An easy way to save money and energy is to turn down the hot water heater temperature at your library. Most factory settings are 130 or 140 degrees. By turning it down to even just 120 degrees, you can save a lot in energy and costs. Do you really need scalding hot water in the office?
(from Cnet’s Green Tech Blog)
The sustainability calculator from Xerox will allow businesses (or libraries!) to figure out what sort of cost savings and environmental improvements can be had by reducing the amount of equipment installed and to help people use fewer copiers and printers. The Sustainability Calculator is available online.
Do you take your work clothes to the dry cleaners? Think twice about the health risks!
Perchloroethylene (or PERC) is a manufactured chemical that is primarily used for dry cleaning fabrics. Most of us won’t be exposed to high levels of Perc which can affect the central nervous system, eye and respiratory irritation, severe shortness of breath, nausea, difficulty speaking and walking, etc. But even small doses can cause dizziness, inebriation, sleepiness, and irritated eyes, nose, mouth, throat, and respiratory tract. If you are pregnant or have disease of the heart, liver, kidneys, or lungs you are much more susceptible to these conditions. Long term exposure can lead to many forms of cancer. (more info)
- Find a “green” dry cleaner: CO2 or GreenEarth are two choices I found online.
- Many clothes can be washed by hand.
- Or try washing in the machine’s gentle cycle.
- Avoid the problem by buying clothes that do not call for dry cleaning.
(Note: Perc is also found in aerosol products, solvent soaps, printing inks, adhesives, sealants, paint removers, paper coatings, leather treatments, automotive cleaners, polishes, lubricants, typewriter correction fluid, adhesives, spot removers, wood cleaners, and shoe polish.)
This free online community – Rate It Green – is a user driven Web site for green building, products, companies, and services including a green rating system. Created by three unique partners and an advisory board looking for new members to join, their goal is “to facilitate an open marketplace where everyone can shop for and buy green products confidently.” The site includes a forum where users can share their thoughts or ask questions to others about products and services and a section on Green Building Basics. For those not wishing to register, the public areas are free to browse but you will not be able to post, rate or comment.
Check it out: http://www.rateitgreen.com/
First ask yourself – can you send the document over the internet? There are many internet options: just send it via emailed instead; for short faxes it can usually be sent for free; for longer faxes there are many services listed here. Faxing over the internet will also save you a dedicated phone line.
If it has to be sent in non-digital form, you can also create a template and print out many little stickers on one page – slap a sticker on the first sheet of your fax and you have already saved one whole sheet of paper.
The Arlington Public Library (VA) is hosting a FREE Green Libraries Unconference on the greening of public libraries April 23, 2008 9-4:30pm. The goal will be to bring together those who wish to exchange ideas, develop public information for their communities, and make positive changes in the sustainable business practices at their libraries.
More about this Green Libraries Unconference.
What is an “Unconference?”