Posted by: Bryan B. | March 18, 2012

Is your optical office green?

It’s hard to believe that the first day of spring is right around the corner (March 20th) and shortly thereafter is Earth Day (April 22nd). This time of year is ideal to start thinking about your spring cleaning and ways to be more green, not only at home but also at your office.

The Sierra Club offers easy ways to go green (and save you money at the same time).

44% of your electric bill (on average) is from artificial light sources.  Installing energy star approved light bulbs and fixtures will help curb your electric consumption. Some of these bulbs can use 1/3 as much energy as regular bulbs.

If you use a computer, but get pulled away from it often, going into your settings and enabling “Power Saver” mode will reduce the amount of electricity it needs.  For example, you can have it set to go into power saver mode after 30 minutes.  Just be sure to set the setting long enough that it will not go into power saver mode while you are on the phone or helping someone else out. (NOTE: Some computers will require you to enter a password upon wake up.)

If you have older computers, monitors, printers, etc, consider recycling them.  E-Cyclers, as they are called, will take apart the computer and sort the pieces out so that all similar pieces that can be recycled or reused.  Some groups will even refurbish computers that are less than 5 years old and give them a good home.

The average American worker will print out 10,000 pages a year. If possible, printing on both sides of the paper will cut the amount of paper used in half. Also reusing scrap pieces of paper, for either printing or scratch paper will help cut down on the paper that your office will go through.  Buying refurbished/refilled toner cartridges can cut down on the cost of printing and the amount of waste your office produces. Office Depot states that:

“Office Depot brand remanufactured ink and toner cartridges cost an average of 15% less than national brands and come with a 100% money back quality guarantee. One returned cartridge keeps approximately 2.5 pounds of metal and plastic out of landfills. Remanufacturing one toner cartridge also conserves about a half gallon of oil.”

Keep in that just because you are not using a machine, it doesn’t mean that it is not using electricity. Whenever something is plugged in, it is using electricity. For example, if you leave your cell phone charger plugged in 24/7, only 5% of the  power that it uses daily is for actually charging the device. If you have a large collection of electronics close to each other, you can plug them all into a power strip and just unplug the power strip when you leave at night and plug it back in first thing in the morning.  The same idea can be applied to appliances that are only used part of the day, for example if no one in your office drinks coffee in the afternoon, have it unplugged around noon, then the first person in plugs it in and starts a fresh batch in the morning.

Amcon offers another way your office can be more green.  Our AR Kleen Concentrate allows you to mix your own lens cleaner and avoid high shipping fees that you might incur when shipping regular lens cleaner.  Just mix the concentrate with distilled or deionized water and – voila – you have a gallon of AR Kleen lens cleaner.  In the spirit of being green this spring, we are offering this item at a special price this week.

Happy Spring, everyone!


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