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

Politics

The Democrats’ War at Home

How can the president’s party defend itself from the president’s foreign policy blunders?

Congress’ Public Shaming of the Secret Service Was Political Grandstanding at Its Best

Michigan’s Tradition of Football “Toughness” Needs to Go—Starting With Coach Hoke

A Plentiful, Renewable Resource That America Keeps Overlooking

Animal manure.

Windows 8 Was So Bad That Microsoft Will Skip Straight to Windows 10

Politics

Cringing. Ducking. Mumbling.

How GOP candidates react whenever someone brings up reproductive rights or gay marriage.

Building a Better Workplace

You Deserve a Pre-cation

The smartest job perk you’ve never heard of.

Hasbro Is Cracking Down on Scrabble Players Who Turn Its Official Word List Into Popular Apps

Florida State’s New President Is Underqualified and Mistrusted. He Just Might Save the University.

  News & Politics
Politics
Sept. 30 2014 9:33 PM Political Theater With a Purpose Darrell Issa’s public shaming of the head of the Secret Service was congressional grandstanding at its best.
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 30 2014 7:02 PM At Long Last, eBay Sets PayPal Free
  Life
Gaming
Sept. 30 2014 7:35 PM Who Owns Scrabble’s Word List? Hasbro says the list of playable words belongs to the company. Players beg to differ.
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 30 2014 12:34 PM Parents, Get Your Teenage Daughters the IUD
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Sept. 30 2014 3:21 PM Meet Jordan Weissmann Five questions with Slate’s senior business and economics correspondent.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 30 2014 8:54 PM Bette Davis Talks Gender Roles in a Delightful, Animated Interview From 1963
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 30 2014 7:00 PM There’s Going to Be a Live-Action Tetris Movie for Some Reason
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Sept. 30 2014 11:51 PM Should You Freeze Your Eggs? An egg freezing party is not a great place to find answers to this or other questions.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 30 2014 5:54 PM Goodbye, Tough Guy It’s time for Michigan to fire its toughness-obsessed coach, Brady Hoke.