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What Can I Do?

Thursday, Mar. 11, 2010

This month's 'What Can I Do?' is all about business. From your commute to office supplies, here are a few tips to make your work life more sustainable:

Reduce car emissions when on your commute by carpooling with a co-worker who lives nearby, using public transportation, or riding your bike. You can save up $2,174 each year by carpooling 40 miles round trip with just one other person. If you don't know of anyone who you can share rides with, try to find a commuting partner.

Since those 40-hour work weeks make your office a second home, why not bring a few of the comforts? Pack a reusable coffee mug or water bottle - you can even stash a few plates and some silverware. Instead of ordering food "to-go" from a restaurant, bring leftovers from home to avoid the extra packaging.

Most workplaces have a recycling program, but if yours doesn't and you want to get one started, visit for tips. Make sure that your company's program includes e-waste and ink cartridge and toner recycling. Suggest a pick-up day every six months for these especially hazardous materials, or find out what your recycling provider offers when it comes to hazardous materials pick-up.

Almost every company contributes some form of pollution. Consider the source of your business's pollution--emissions, waste, or otherwise--and who it affects the most. Are there changes your company can make to better respect the local and global communities? A number of non-profit and environmental organizations can help reduce or offset the business community's overall impact on the surrounding environment. Though it might not be feasible to eliminate all forms of pollution, it might be possible to reduce them.

Compiled by Sustainability Intern Hannah Slocum, '11

Tags: Take Action



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