Greener Workplaces


By The EarthWorks Group

EarthWorks Press -- 120pp -- $6.95 (paper)

Concerned about mountains of accumulating garbage, the disappearing ozone layer, or air pollution? You can be more than an armchair environmentalist. Composting, using recycled paper products, and buying energy-efficient light bulbs are practical ways to help clean up the earth.

If you'd like to extend those activities to the office, this book offers a panoply of tips. They range from the straightforward--using double-sided copier paper and setting up an in-house recycling program--to the more complicated, such as starting a companywide "green team" to implement improvements and coaxing suppliers to become environmentally sound. Many interesting items are less obvious. Did you know that 40% of the energy used to cool an office eliminates heat gained through the windows? Reflective film installed over windows can screen out up to 75% of the sun's rays.

The book follows the format of its predecessor, the bestselling 50 Simple Things You Can Do to Save the Earth. Each tip includes an assessment of costs and benefits, names of companies that have done it, and sources for more information. The result is less a blueprint for corporate action than a guide for employees. It's intriguing to consider how much difference they could make. U. S. companies use about 21 million tons of paper a year, for instance. If all workers cut paper use just 5%, it would save some 17 million trees a year.

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