Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Making envrionmental choices at work

Have you ever noticed that you never see something until you have it yourself? For example, I never noticed how many blue Honda Civics were on the road until we bought ours.  Or how many women are pregnant at the same time until I was pregnant myself?

Lately, I've been noticing this phenomenon at work.  I hadn't realized the environmental impacts of my work place, really.  I mean, I noticed, but I didn't give it much thought.  Until recently. 

I've become the office supplies orderer for one of my library branches.  All of a sudden, I can make a choice about what type of paper, pens, and tape we buy.  I can decide how many transit slips we need, how much toner, how many envelopes.   It's been a real eye-opener.

I must state right away, that the library does environmental pretty well.  As a part of the larger City, we must comply with the city's take on environmental stewardship.  Here are some examples of how this happens:

1) printers are set to print double-sided AUTOMATICALLY.  You actually have to change the settings if you want to print single side
2) all internal communications are sent through re-usable envelopes.  You can get a lot of use out of these until they a) wear out or b) run out of room
3) all toner is taken back by our supplier for recycling and refurbishing/refilling
4) in the larger branches, green bins are kept in the staff room for compostables
5) our newest building was constructed according to LEED standards

It's the smaller stuff that I can affect.  I've purchased recycled printer paper.  I've made sure that our transit slips (which send items between branches) are reused at least 3-4 times.  I've tried to make sure that our used book sale racks are kept full with donations, instead of being sent to the recycle bin.

It's been great to be able to be green at work.  I'm looking forward to trying to further improve our processes/procedures.


  1. Hello, I know this comment doesn't really have anything to do with your latest post, but I thought it would be the fastest way to get a comment/idea to you.

    I've been back-reading your blog from the beginning, and the one post I'm on right now is "Join the Guiding and Scouting Movement (Change 96)"

    Now, I don't know how old your kids are, but depending on their age, you might want to see if they'd be interested in joining Cadets. A child can join the day they turn 12, and they can stay in the program until the day before they turn 19. The day of your 19th birthday, you can no longer be in Cadets.

    It's a really neat program. You can join Sea, Air, or Army Cadets, or all three if you can find ones that meet on different evenings. They provide the entire uniform and summer clothing free, although most cadet squadrons will do fund-raising.

    They also have summer camps, which the kids get paid to go to, amazingly enough. There's all kinds of different camps, from first-year to band to survival. In Air cadets, which is what I was in, you can even get your Private Pilot license. I'm sure there are similar things you can do in the Army and Sea Cadets.

    As well, if a child stays in Cadets and gets a high enough ranking (top two, I believe), if he or she should decide to join the Canadian Armed Forces, said child would be able to join with a higher rank and pay-grade.

    Anyways, just thought that might be something you guys would be interested it.

  2. Missing you, Eco-Mama! I know it's hard to keep up posting with work and kids, but, by gum, you're half way there to 365 changes!