GREENING THE OFFICE
Lutherans Restoring Creation Congregation Sustainability Guide
Why green the office?
· For the sake of God’s good creation
· To develop habits for sustainable living
· To serve as a model for the congregation and its members
· To save money for other ministries
Efficiency, Conservation, and Protection.
· Efficiency refers to appliances and mechanisms put in place to save energy and be Earth-friendly.
· Conservation refers to human actions to save energy and be Earth-friendly.
· Protection refers to the actions we take that protect the earth from degrading products and processes.
Energy (Heat/air conditioning).
· Insulate well the outside walls and the area above the office.
· Isolate office heat/ air conditioning from other parts of the church.
· Regulate temperature for energy efficient lows and highs in winter and summer.
· Use automatic thermostat to raise and lower temperatures when office is not in use.
· Control temperature and on/off switch manually to maximize efficiency when possible.
· Adjust temperatures for holidays and vacation days when office is closed.
· Regulate temperature by opening and closing windows.
· Shade windows with blinds or curtains to control temperature. Trees outside windows.
· Re-arrange furniture for greatest comfort and best efficiency.
· Avoid vending machines. Put cold beverages in church refrigerator for storage or purchase (honor system).
· Use natural lighting where available. Place furniture in advantageous positions.
· Retrofit fluorescent lighting to best efficiency.
· Use compact fluorescent light bulbs in desk lamps and overheads.
· Detach overhead fluorescents or unscrew CFLs if less lighting is adequate.
· Purchase Energy Star computers, printers, scanners, copiers and other electronic devices. www.energystar.gov.
· Turn off all devices outside office hours: all computers and printers. Turn off from the base so that the power cords(phantom electricity) are off.
· Turn all of them off when not in use during the day, devices with occasional use, such as scanners, copiers, shredders, and perhaps printers. Use a smart strip to turn them off automatically.
· Set all computers to stand-by mode or sleeper mode when not in use during the day.
· Use flat screen monitor or LCD monitor for lower energy usage.
· Use solar-powered calculators. Unplug radios, CD players, and phone chargers when not in use.
· Purchase 100% recycled paper with highest post-consumer waste percentage. Or purchase paper made from tree farms. Includes stationary, computer paper, ruled tablets, envelopes, and note paper.
· Purchase paper that avoids toxic chemicals in the making and coloring.
· Avoid any use of bright-colored paper. This will not recycle with other paper. If color is needed, use pastels.
· Where feasible, always use both sides of paper. Make note paper/pads from used paper.
· Avoid paper use: Make electronic any church newsletters and other church communications, except for those members who have no access to the web.
· Avoid paper use: Minimize use of paper for worship services. Use electronic projection. Or consider a standard service for the season to be reused each Sunday with worship variables (such as hymns and the names of worship leaders) made available separately or announced.
· Avoid paper use: preserve records and statements on CDs.
· Get rid of junk mail: Get on registry and write postcards to companies that send unwanted mail.
· Use Earth-friendly packing material. Save packaging for reuse.
Food and drink:
· Turn off coffee makers and microwave ovens when not in use.
· Use fair trade coffee and tea. Organic milk.
· Avoid bottled water. Keep water cold in refrigerator and use reusable water bottle.
· Avoid Styrofoam or paper cups and plastic utensils. Use ceramic or have people bring their own.
· Clean ceramic cups and utensils with green cleaning detergents. Minimize use of water.
· Provide healthy, Earth-friendly snacks. Local, organic, low-sugar where possible.
· Use cloth napkins, cleaning cloths, and hand towels.
Reduce, reuse, recycle:
· Make an inventory of all that comes into the office. See if it can be reduced.
· Make an inventory of all that goes out of the office. Make sure it is reused or safely disposed.
· Get used furniture from used-furniture office centers.
· Provide recycling in the church for aluminum cans, tin cans, plastic bottles and other containers, newspaper, magazines, phone books, and office paper. Make use of these in the office.
· Reuse packaging, office envelopes, etc.
· Recycle paper 100%. Provide separate bin for recycling paper in office.
· Recycle all fluorescent and CFL light bulbs.
· Recycle printer cartridges, electronics, batteries, cell phones, furniture.
Protect the environment:
· Place non-toxic carpet and flooring.
· Use non-toxic paint.
· Purchase office furniture with certified wood and non-toxic fabric.
· Avoid aerosols, air fresheners, bleach, certain glues or inks, certain correction fluid. Use green cleaning supplies.
· Use plants to that purify air. Water plants with grey water.
· Get a battery charger and reusable batteries.
· Compost food scraps, coffee grounds, and tea bags.
· Reward employees for coming to work by walking, biking, or using public transportation.
· Get the staff on board: office employees, maintenance staff, volunteers.
· Put greening actions in newsletters.
· Post on bulletin board a list of actions taken to green the office.
· Post sign at the office. “This is a green office.”