: Saving OUR Home (planet earth), saving money, being more efficient

I’m in no way a card carrying member of my local environmental club. However, I know that I need to be much more sensitive to doing what I can do to help ensure the environmental sustainability of our planet.

At times, I wonder, what can I (one person) do to help. I sometimes think, what one person does, does not help or hinder anything. However, it’s not just about ME. It’s about doing what I can to help and knowing (and hoping) that millions more are doing what they can do to help keep the environment clean as well.
The earth is not going to self destruct, it’s been created for resiliency. However, we are to be good stewards of it and ensure we don’t damage it for ourselves and for future generations.
What can you do to help in your office?
Printer cartridges
Instead of throwing printer cartridges away, send them away for recycling. If your printer cartridge vendor is not providing resealable packaging with a shipping label to send the cartridge back for recycling – use another vendor.
Energy saving
Although it’s a pain sometimes to tap your fingers and wait for the copy machine or some other device, you’ll save energy by keeping devices in “low energy consumption” mode when not in use.
The EPA recently released new Energy Star requirements. Xerox, in a recent press release writes that previously the ENERGY STAR criteria for office copiers, printers and multifunction systems measured power consumed in standby and low-power modes. The new standard asks a different question: How much energy would the device use during a typical week? It measures the energy consumed if the system mimics the tempo of a normal office, running a sample job mix with downtime for lunch, overnight and on weekends. The result is a Typical Electricity Consumption (TEC) figure that must meet the EPA’s tough new requirements in order for a product to achieve ENERGY STAR status.
Patricia Calkins, Xerox vice president, Environment, Health and Safety, said, “The EPA’s new ENERGY STAR requirements raise the bar so significantly that only 25 percent of products in the marketplace were expected to meet the new criteria. At Xerox, we knew we could do better than the industry average, and we did with more than 50 percent of our current product line passing this tough test.
You can read more about what Xerox is doing here.
I hadn’t thought about this until reading something from Verizon Business, but choosing to get digital bills and invoices instead of paper can save quite a bit of resources as well.
“We all can be conservationists throughout the year by actively taking steps that protect the environment and also make good business sense,” said Nancy Gofus, senior vice president and chief marketing officer for Verizon Business. “E-billing helps save trees by replacing massive paper bills, while providing more valuable billing information to our customers. Eco-friendly virtual meetings and tools such as e-mail and instant messaging can reduce the need for business travel while enhancing an organization’s overall collaboration.”
Verizon Business suggests that businesses continue to do more video conferencing, emailing, instant messaging and other digital communication to help the environment.
The EPA has a web page here which gives guidance about how to be an environmental steward at work.