Here are more action To-Do's for you and your colleagues:
Use that travel mug you were given at your last corporate event. Going for a coffee break? Remember to use your travel mug.
Or, if you'll be sitting down for coffee ask your barista for a mug, or grab one from the office kitchen on your way out. Avoid take out waste and instead sit down, relax and enjoy your steaming cup of coffee in a real ceramic mug.
Have a 'locally grown food' potluck lunch with your workmates. Celebrate the season, cut down on the energy used to transport food (the ingredients in the average meal travel up to 4,000 kilometers to your plate), support our local farmers and have an excuse for a mid-day social gathering with your colleagues.
Go to the In the Kitchen - Buy Local Page to find out about local farmer's markets, foods that are in season and other related information.
Put your computer monitor to sleep! Computer monitors use a significant amount of energy. And those screen savers...don't be fooled by the name — they don't save a thing. Activate the energy-saving feature of your monitor to save energy. For PCs, go to the Start menu, select Settings, then choose Control Panel, click on Display, and then set the Energy Star settings under the Screen Saver tab. NOTE: A screen saver does not save your screen or energy. Put it to sleep!
Turn off machines and equipment that are not in use. Turn off printers and other office machines when not in use as they can idle as much as 90% of the workday and are often left running at night and on weekends. For many businesses, this simple approach turns into big savings. If you can't turn them off, see if there is a low-power mode you can use.
Buy greenhouse gas offsets for any work related air travel. Air travel has a significant energy impact, releasing huge amounts of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.
If you have to fly for work, purchased green house gas offsets, which are essentially an inexpensive emission reduction credit. An offset purchase for your average flight is around $20 – 40.
People can purchase offsets through an organization like offsetters.ca or climatecare.org, who invest in projects that take greenhouse gases out of the atmosphere or stop them from being emitted in the first place.
Going to a meeting? Try taking transit, or cycling or walking (psst — this means you are getting paid to get exercise and fresh air).
For medium distance trips transit, cycling or walking can be faster. Plus you don't have to deal with parking or traffic. And the greatest benefit of all — a low effort way to integrate some exercise into your day.
If you have shower facilities at work, install low flow showerheads. Heating hot water requires a lot of energy. Low flow showerheads use 60% less water and therefore can save significantly on the hot water bills. And that myth about low flow being no flow…well times have changed! Newer types of energy efficient showerheads get you squeaky clean, without sacrificing an enjoyable shower.
If you have work vehicles, make sure the tires are properly inflated and drivers don't idle when parked. These are the two lowest effort yet effective ways of cutting down on fuel. And it doesn't cost a cent to make it happen.
Change the lightbulbs in your lamps and workspaces to energy efficient ones. If your workspace has an incandescent lightbulb nearby, change it to a compact fluorescent one. Oh... and make sure that lights are shut off in spaces that aren't being used.