If your office has filtered faucet water in kitchen areas, keep a pitcher of drinking water at your desk, reducing your consumption of aluminum, glass and plastic bottled drinks.
Each person makes personal decisions on what they eat and drink. Choose environmentally lower-impact beverages by taking advantage of filtered, low-cost drinking water. Encourage your company to install water filters in all office kitchen and pantry faucets, and on the water inlets for the ice machines in the refrigerators.
What does it mean to choose more fresh water and less canned or bottled liquids to drink? Well, the U.S. goes through several hundred billion liquid containers a year. The average American consumes more than 400 beverage bottles and cans per year, leaving a legacy of wasted glass, plastic, steel and aluminum.
Quenching this thirst consumes a prodigious amount of fossil fuels and hydropower for mining, processing, refining, shaping, shipping, storing, refrigerating and disposing these materials, as well as encroaching more natural lands to extract more minerals and natural resources.
It reportedly takes 10 gallons of water to produce each cola drink. Instead, do as health experts advise and drink 1/2 ounce of water for each point of your body weight (i.e., a 150 pound person should drink 75 ounces or about nine 8-oz. glasses daily).
When ordering or requesting office supplies, equipment, or furniture, purchase environmentally preferable options like those containing recycled materials.
Try walking between office floors instead of using the elevator.
Although it is not always practical, whenever possible consider walking between floors to help save electricity. Elevators use electricity. Although there are some super energy efficient elevators now commercially available, many buildings, particularly older ones, do not have them. Take a minute and walk between office floors.
Use a combination of walking, biking, and transit-commuting to and from work instead of driving.
Commuting roundtrip from home to work (and side trips to stores, daycare centers, recreation spots, etc.) has become the single largest part of most U.S. households' ecological footprint. Americans have steadily increased the amount of passenger miles spent in the car (for all purposes) – increasing from 3,000 miles per capita per year fifty years ago to more than 10,000 miles per capita in 2000.
Americans collectively exceed 2 trillion vehicle miles traveled (VMT) per year, consume more than 100 billion gallons of gasoline, and spew out a large fraction of the world's chemical soup of contaminants that include billions of tons of greenhouse gases, million of tons of carbon monoxide, millions of tons of particulates, and millions of tons of nitrogen oxides.
Consider always, or occasionally, using mass-transit options if you live in a city or metropolitan suburb. If mass transit is not available, investigate options for car-pooling on a regular basis – even just sharing rides a few times a week saves fuel and makes the ride to and from work more enjoyable.
From a fuel-efficiency perspective, bicycling is unrivaled. A bicyclist gets 2,500 miles per gallon based on the extra kilocalories of food required for pedaling.
For hard-core motorists, consider a higher, super-high, or hyper-efficient vehicle in your next purchase. For example, in 2001, ten vehicle models achieved EPA's top 5-star Green Car rating. They are certain versions of the Honda Insight, Honda Civic HX, Toyota Prius, Honda Civic, Mazda 626, Honda Accord, Saturn L100/200, Toyota Camry, Pontiac Aztek, and the Mercedes-Benz ML320.
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