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Ideas for Action

How can you tap the power of green?

AT WORK

Join the Green Team

WHY?

Green Teams are grassroots employee groups that look for ways to improve a company’s environmental performance. Forward-looking companies consult their Green Teams to eliminate waste and improve efficiency. Joining a Green Team will give you a voice in your company’s environmental policy, and it might even impress your boss! Don’t have a Green Team? Start one today!

HOW?

Contact the person in charge of your office Green Team and tell them you’d like to sign up. If your office doesn’t have a Green Team, check out this guide for starting one. If you’re already on a Green Team and want to demonstrate your value, check out this Green Team ROI Tracker.
I’m joining or starting my office green team
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Support the sustainability plan

WHY?

Nowadays, top companies release comprehensive sustainability reports detailing their environmental and social performance. Check out your company’s sustainability report and find a new way to support an environmental goal. You’ll help the environment and your career!

HOW?

Does your company have an aggressive goal for cutting carbon, energy consumption, or waste? If so, start by choosing a goal and looking in your immediate area for potential savings. If you’d like to think bigger, consider teaming up with colleagues for an office to identify even more opportunities to go green. Check out General Electric’s “Treasure Hunts” for ideas.
I’m finding a new way to support my company’s sustainability plan
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Go meatless one lunch a week

WHY?

Did you know you can grow 100 apples with the water required to produce just 1 pound of beef? Besides having a bigger environmental footprint, meat can be more expensive and unhealthy than vegetables. So give your wallet and waistline a break by skipping the meat for just one lunch a week.

HOW?

As a general rule, you can save money and lower your environmental impact by choosing foods that are lower in the food chain, like fruits, vegetables, and nuts. Check out the Meatless Monday website for advice, recipes, and additional resources.
I’m going meatless for one lunch a week
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Bring a reusable drink container

WHY?

Disposable coffee and water cups add up to a lot of waste. Replacing them with reusable coffee mugs and water bottles lower your company’s costs by cutting down on the amount of supplies they have to buy. You can even save some money for yourself too. For years, Starbucks has offered a discount for bringing in your own coffee mug.

HOW?

This one’s really easy! Just bring a coffee mug or reusable water bottle from home and store it at your desk or in the office kitchen. You could also ask your office manager to buy reusable cups, dishes, and utensils.
I’m bringing a reusable drink container to work
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Green your commute

WHY?

Carpooling, biking, walking, or taking mass transit can save you money and help you lead a healthier lifestyle. Gas is expensive, so why not ditch the car and give your wallet a break? Did you know that walking and biking have been shown to boost productivity at work?

HOW?

There are plenty of ways to green your commute, whether you live in a big city or a small town. See if you’re eligible to receive tax-free public transportation benefits, sign up for the National Bike Challenge, or ask your employer to consider the Energy Department’s Workplace Charging Challenge.
I’m finding a greener way to commute to work
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More Resources

GreenBiz: Stay up to date with the latest in corporate sustainability
Environmental Leader: Another great site for corporate sustainability info
Triple Pundit: Editorial source for updates on the triple bottom line: people, planets, and profits
Inside Climate News: Pulitzer-prize winning source for environmental news
TheGreenOffice.com: online marketplace for green office products

AT HOME

Follow your company’s lead

WHY?

Odds are your company has set a goal of reducing waste, saving energy, or reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Why not follow their example at home? Find out what your company’s doing and find a way to replicate it in your personal life.

HOW?

Go online and check out your company’s sustainability plan. Find one of their goals that you’d like to try at home, then get started on it!
I’m trying to accomplish my company’s sustainability goal at home
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Plant a shade tree

WHY?

Did you know that trees can save you money by lowering cooling costs? That’s right—a properly placed tree in your yard can provide shade to cool your house so your AC won’t have to. Trees can also increase property value, prevent soil erosion, and reduce the severity of flooding. You don’t have to hug a tree, but you could at least shake its hand!

HOW?

The Arbor Day Foundation’s provides a 9-step guide for selecting, planting, and caring for a tree. You can also calculate dollar value of any tree in your yard with the National Tree Benefit Calculator.
I’m planting a shade tree
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Recycle your e-waste

WHY?

Electronic waste has become a major environmental issue as cell phones, computers, and other modern gadgets have proliferated. E-waste can leach mercury, lead, and other toxic materials into the environment if disposed of improperly. You can help the environment, earn a tax deduction, and even get paid for donating or recycling your e-waste.

HOW?

Earth911 has a tool for locating an e-waste disposal site nearest to you. If you’re looking to ditch your old cell phone, E-Cycle may actually even pay you for it! You can also donate your unwanted to electronics to Goodwill and receive a tax deduction. Thanks Uncle Sam!
I’m recycling my e-waste
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Research an environmental issue

WHY?

We face a range of significant environmental challenges from climate change to ecosystem degradation. Educate yourself on an important environmental issue and pledge to do more about it. Knowledge is power!

HOW?

Where to begin? There are plenty of great educational resources on the internet, but here are a few to get you started:
- New York Times Green Blog broadcasts the latest environmental news
- Environmental Defense Fund provides facts about climate, energy, oceans, ecosystems, and policy
- World Wildlife Fund profiles 11 major environmental threats
I’m researching an environmental issue
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Audit your energy use

WHY?

Through an energy audit, you can identify ways to improving your home’s energy efficiency. Energy-related home improvements often pay for themselves in a few months and save money over the long term. They can even increase the value of your home! Plus, there are a number of tax breaks, ENERGY STAR rebates, and low interest loans covering everything from solar panels to insulation. Check with your state’s energy and environmental department to see what‘s available in your area.

HOW?

The Energy Department provides a tool for conducting your own audit and for locating a professional in your area to do the job. You can also check out this registry of ENERGY STAR qualified products.
I’m auditing my home energy use
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More Resources

- New York Times Green Blog: covers the latest environmental news
Practically Green: platform with hundreds of suggestions for going green
Green Home: online marketplace for green home products
Carbon Footprint Calculator: a Nature Conservancy tool for measuring your impact
wehatetowaste.com: blog with news and tips for cutting waste

How will you tap the power of green?

Choose something green you can do at home or work, from researching an environmental issue to joining your office green team. Anything goes, as long as it’s good for the planet and good for you too! Earth Day Network has already collected over 1 billion acts of green, and with your help we’ll reach the next billion. I need ideas.

 Home Work Both


 Reduce waste Save water Save energy Address climate change Protect forests Protect oceans Educate & inspire Other

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