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Posts Tagged ‘Conservation’

Latest aluminum recycling total

Thursday, October 7th, 2010

Your green printer recycled over a quarter of a ton of scrap aluminum plates today. That’s a pile of recycling.

Keeping cool and saving energy

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2008

Here are some energy-saving tips to keep in mind while you try to stay cool this summer:

Make some shade. Add awnings, even temporary ones, over your windows. West-facing windows are the most important as they add more solar heat-gain in the summer. If your air conditioner is in a sunny spot, shade it with an awning or deck umbrella (make sure you do not cover it or restrict it’s air flow). Shading your A/C units can improve efficiency by 10% or more.

Close your blinds. Especially in the afternoon and especially on west-facing windows.

Use a fan. Fans cost very little to run and can make you feel cooler – up to 7 degrees. A low setting is just as effective as a high one, and uses less electricity.

Change your light bulbs! If you still burn incandescent bulbs, here’s another reason to switch to compact fluorescent or LED: incandescent bulbs give off a lot of heat – 75% more than a compact fluorescent. Changing all the bulbs in your house will definitely make your air conditioner run less often.

Install a programmable thermostat. Raising the temperature in your house while you are gone will save a lot of money and improve your carbon footprint.

Wear shorts and open-weave fabrics. Sound obvious? Drink small amounts of water all day long. Keeping well-hydrated will make your body’s natural cooling system more efficient.

Order green printing. OK, that probably won’t make you any cooler, but it will make you hipper while reducing your impact on the environment!

Have ideas you want to share? Leave your comments and we’ll post your suggestions.

Boycott Exxon/Mobil

Friday, May 2nd, 2008

Exxon/Mobil has arguably the worst environmental record of any of the big oil companies. Remember the Valdez disaster? To date, the company has spent more money on PR regarding the incident than it has spent on the actual cleanup itself. The effects of that one spill are clearly evident in Alaska still.

Why are we bringing up this old news?

Your green printer received this mass email from a couple of sources, and while we are no fan of junk email and usually don’t put much stock in this kind of thing, we thought this campaign had merit for more than just the reason stated.

Here is an excerpt from the email:

This makes MUCH MORE SENSE than the ‘don’t buy gas on a certain day’ campaign that was going around last April or May! It’s worth your consideration.

We are being told we should expect to pay $4.00 a gallon by next summer and it might go higher! Want gasoline prices to come down? We need to take some intelligent, united action.

Here’s the idea: For the rest of this year, DON’T purchase ANY gasoline from the two biggest companies (which now are one), EXXON and MOBIL. If they are not selling any gas, they will be inclined to reduce their prices. If they reduce their prices, the other companies will have to follow suit.

The real reason gas prices are so high has nothing to do with supply of crude. The gas companies would love for you to believe that, because it justifies their obsession with drilling in Alaska and everywhere else that’s been off limits to them. Industry propaganda also blames the “Arabs” for jacking up the price of crude, using racism to deflect criticism and obfuscate this fact: the real reason we are paying so much to gas up our cars is simple greed.

The past decade has seen unchecked consolidation in the gasoline industry; Exxon/Mobil and BP/Amoco being the most visible. With every merger, the companies shut down refineries. It is this lack of refining capacity that has pushed gas prices through the roof. This was done by design, for the express purpose of driving up prices. And don’t hold your breath for this government to step in and bring consumers any relief.

These companies are making obscene profits, as CNN Money reported yesterday: Record oil prices netted Exxon Mobil a $10.89 billion profit in the first three months of the year, sharply higher than a year earlier… The profit was enough to be the second-highest U.S. corporate profit on record, falling just short of the record $11.66 billion Exxon Mobil earned in the prior quarter. The profit in that quarter came to $1,385 a second

There are lots of great reasons to boycott Exxon/Mobil. There are plenty of other gas stations around to buy gas from – and most of them offer lower prices… Hit Exxon/Mobil in their wallet like they’ve been hitting you in yours. They deserve it.

Xerox survey reveals top 10 environmental pet peeves

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2008

NORWALK, Conn., April 17, 2008 – Do you consider yourself environmentally aware? Are you the Chief Recycling Officer of your household? What about at work?

Results of a North American survey released today by Xerox Corporation to measure environmental consciousness in the workplace, found that work colleagues may have some strong objections to those who don’t walk-the-green-talk at the office.

Almost 40 percent of U.S. respondents said their number one office environmental pet peeve was mindless printing resulting in abandoned pages at the printer, followed closely by leaving the lights on in unused offices (37 percent).

A review of the other top office pet peeves included: lack of recycling bins (33 percent); excessive air conditioning or heating (29 percent); excessive use of paper products – like plates and cups (27 percent); coworkers who don’t recycle (27 percent) and coworkers who print single-sided instead of double-sided documents (24 percent).

“As we talk with our customers, we often find that environmental consciousness is left in the recycling bin that sits in employees’ garages. While they’re eco-friendly at home, the office is still breeding ground for bad habits,” said Patricia A. Calkins, vice president of Environment, Health and Safety at Xerox. “Yet, as this survey found, it takes a few small steps to make a big difference. Step number one: use the technology available in the office to cut back on paper use, reduce waste and reduce energy consumption. That can mean simply setting the office printers to default to two-sided printing, which cuts office paper use in half. Or, replace single function printers and copiers with multifunction systems, decreasing energy use.”

Gender and generations
The survey, which polled 1,569 office workers across the U.S. and Canada, revealed that U.S. women (91 percent) consider themselves more eco-conscious than their male counterparts (86 percent). Age had a noticeable effect on environmental consciousness too. Of U.S. workers aged 18-34, 27 percent ranked themselves as “extremely” or “very green” versus the next generation of employees aged 35-44 (17 percent).

    The Full List

The top ten environmental pet peeves among U.S. office workers:
1. Mindless printing resulting in increased waste (40%)
2. Leaving lights on (37%)
3. Lack of recycling bins (33%)
4. Excessive air conditioning in summer and heat in winter (29%)
5. Excessive use of paper products, like cups, plates, etc. (27%)
6. Coworkers not recycling (27%)
7. Coworkers not printing double-sided when they can (24%)
8. Too many cover sheets when faxing or printing (24%)
9. Having to store paper copies of existing, electronic files (24%)
10. Leaving computer on and not powering down when going home (23%)
For smarter ways to ‘green’ an office of any size, visit

About the survey
Harris Interactive conducted the survey of 1,569 adults aged 18+ working in offices in Canada and the United States from March 4 – March 9, 2008 on behalf of Xerox Corporation. Respondents were asked to rate their environmental consciousness and select which common office practices with negative environmental impact bothered them. The U.S. data were collected online and were weighted to be representative of the U.S. adult population on the basis of region, age within gender, education, annual household income, race/ethnicity and propensity to be online.

More on how Pepsi is contributing to water woes in Raleigh

Wednesday, February 20th, 2008

We have some more information for you regarding our previous post about Pepsi and Coke. According to an article in the News & Observer, Pepsi Bottling Ventures draws over 400,000 gallons a day from Falls Lake. The lake is the main reservoir providing water to drought-stricken Raleigh, NC.

As reported in the N&O:
…In calling for a boycott of Pepsi, Brown, the Durham councilman, said the company draws 400,000 gallons a day from Falls Lake and bottles it as Aquafina. Reimer declined to respond to Brown’s assertion, other than to note that Pepsi accounts for less than 1 percent of the water distributed by Raleigh, which has averaged about 40.6 million gallons a day over the last month.

The City has now required all car wash businesses and pressure washing businesses to stop using water, but so far has declined to limit Pepsi’s massive consumption in any way. In fact, they pay the same rate as any other user in Garner.

Read all about it:

Energy Savings Tips

Monday, February 18th, 2008

As part of our Green Business Marketing program, your consultant will make recommendations that will augment your green printing efforts and make your business more eco-friendly. Printing is just one area that is addressed. We look at water and power usage, ergonomics in production, and many other aspects of your operation. Call us to discuss details of the program. Meanwhile, here are some tips for saving electricity that we find many of our clients can benefit from at the office and at home:

Raise air conditioning thermostat settings in the summer, and lower them in the winter. A difference of a couple of degrees can make a significant difference on your electric bill and lower C02 output. Areas that do not need to be heated or cooled, such as storage rooms and unused offices should be isolated by closing the vents and keeping the doors closed. Areas that are used only occasionally might be better heated with efficient space heaters.

Replace tank style water heaters with on-demand units. Use small, energy efficient models and install one per bathroom or point-of-use. Alternately, wrap your older heater in an insulating blanket. In either case, lower the temperature setting to 120 degrees. If you have an older heater, install heat traps on the water lines. Regular maintenance is critical too. Sediment accumulates in the bottom of the tank, which creates a barrier between the heating element and the water it’s trying to heat. Draining the tank every 6 months will keep the sediment flushed out. Insulate exposed hot water pipes.

Replace light bulbs with compact fluorescent, or better yet, LED alternatives. Compact fluorescent bulbs are roughly 70% more efficient than incandescent bulbs. LED bulbs are relatively new to the market and more expensive, but are even more efficient than compact fluorescents and will not lose brightness over time. Also, they don’t generate significant heat, so will not add load to your air conditioning system. Eliminate halogen bulbs altogether, as they use the most energy and generate a tremendous amount of heat.

Replace light switches with motion-sensing units. These will automatically turn the lights on when a person enters the room, and turn it off after it stops sensing motion. These are most appropriate in rooms that get occasional use, like bathrooms, storage rooms and closets.

Raise the temperature of your refrigerator. 38-40 degrees is recommended for the refrigerator, while 5 degrees is ideal for the freezer. These are typically the middle of the dial, or what are labeled as “factory settings” on some models. In an office that is closed at night, install an appliance timer that turns off the fridge between 9pm and 6am. A well insulated fridge will stay cold all night if the door is not opened, but the unit will still cycle on and off if not on a timer.

Check for air leaks around window frames. Caulking or weather stripping them is easy to do and is a huge energy saver. If you have single pane windows, install double-pane glass or replace them altogether.

Check for air coming in through electrical receptacles. If you feel a breeze, install gaskets (available at hardware stores) behind the covers. Also use plugs to cap unused outlets.

Look at your HVAC ducts to see if they are insulated. Air ducts that pass through unconditioned space will lose efficiency if they are not insulated. Also, tape all joints in the ductwork to prevent air lose through leaks.

At home, wash only full loads of clothes and dishes and consider air drying them rather than using the clothes dryer or the drying element on the dishwasher. If you do use the dryer, avoid over drying your clothes, as this will shorten the life of the garments as well as use un-necessary amounts of energy.

Replace older appliances. Newer models are much more efficient. Look for the “Energy Star” seal when choosing appliances. These models are required to use less than 50% of the energy required by the Federal minimum standard.

Remember that anything you do to save water will also save energy. Using less hot water lowers energy consumption, and if you are on a well, your pump will run less too. Low-flow shower heads and sink aerators are a good place to start.

All of these tips will save money. Even the ones that involve significant costs should break even in the relatively short period of 1-3 years, depending on the solution implemented. In the meantime, you can take satisfaction from the fact that your carbon footprint has been greatly reduced. Please leave us your tips through the feedback feature on our newsblog at

Whole Foods eliminates plastic shopping bags

Friday, February 1st, 2008

Earlier, we reported initiatives by China and Australia to ban plastic shopping bags. We are pleased to announce that Whole Foods Market, the world’s leading natural and organic foods supermarket and a green printing customer, has announced that it will end the use of disposable plastic grocery bags at the checkouts in all of its 270 stores in the U.S., Canada and the U.K. with the goal to be plastic bag-free by Earth Day, April 22, 2008.

According to A.C. Gallo, co-president and chief operating officer for Whole Foods Market: “More and more cities and countries are beginning to place serious restrictions on single-use plastic shopping bags since they don’t break down in our landfills, can harm nature by clogging waterways and endangering wildlife, and litter our roadsides. Together with our shoppers, our gift to the planet this Earth Day will be reducing our environmental impact as we estimate we will keep 100 million new plastic grocery bags out of our environment between Earth Day and the end of this year alone.”

“Doing away with plastic grocery bags won’t just help protect marine life, it’s a key move in shifting us away from a ‘consume-and-dispose’ mentality,” says Lisa Mastny, editor of the Worldwatch Institute report Oceans in Peril. “Disposable plastic bags can linger in the environment for more than 1,000 years and are the major debris item found on the seabed, especially near the coast.”

“During our International Coastal Cleanup each year, our volunteers find hundreds of thousands of bags on beaches and in the ocean posing a threat to birds, turtles and other marine life. As people continue to learn more about the impact their lifestyle has on the environment, we find they are looking for personal solutions to global problems,” said Laura Capps, senior vice president of communications and outreach with Ocean Conservancy. “We applaud Whole Foods Market for encouraging their customers to bring re-usable bags when shopping and for making better stewardship of our environment a part of their everyday lives.”

Beginning immediately, each store in the Company will work on depleting stocks of disposable plastic grocery bags at the checkouts and will help raise awareness about the benefits of reusable bags. Over the next three months, stores will reduce plastic grocery bag inventories and increase selections of reusable bags for purchase.

The Company sells different types of reusable bags, ranging from canvas to its new large, stylish “A Better Bag” – a sound environmental choice since 80 percent of its content comes from recycled plastic bottles and it is an economical choice as well since it costs only 99 cents.

Although the natural and organic grocer hopes to inspire shoppers to bring their own reusable bags, the Company will continue to offer an environmentally sensitive option when needed – 100 percent recycled paper grocery bags. Last year, Whole Foods Market became the first and only food retailer in North America to offer these recycled paper grocery bags made with 100 percent recycled fiber content, which also are completely recyclable.

Discontinuing disposable plastic grocery bags at the checkouts is another step in the Company’s ongoing effort to provide more Earth-friendly bags and containers in its stores. Recently, Whole Foods Market stores began using all-natural fiber packaging at its salad and food bars. The fibers for the new containers come from plants that are cultivated or grow wild and are harvested annually. Additionally, the Company continues to seek alternatives to plastic bags in its bulk, produce, bakery and seafood departments.

China bans plastic shopping bags

Sunday, January 13th, 2008

In reaction to the environmental impact of billions of thin plastic bags floating around China, the government has banned their production altogether. The backers of the law hope that this will lead to greater environmental awareness throughout the population. Going forward, groceries will have to be packed into straw baskets or cloth bags as they were before the bags became ubiquitous. In response to China’s initiative, Australia has also committed to phasing the bags out by year’s end.

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