Trimming CO2 pounds at home and in the office.

Help the planet.
May 29 2007 3:49 PM

Paper Tiger

Trimming CO2 pounds at home and in the office.

What's the "Green Challenge"? Click here.

1_123125_2151565_2151577_2151578_2151882_tabs_01
1_123125_2151565_2151577_2151578_2151882_tabs_02
1_123125_2151565_2151577_2151578_2151882_tabs_03
1_123125_2151565_2151577_2151578_2151882_tabs_04
1_123125_2151565_2151577_2151578_2151882_tabs_05
1_123125_2151565_2151577_2151578_2151882_tabs_06
1_123125_2151565_2151577_2151578_2151882_greentab_07
1_123125_2151565_2156585_2156586_2164345_blank

Illustration by Robert Neubecker. Click to launch this week's action quiz.

We've talked about how you can defy your carbon cravings when it comes to big-ticket energy items like your heat, your electricity, the food you buy, and the appliances you use. What about that beloved pursuit of environmentalists everywhere, recycling, and other ways you can spruce up your home, yard, and office, carbon-wise?

The manufacturing of paper, one of the six most energy-intensive American industries, accounts for about 35 million tons of CO2 each year, according to the Energy Information Administration. And using virgin wood to make paper helps deforest the planet, a major factor in global CO 2 counts. Consider that the average American office worker throws out about 150 pounds of office paper per year, and you may see the scope of your own CO 2 problem in this area. Here are a bunch of ideas, recycling and otherwise, for trimming carbon pounds at work and at home: 

Slate Green Challenge with treehugger.

• Save paper—and CO2 emissions—by being selective about what you print out, making double-sided copies and using scrap paper to take notes or print drafts.

• Use high recycled-content paper.

• If an office building with 7,000 workers recycled all of its paper waste for a year, it could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by about 630 tons, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Recycling used aluminum to make cans takes 95 percent less energy than making new aluminum from scratch.

• Look for office products and packaging made from recycled materials and that are  biodegradable or can be composted. (Find green office products that meet these and other criteria here.)

• Unwanted junk mail wastes loads of precious paper. Click here  and here  to opt out.

• Invest in energy-saving fax machines, copiers, scanners, and printers, which use about half as much electricity as standard equipment and also default to a low-power sleep mode. Lobby your employer to do the same.

• Turn off your screen saver and let your computer sleep, or turn off the monitor completely. Moving-image screen savers consume as much electricity as a computer in active use. A blank screen saver is only slightly better.

• When it's time to go home, shut your computer down. Don't believe the myth that it's more efficient to leave it on than to reboot the next day. Bonus: You'll extend the life of your machine.

• From dead batteries to cell phones to copiers, recycle equipment whenever possible. Click here to find electronics and other recycling centers in your area. 

TODAY IN SLATE

Culturebox

The Ebola Story

How our minds build narratives out of disaster.

The Budget Disaster That Completely Sabotaged the WHO’s Response to Ebola

PowerPoint Is the Worst, and Now It’s the Latest Way to Hack Into Your Computer

The Shooting Tragedies That Forged Canada’s Gun Politics

A Highly Unscientific Ranking of Crazy-Old German Beers

Education

Welcome to 13th Grade!

Some high schools are offering a fifth year. That’s a great idea.

Culturebox

The Actual World

“Mount Thoreau” and the naming of things in the wilderness.

Want Kids to Delay Sex? Let Planned Parenthood Teach Them Sex Ed.

Would You Trust Walmart to Provide Your Health Care? (You Should.)

  News & Politics
Politics
Oct. 22 2014 9:42 PM Landslide Landrieu Can the Louisiana Democrat use the powers of incumbency to save herself one more time?
  Business
Continuously Operating
Oct. 22 2014 2:38 PM Crack Open an Old One A highly unscientific evaluation of Germany’s oldest breweries.
  Life
Gentleman Scholar
Oct. 22 2014 5:54 PM May I Offer to Sharpen My Friends’ Knives? Or would that be rude?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 22 2014 4:27 PM Three Ways Your Text Messages Change After You Get Married
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Oct. 22 2014 5:27 PM The Slate Walking Dead Podcast A spoiler-filled discussion of Episodes 1 and 2.
  Arts
Culturebox
Oct. 22 2014 11:54 PM The Actual World “Mount Thoreau” and the naming of things in the wilderness.
  Technology
Future Tense
Oct. 22 2014 5:33 PM One More Reason Not to Use PowerPoint: It’s The Gateway for a Serious Windows Vulnerability
  Health & Science
Wild Things
Oct. 22 2014 2:42 PM Orcas, Via Drone, for the First Time Ever
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.