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Bankrate's 2007 Living Green, Saving Green Guide
Green today
Learn 153 ways to be eco-friendly while saving green.
Green today
153 ways to go green
School/career: Quick fix
Tips » Quick fix $ Factor
Tip 45:
Turn off the lights.
When leaving the office or classroom, a simple flip of a switch conserves energy. Yet a surprising number of empty offices, conference rooms, restrooms and lobbies are lit for hours each day (and night) while going unused. Better yet, use daylight to your advantage by sitting near a window; artificial light consumes about 40 percent of electricity in a typical office building.
$ Factor:
The electric bill is where the savings are found. While it's not a direct savings for individuals, lower utility costs can mean more money spent in other areas.
Tip 46:
Use electronic communications.
Submit and distribute assignments and reports electronically. E-mailing a document allows for easier, from-anywhere reference for a teacher or colleague -- and provides proof that it was sent on time. For in-progress documents, electronic transmission also make it easy to collaborate.
$ Factor:
Whether it's a 100-page thesis or a 10-page policy statement distributed to 10 employees, sending electronically saves trees and the cost of paper -- as well as copying, collation and distribution. A bonus of the written documentation: possible "he said, she said" arguments won't kill productivity.
Tip 47:
Fax smart.
Sending faxes directly from the computer avoids using paper altogether. But if a traditional fax is the only option, either avoid using a cover page or create a reusable cover by laminating the page and using an erasable marker. In addition, avoid the automatic activity report function to save another page.
$ Factor:
It may be "just a single sheet" of paper, but if everyone followed these green rules, it would really add up.
Tip 48:
Pack a waste-free lunch.
Eliminate plastic bags, plastic utensils, disposable containers, paper napkins and those brown bags. Instead use a lunchbox, reusable drink container, cloth napkin and silverware. Find odd pieces of used silverware at a second-hand store so you don't lose parts of your good set. Sandwiches, fresh fruit, vegetables and treats packaged in reusable containers are healthy alternatives to cafeteria and prepackaged foods. They can also be bought in larger quantities, saving money and packaging.
$ Factor:
You could save $250 a year and a pile of waste that weighs as much as the average 9-year-old.
-- Posted: Oct. 4, 2007
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