October 31, 2014

Office Sustainability Tip of the Week

In last week’s “Office Sustainability Tip of the Week,” we discussed making sure the lights in your office kitchen are turned off when not in use.  But when it comes to your office kitchen and conserving energy, it does not have to stop there.  Here are some things that you may want to consider in order to reduce energy and limit extra waste in the kitchen:

Kitchenware:  If you use paper plates, cups, or plastic cutlery in your office kitchen, consider instead investing in reusable dishware.  Depending on the amount of people in your office, it would likely be relatively inexpensive to purchase a set of plates, glasses, and cutlery for everyone to use.  Or, consider old unwanted dishware or cutlery that you have in your house that you no longer use and bring it in for your office to use.

Recycling Bins: Hopefully all office kitchens on campus have a recycling bin to make it very easy for those using the area to deposit their recyclable materials.  If not, go to your Supervisor or Department Head and inquire about getting a recycling bin for your kitchen.

Water: I’m definitely guilty of relying too much on using bottled waters.  Instead of using bottled waters however, consider investing in a water filter or simply drink tap water — as people often point out, it tastes just as good as bottled water.  If you prefer your water very cold, just keep a pitcher of tap water in your office refrigerator.  And how’s the kitchen faucet?  Does it drip?  Even a small, consistent drip can waste a tremendous amount of water each week.  If you have a faucet that drips in your kitchen office, place a work order through EagleNet to see if it can get repaired.

Energy:  Is your office refrigerator and freezer possibly set too high?  It’s recommended to set your refrigerator temperature between 36° F and 42° F, and to set your freezer control to a temperature between -5° F and +6° F.  A small thermometer placed in your refrigerator and freezer will help you set the temperature correctly.  By making sure that your refrigerator and freezer temperatures are set correctly, you will help reduce energy consumption.

Paper Towels: Stop using paper towels and instead use cloth towels to clean up spills.

These are just a few suggestions to conserve energy and reduce unnecessary waste in your office kitchen.  If you have any tips for things we can all do differently each day to create more sustainable office environments, please feel free to leave a comment or email me the suggestion to be featured in a future Tip of the Week.

Last Week’s Tip: http://tinyurl.com/8oo8ve8

About Brynn Boyer

Brynn Boyer is assistant director of media and public relations and a 2010 graduate of UMW.

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