Going Green

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The responsibility of a greener environment rests on all of us. But it's easier than you think to make your campus, office, or home a little greener, and get back a little green in your pocketbook in the process. Below, please find some simple tips for greener living.

Simple Tips for Promoting Sustainability:


Turn off lights and unplug unused electronics (i.e., phone charger) in your house when you're not using them.  These actions can really make a difference in being more energy efficient.

Use the cold water cycle when doing laundry.  This simple tip will reduce the amount of energy used because you're no longer heating up the water.  It can save you up to $400 a year in utility bills. 

Is your Dryer running efficiently?  When people use dryer sheets, a scented film is released onto your clothes which then accumulates in the lint trap.  When this happens, the mesh lining often gets clogged up.  Even if you've just emptied the lint trap, the mesh still may be clogged and making your dryer work overtime.

Tip: Empty out the lint trap as usual then take the removable mesh catcher to the sink and run water through it.  If the water accumulates or has a hard time running through, the mesh is obviously clogged.  Use warm, soapy water and an old toothbrush to clean and unblock the mesh.  Do this once every 4-6 months to keep your dryer running as efficiently as possible.

Purchase Recylced or Alternative Toilet Paper.  Buying recycled paper products instead of new materials can greatly reduce the number of trees cut down each year.  As an alternative to recycled, consider purchasing paper products made from Hemp or Bamboo.  Hemp only takes one season to reach maturity, and bamboo only takes three seasons, whereas trees require 20-30 seasons before being cut down.  Buying recycled products are cheaper and more sustainable than first generation products.

Conserve energy by shutting off air conditioner and by opening windows.  If we all turned off the air conditioning when it wasn't necessary, we'd make a huge dent in energy demand during the summer months.

Insulate your hot water tank and exposed hot water pipes to reduce heat transfer to the air.  This is an inexpensive tip that will pay for itself in savings within a year.

Purchase compact florescent light bulbs.  These are much more energy efficient than incandescent light bulbs.

Install faucet aerators and high efficiency showerheads in your home.  These devices reduce the amount of water flowing out of taps and showerheads but the added air actually makes the pressure feel greater.  You can save between 3,700 and 30,000 liters of water on average every year.

Wash your dishes in a green fashion.  Use biodegradable dishwashing powder and liquid dish soap.  Since they are biodegradable, these chemicals pose no threat to marine life, are not irritating to skin, and will leave no chemical residue on your dishes.  You can also conserve energy by air drying dishes instead of using dryer function on your dishwasher.  Simply reduce energy consumption by opening the door of the appliance and allow your dishes to air dry.  This practice can save 10% of energy used for each load.


Be Green with your ink cartridges! 

Looking for a way to save money for your region and increase use of “green” products at the same time?  Try using remanufactured toner cartridges.  There is a common misconception out there that remanufactured cartridges can cause damage to your printer devices, and in general, are inferior to manufacturers originals.  This may be true of the past, but in the present day, when remanufactured by reputable companies exercising good quality control, remanufactured toner cartridges will perform as well as, or better than, new cartridges.

Many certifications (standards) have been developed to distinguish reputable companies from the rest.  To ensure optimal quality of remanufactured toner cartridges, it’s recommended that remanufactured toner is purchased from STMC certified manufacturers.  The following are common certifications for companies in the remanufactured toner industry:

  1. ISO 9001:2008 (link)
    1. requirements for quality management systems, is now firmly established as the globally implemented standard for providing assurance about the ability to satisfy quality requirements and to enhance customer satisfaction in supplier-customer relationships.
    2. Certification to an ISO 9001 standard does not guarantee any quality of end products and services; rather, it certifies that formalized business processes are being applied.
  2. ISO 14001:2004 (link)
    1. requirements for environmental management systems, confirms its global relevance for organizations wishing to operate in an environmentally sustainable manner.
    2. Certification to an ISO 14001 standard does not guarantee any quality of end products and services; rather, it certifies that formalized business processes are being applied.
  3. STMC Certification (link)
    1. Certification for remanufactured toner cartridge vendors that signifies that the vendor’s employees are trained in and use STMC test methods.
    2. Purchasing toner cartridges from a STMC certified manufacturer is a consumer’s best indication of superior performance, reliability, and quality.
  4. CGSB Certification (link)
    1. Canadian General Standards Board.
    2. Through facility audits and product testing conducted by CGSB, suppliers provide objective evidence that their products and services meet nationally (Canada) recognized standards of quality and performance.

Click Here for a document that should prove helpful in identifying a supplier and product that fits your need.  The document is comprised of 75 commonly used toner cartridges, each with REMAN and OEM pricing quotes from 11 vendors.  Lowest pricing for each product has been highlighted in green (REMAN) and blue (OEM).  Additional vendor information is also supplied to assist with making a decision:

  • Vendor’s REMAN Manufacturer
  • Vendor’s REMAN Manufacturer Certifications
  • Vendor’s Product Guarantee/Quality Statement
  • Vender’s Contact Information – “Contact to Order” (unless on punch-out; which is identified)
    • *Punch-Out pricing for Remanufactured Toner is typically more expensive

Although OEM pricing is provided here, you are strongly encouraged to utilize REMAN toner products.  Moving to remanufactured toner products will, on average, generate savings of 50% or more. 

Do what you can to reduce the amount of paper you use while printing.  Like other green practices, conservation is key.  Check for mistakes before printing to avoid re-printing.  Use both sides of white paper when possible (duplex printing).  Always recycle when you're done using any paper products.

Recycle your offices IKON copier empty toner cartridges.  As part of the colleges contract with IKON, IKON service technicians will do the recycling for you.  Simply hold on to your empties, and a service technician will recycle them for you when they do their weekly service visits.

For additional ideas on how to be GREEN in the Office, check out this website by Small Business: Canada


Carpool a.k.a Share the driving.  The average commuter burns 340 gallons a year, creating a 3.4 ton cloud of Carbon Dioxide. Carpooling with friends or co-workers can greatly reduce carbon emmissions.

Bring reusable bags to do your grocery shopping.  The average American family of four throws away 1,500 plastic bags a year.  Each plastic bag can take up to 1,000 years to decompose.  Consider also that plastic bags are manufactured from roughly 12 million barrels of crude oil a year.


Sign up for online banking and pay your bills online.  If every U.S. home received and paid its bills online, annual greenhouse gas emissions would be reduced by 2.1 tons.

Precycle.  Precycling deals with reducing product consumption - if you don't need it, don't buy it.  Consider little or no packaging when making purchases.  Purchase in bulk or economy sizes vs. individually wrapped or single serving sizes.

**For more Tips on how to live a greener more sustainable life, Check out the links provided below**

Earth friendly advice for going green, reducing costs, consumption, & impact on the environment! - http://greenlivingtips.com/