The workshop yesterday was a great success!
We had some great ideas for improving the library. Here are a few of the ideas and/or tips we came up with:
Before you print stop and consider, do you really need that item printed? If you do, can you do it double sided? Or with multiple pages per sheet? Did you know that inkjet printers are MUCH more energy efficient than laser printers? Also, don’t forget that ink cartridges can be refilled for cheaper than replacing them.
Laptops use 50% less power than desktops, so if you can use a laptop instead, go for it!
Food related waste is one of the biggest sources of waste in workplaces. Things like paper plates, plastic silverware and excess packaging really add up. According to our presenter, in America we produce four pounds of trash every day! How can you help? B.Y.O. Bring your own lunch, or if you eat out, bring your own reusable silverware, bowls, or cups. Bring your own chopsticks! Don’t buy bottled water, carry a water bottle with you and refill that. The same goes for coffee, have a ceramic mug or a travel mug and reuse it. Also buy local when you can, that reduces the need for preservation, packaging, transportation costs.
When you grocery shop bring reusable bags. Lots of places now reward you for not using the plastic/paper bags by giving you bag credits. Hannaford where I shop gives $0.05 a bag. In addition to bringing reusable bags you don’t need to put all your produce into the little plastic bags. Your potatoes and onions and avocados can happily ride all together in the shopping cart and in your reusable bag. The same goes for fresh fruits! Avoid excess packaging in deli products. Instead of tons of pre-wrapped cheese slices why not get them fresh sliced at the deli? One more grocery tip, if you do buy something that has a ton of packaging that it doesn’t really need (like tea bags which come in little foil sleeves, inside a wax paper bag, inside a box, covered in shrink wrap) there’s always (or almost always) a number on the side of the box. Give them a call and let them know you’re not interested in having so much packaging. Also if you’re choosing NOT to buy something because of excess packaging tell them that as well.
At home: unplug appliances when they’re not being used. They suck up energy even when turned off! Just pull the plug on them until you need them. Televisions are huge energy hogs especially. Our presenter said they almost use MORE when they’re turned off than when they’re actually on. That’s CRAZY! Replacing regular lightbulbs with compact fluorescent ones is also an excellent idea. Washing your laundry with cold water, there are tons of cold water detergents out there now. We’ve also changed over to concentrated detergent so we use less and there’s less plastic in the bottles we buy. Now if only I could get them to refill my detergent bottles!
What are your best conservation and sustainability ideas?