Earth Day for the Knowledge Worker

Next week on April 22, we observe Earth Day.  Earth Day marks the birth of the modern environmental movement and was the brainchild of United States Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin, who managed to cross political and economic divisions that lead to the creation of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Clean Air, Clean Water Act.

Today, “going green” is a concept that more and more knowledge workers are embracing in their everyday lives.  Here are a few suggestions that will help conserve the Earth’s natural resources.

1.)    Unplug chargers, such as those for mobile phones or smartphones, when not in use.  Chargers still consume energy when plugged in, even if not charging a device.
2.)    Go paperless.  Print less and sign up for paperless billing from vendors and credit card companies.  Think about how much extra paper we generate needlessly.  When you do print, use double-sided printing to save paper and print only those pages that are necessary.
3.)    Telecommute whenever possible, saving gas and other natural resources.
4.)    Recycle older computers and donate unused mobile phones to charities.  Recycled mobile phones can be used as an emergency lifeline for senior citizens, the disabled, and victims of domestic violence.
5.)    Minimize use of goods packaged for “convenience.”  The manufacture of bottles used for water, for example, require vast quantities of petroleum and its distribution is also fuel consumptive, resulting in unnecessary greenhouse gas and sulfur dioxide emissions.  Airlines are learning this and cutting back on smaller planes which are more convenient but less fuel efficient.
6.)    Turn unnecessary lights off, especially in rooms that are unoccupied.
7.)    Turn off computers and monitors at day’s end.
8.)    Make sure you have appropriate recycling bins in the office for paper that you do use.

David M. Goldes is the president of Basex.

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