1. Turn off Lights and Electronics
Be sure to turn off the lights when you leave the office, as well as electronic devices (televisions, printers, or copiers) when not in use. During the daytime, leave the lights off and open the blinds to take advantage of sunlight when you can.
2. Recycle Whatever You Can and Purchase Recycled-Content Paper
Keep recycling bins at your desks for paper, bottles, cans, and other plastics. Make sure you recycle shredded paper, too. Many different kinds of paper can be recycled, including white and colored paper (don't worry about staples), newspaper, magazines, directories, catalogs, and manila file folders. Large quantities of newspaper should be collected separately. Books and reports are recyclable, too (including ones made with stitch glue ribbon or metal bindings). Stack any cardboard you need recycled next to your recycling bin.
3. Install Occupancy Sensors
Using light switches equipped with occupancy sensors will turn off the lights in an empty room after a preset time. You can ask your AOC superintendent's office to install them. Remember that it's still a good idea to turn lights off in empty rooms, even after sensors are installed.
4. Smart Power Strips
A smart power strip can significantly reduce the amount of energy consumed by idle computer equipment by up to 73% by preventing them from drawing idle current when not in use. Ask your AOC superintendent's office to provide one for every computer station.
5. CFL Bulbs
Ask your AOC superintendent's office to install energy efficient Compact Florescent Light Bulbs (CFLs). Using CFLs can reduce the electricity consumption in your office by 75% — and those bulbs will last up to 10 times longer than incandescent bulbs. Also, recycling used CFLs will prevent dangerous exposure to mercury.
6. Buy Energy Efficient Computer Equipment
Purchase only computers and computer equipment that meet the Electronic Product Environmental Tool (EPEAT) standards. You can find EPEAT standards at www.epeat.net. Computers that meet EPEAT standards are also ENERGY STAR qualified. When purchasing equipment for your office, buy ENERGY STAR printers and copiers to save energy and space. To check if specific printers and copiers are ENERGY STAR qualified, visit www.energystar.gov. And rather than purchasing individual copy, fax, print, and scanning equipment, consider a multi-function device – it can save space and energy! Consult with the vendor to buy the most efficient size for your office's needs.
7. Be on the Lookout for Waste!
Leaky faucets, running toilets, or windows that won't close properly waste valuable resources. Keep your eyes open and report incidents to your AOC Superintendent's Office.
8. Cancel Subscriptions You Don't Need
If your office is receiving too many copies of publications or subscribing to publications it doesn't need, canceling those subscriptions can save paper, ink, and other resources. Consider reducing the number of Congressional Records, Legislative Calendars, Federal Registers and newspapers. Explore using online versions of newspapers and other publications as an alternative to paper copies. Also consider sharing subscriptions with other staff, and canceling weekend newspaper subscriptions.
9. Leave Your Car at Home
Reduce your carbon footprint! Take public transit, carpool, bike, or walk to work. Congressional staff can enroll in the Transit Benefit/Ride Sharing Program to save you from traffic-induced stress, while also saving time and money. The average carpooler saves between $600 and $1,200 every year in fuel and transportation related costs.
10. Use Your Blinds and Curtains Effectively
Adjust your window treatments as needed to let light in or keep heat and cold out. Taking an active role here will reduce energy consumption and improve comfort.