At events and meetings, explain to participants your efforts in going green.
Turn off lights when not in use, including common areas, such as kitchens, conference rooms, and bathrooms. Use dimmers, motion sensors, or occupancy sensors if applicable.
When feasible turn off lights near windows and take advantage of natural lighting.
Replace regular light bulbs with ENERGY STAR qualified compact fluorescent light bulbs or LED lighting.
Unplug small appliances when not in use. Use power strips as central turn-off points for small appliances such as coffee makers and microwaves.
Check the temperature of refrigerators and freezers to make sure temperatures are within the recommended ranges, and are not too cold.
Use rechargeable batteries.
During winter months, open shades and curtains on sunny days to let the warmth of the sun in and close them on cold nights to prevent heat loss. During summer months, close shades or curtains to block direct sunlight to reduce cooling needs.
Set the thermostat to no higher than 68 ° F in winter, and no lower than 68 ° F in summer or use an ENERGY STAR qualified programmable thermostat to automatically adjust the temperature of the office (if applicable).
If applicable, take the stairs instead of the elevator.
When turning on the tap, use cold water whenever possible. Using hot water requires energy.
Events and Meetings
Purchase paper products, such as plates, napkins, and paper towels made with recycled content.
Take advantage of technology, such as email and instant messaging. When applicable, email messages to participants, and post items, such as flyers, presentations, brochures, and fact sheets on the Internet.
If providing a meal, purchase items, including condiments (sugar, sweeteners, and creamers) and water, in bulk.
If you are hosting an event, encourage participants to bring their own travel mugs or water bottles.
If applicable offer travel mugs or water bottles as a give-a-way with your event's name and logo.
If you are attending an event, bring your own travel mug or water bottle.
Use your CES nametag as opposed to creating a new nametag. If you are hosting the event, use nametags in reusable holders. (Optional: For youth events create nametags using natural products such as cross sections of trees, tree cookies. Youth and adults love to keep the “tree cookie” nametags as keepsakes and they can be used again and again.)
Maintenance (If Applicable)
Have the heating and cooling system checked seasonally, and clean or change air filters monthly. A dusty air filter can result in increased energy use and costs, and premature equipment failure.
Check for air leaks. Fill gaps and cracks with caulk or insulation.
Provide new hires with information about the offices green practices and policies.
Purchase reusable office supplies, such as undated, erasable wall calendars, refillable pens, and dry erase boards. Reuse items such as file folders.
Purchase materials, such as paper, folders, and envelopes, and paper towels and napkins, made from recycled content if cost effective.
Need furniture? Restore what you already have or shop at second-hand stores if cost effective.
Carpool, bike, or walk to meetings and events (if applicable). Encourage others to do the same.
Run multiple errands at once to save gas.
If you plan to be parked for longer than 10 seconds, turn off your engine. Vehicle idling wastes gas and money, and causes increased air pollution.
Forego eating out and pack a snack or meal when possible. Fast food restaurant meals often come with a lot of packaging, and serving sizes can be large resulting in uneaten food. Packaging and uneaten food can result in a lot waste for the environment and your pocket book.
If you do have to fax an item, use a small label as opposed to a full-page cover sheet.
Pay bills online if possible.
Think before you print.
Use both sides of paper for printing, copying, and taking notes.
Assign one printer tray in the office for reusing paper that has only been printed on one side. Use this printer tray to print draft documents and emails.
Use smaller fonts, reduce page margins, and use single line spacing when possible to save paper.
Update mailing lists to reduce returned mailings and unneeded printing.
Eliminate newsletter, newspaper, and magazine subscriptions that are not read on a regular basis. Check to see if subscriptions that are read are available online.
Create an office surplus area to store and exchange reusable items.
Contact your County Solid Waste Coordinator for information on recycling programs in your county or visit http://waste.ky.gov/. If your county offers recycling, provide recycling containers.
Recycle electronic waste (e-scrap). Visit Earth911 or contact your County Solid Waste Coordinator regarding e-scrap recycling locations/programs in your community. If your county does not offer an e-scrap recycling program, consider working with your County Solid Waste Coordinator to plan an e-scrap collection day.
Place recycle bins strategically throughout the office in high traffic areas (if applicable). If possible, provide a recycle bin next to each trash can. Provide information on what can and cannot be recycled at each bin.
Repair equipment when possible instead of buying new.
If applicable, donate unwanted equipment and furniture to a local charity, such as Goodwill. Or auction used equipment and furniture as a fundraising event. (Note: check your county's policies regarding donating and/or auctioning items.)
Pack a waste-free lunch.
Purchase items that use less packaging. Buy items that are used frequently in bulk, and look for items that are sold in reusable or recycled containers.
Use reusable bags when shopping. Keep a reusable bag in the kitchen or other common area for those shopping to use.
Bring your own reusable travel mug or water bottle.
Use shredded paper as packaging for shipping items.
Remove your office's address from direct/junk mailings (Visit the Federal Trade Commission for more information).
Turn the water off when washing your hands.
If applicable, set the dishwasher to the water-saving or short cycle. Only run the dishwasher with a full load.
Have leaky faucets, fixtures, and toilets repaired.
Please note that the ENRI Task Force realizes that not all action items may be applicable in all county offices. Because CES inhabits the entire state, some counties may be more limited in some areas, such as public transportation or recycling, than others. If you have any questions feel free to contact Ashley Osborne at firstname.lastname@example.org . We can all do our part in helping UK CES go green!