Be bright about light – Artificial lighting accounts for 44 percent of the electricity use in office buildings.

  • Make it a habit to turn off the lights when you’re leaving any room for 15 minutes or more and utilize natural light when you can.
  • Make it a policy to buy Energy Star-rated lightbulbs and fixtures, which use at least two-thirds less energy than regular lighting, and install timers or motion sensors that automatically shut off lights when they’re not needed.

Maximize computer efficiency – Computers in the business sector unnecessarily waste $1 billion worth of electricity a year.

  • Make it a habit to turn off your computer—and the power strip it’s plugged into—when you leave for the day. Otherwise, you’re still burning energy even if you’re not burning the midnight oil. During the day, setting your computer to go to sleep automatically during short breaks can cut energy use by 70 percent. Remember, screen savers don’t save energy.


Print smarter – The average U.S. office worker goes through 10,000 sheets of copy paper a year.

  • Make it a habit to print on both sides or use the back side of old documents for faxes, scrap paper, or drafts. Avoid color printing and print in draft mode whenever feasible.
  • Recycle toner and ink cartridges.

Go paperless when possible – Make it a habit to think before you print: could this be read or stored online instead?

  • When you receive unwanted catalogs, newsletters, magazines, or junk mail, request to be removed from the mailing list before you recycle the item.
  • Make it a policy to post employee manuals and similar materials online, rather than distribute print copies. They’re easier to update that way too.

Ramp up your recycling

  • Make it a habit to place all plastics, metals, paper, and cardboard in campus recycle bins.
  • Make it a policy to place recycling bins in accessible, high-traffic areas and help colleagues and students to understand JCU’s co-mingled recycling program.  To learn more about the program, click here.

Watch what (and how) you eat

  • Make it a habit to bring your own mug and dishware for those meals you eat at the office.
  • Make it a policy to provide reusable dishes, silverware, and glasses. Switch to Fair Trade and organic coffee and tea, and buy as much organic and local food as possible for events.
  • Drink tap water to reduce bottled-water waste.

Rethink your travel

  • Make it a habit to take the train, bus, or subway when feasible instead of a rental car when traveling on university business.
  • Utilize videoconferencing (ie. Skype) and other technological solutions that can reduce your travel

Reconsider your commute

  • Make it a habit to carpool, bike, or take the RTA to JCU and back.

SOURCE: Sierra Club