Portable Content

Things we find along the way…

Steps towards being Green @ Work

with 2 comments

I was thinking over the weekend about small steps that we as an office can take to make sure that we are doing our bit for the environment.

I know that many ride their bikes to work, we recycle our excess paper & postage packs but there is much more we can do to make a small difference. In light of the fact that the Portable offices are being done up I thought that we should look into incorporating low-energy light bulbs into the design both in the roof and at our desks ( gone are the days of 1980’s fluro lights that are actually small heaters producing a little light) recycling not only our paper but our bottles and plastics and making sure that all our computers are off at the end of each day

The top 10 True Green @ Work things you can do according to clean up Australia are: http://www.cleanup.com.au/

  1. Keep a mug at work for coffee rather than the disposable cups.
  2. Switch to using long-life refillable pens made from recycled plastic, paper or timber, or from fully biodegradable bioplastic (derived from cornstarch).
  3. Choose recycled paper, rather than paper made from virgin timber -it makes up 70 per cent of office waste.
  4. Set your printer to double-sided copies to save paper.
  5. Keep a paper recycling tray in addition to your waste bin.
  6. Bring your own lunch to work in a reusable container to reduce packaging waste.
  7. Remove your phone charger from the power point when not in use, as it continues to consume up to 40% of the current used to charge your phone.
  8. Set your computer to sleep if you are away from your desk for more than 10 minutes, which reduces power consumption to about 5 per cent of full operating power.
  9. Look to maximize the natural light in your office, rather than relying on artificial light.
  10. Join the environmental/sustainability committee in your workplace. If none exists, take the initiative and form a green task force!

Something to think about.


Written by portablekate

May 4, 2008 at 10:47 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

2 Responses

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  1. I totally agree that we all can do a lot at work to save the environment.

    With regards to your point for fully biodegradable bioplastic derived from cornstarch, I would like to point out the following latest news on this issue;

    The worldwide effort by supermarkets and industry to replace conventional oil-based plastic with eco-friendly “bioplastics” made from plants is causing environmental problems and consumer confusion, according to a Guardian study.

    The substitutes can increase emissions of greenhouse gases on landfill sites such as Methane, some need high temperatures to decompose and others cannot be recycled in Britain.

    Many of the bioplastics are also contributing to the global food crisis by taking over large areas of land previously used to grow crops for human consumption.

    While PLA is said to offer more disposal options, the Guardian has found that it will barely break down on landfill sites, and can only be composted in the handful of anaerobic digesters which exist in Britain, but which do not take any packaging.

    In addition, if PLA is sent to UK recycling works in large quantities; it can contaminate the waste stream, reportedly making other recycled plastics unsalable.

    Last year Innocent drinks stopped using PLA because commercial composting was “not yet a mainstream option” in the UK.

    Anson, one of Britain’s largest suppliers of plastic food packaging, switched back to conventional plastic after testing PLA.

    In sandwich packs. Sainsbury’s has decided not to use it, saying PLA is made with GM corn. “No local authority is collecting compostable packaging at the moment. Composters do not want it,” a spokesman said.

    But there is a better alternative Biodegradable technology which is called “BIOPLAST Biodegradable Plastics”.

    BIOPLAST is a manufacturing company of BIOPLAST Branded Biodegradable Garbage Bags and Fridge Bags for the household markets and for the industry as well as Biodegradable Carrier Bags for the retail sector using their own patented unique formula of bacteria enzyme base substrate as against starch base as used by other manufacturers world over which is not as strong or durable as polymer (plastic) bags and has a cost addition of 300%-400%. Also starch based products can comprise of genetically modified crops (GM Crops).

    This is the only Biodegradable technology in the world using bacteria enzyme base substrate which is 100% biodegradable within 6 months after disposal as per ASTM-D 5988-1996 and EN 13432:2000/ISO 14855 standards with the lowest cost addition of 15%-20%.

    BIOPLAST biodegradable products are also compostable and hence enhancing the nutritive value of the remaining soil. All the ingredients of BIOPLAST biodegradable plastic products are food grade and non-toxic in nature therefore suitable to be in contact with food products.

    BIOPLAST believes that this great innovation will go a long way in preserving the ecological balance around the world which has brought intelligent and affordable solution to the disposal of polyethylene plastic waste problem worldwide.

    “What will you tell your children? Were you part of the Problem or part of the Solution?”



    May 5, 2008 at 7:22 am

  2. This is a helpful post.

    One thing I would add on the recycled paper:

    Folks should look for *post-consumer* recycled paper products with a stated percentage of recycled material.

    Post-consumer paper requires the least amount of processing to recycle, and most product with high amounts of recycled material will state the precise amount used.

    Check out http://www.thegreenoffice.com, where we provide precise information about the recycled content in all of our office paper products. This will help you understand exactly what to look for!

    Jesse Gibbs

    Jesse Gibbs

    May 5, 2008 at 10:42 pm

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