Make a Difference

Tips for Work


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Saving Energy

There are an estimated 55 million computers in the U.S., and many of them never get switched off, needlessly consuming energy overnight and on weekends. The average computer left on all day, every day uses nearly 1,000 kilowatts of electricity over the course of a year versus a computer switched off at the end of the day uses less than 250 kilowatts. 

Action: Turn off your computers at the end of the day or activate the sleep mode on your computer when you are away from your desk.
Why: Polar bears will thank you for saving all those kilowatts of energy, which in turn, reduces carbon emissions, reducing global warming!

Find out more about the collaborations between the San Diego Zoo and Polar Bears International®.

Reducing Waste

Recycling an aluminum can uses only 5 percent of the energy required to make a new one, recycling glass uses 50 percent of the energy, and every ton of paper recycled saves 60 percent of the energy, 17 trees, 7,000 gallons of water, and 60 pounds of air pollution!  Collect all recyclables from meetings, gatherings, or lunchtime or ask coworkers to bring their own coffee mugs or reusable water containers!  By doing so, you can help save countless plants and animals living in the rainforests around the world!  You can purchase your own reusable container at the San Diego Zoo’s Web site.

Action: Recycle cans
Why: Recycling saves energy and resources, helps conserve landfill space, and reduces the need to clear more Tropical Rain Forests in order to mine materials to make aluminum.

To find out more tips on how your can recycle at the office, visit the Environmental Protection Agency’s Web site.

Conserving Resources

A business is not truly recycling unless it buys recycled products.  Recycled paper and recycled paper products uses up to 90 percent less water and half the energy required to make paper from virgin lumber, leading to 36 percent less greenhouse emissions!  So choose paper, napkins, toilet paper, and paper towels made from recycled paper!  Visit the Environmental Protection Agency’s Web site to learn more tips on buying recycled products,

Action: “Precycle”  by purchasing products in recycled packaging.
Why: Products such as cereal, cookies, crackers, and dry goods packaged in recycled paper reduce the need to log forests.  This helps keep the homes of animals like the spotted owl  secure.

All Things Workplace

Food scraps and yard clippings make up one quarter of U.S. solid waste.  When this organic matter ends up in the landfills and decomposes without air, it produces methane, a greenhouse gas 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide.  A compost pile or worm farm (vermiculture) is a simple but effective way to cleanly convert waste from the coffee maker, kitchen, or garden into something productive!  Compost your coffee grounds and any leftover food from lunch meetings to minimize waste and create organic fertilizer.

Action: Use compost or vermiculture bins at home and work.
Why: Composting organic waste reduces the volume of garbage sent to landfills, and it produces free fertilizer to enrich your garden and houseplant soil.  Landfills displace many species like the rosy boa.

If you are interested in creating your own compost, check out the Environmental Protection Agency’s Web site, or, to purchase your own worm farm, visit VermiPro – Providing Environmental Composting Solutions.

Spread the Green

Did you know the air in your office may have harmful toxins in it?  The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ranks indoor air pollution as one of the top five environmental public health risks today. Indoor plants act as natural air filters, absorbing airborne pollutants and radiation from computers while replenishing oxygen levels.  So get green with plants!  They can reduce stress levels and keep the workplace healthier, happier, and more productive! 

You can also get green by holding green meetings and do some green networking…here’s how:
Green meetings – bring your own reusable mug, cup, or serveware to meetings, use recyclable products, e-mail or post memos and newsletters, rather than making multiple copies of everything or photocopy on both sides of the paper, look for refillable pens and ink cartridges and buy office supplies and furniture made from recycled products, install compact florescent bulbs (CFL’s) in offices and meeting rooms, set the thermostat to 78 degrees or higher in warm weather and 68 degrees in colder weather!  For more green meeting tips, visit the Flex Your Power Web site

Green networking – carpool with coworkers or begin a rideshare program, share green tips you do at home with coworkers, family, and friends, share locations of local Farmer’s Markets to reduce the amount of miles your food has to travel, educate yourself with tips and resources you can do to make your home and workplace more green, and DARE TO BE GREEN!