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Earth Day 2013 Tips from the St. John Green Team

April 22 is Earth Day. While the guest of honor has no objections to being stepped on, there are many things we can do to make sure our little planet is treated with respect. The suggestions below are good for the office (and also at home), and, with cumulative effort, can have a big effect on the skies, the forests, and even your budget.

April 22 is Earth Day. While the guest of honor has no objections to being stepped on, there are many things we can do to make sure our little planet is treated with respect. The suggestions below are good for the office (and also at home), and, with cumulative effort, can have a big effect on the skies, the forests, and even your budget. 

Going (More) Paperless
The United States goes through an estimated 99 million tons of paper per year. That roughly translates to the weight of 291 Empire State buildings. Transfer and storage of information, thanks to tablets and cell phones, is easier than ever. Use paper when you must, but think twice about how much you need that hardcopy. 

Go Toward the Light. Then Shut It Off.
By one estimate, lighting uses up 44 percent of the electricity in the average office. Using standard fluorescents and CFLs help, but if you plan on being gone any length of time – anything more than 15 minutes – hit the light switch on your way out. 

Everlasting Dinnerware
Why is it we don’t object to reusable food service items at home, but prefer disposable at work? Grab a coffee mug from the kitchen – most everyone has too many, anyway – and take it to work. If you’re brave, or maybe just a trendsetter, take some plates, forks, knives and spoons, too. 

A Car That Works Like a Bus
Public transportation in the Tulsa metropolitan area is not always the most convenient, but you don’t need a bus to make your own multi-occupancy vehicle. If you have a neighbor who works where you do and has about the same hours, carpool. The fewer wheels on the road, the fewer Ozone Alert days we’ll go through this summer.

This information is presented by the St. John Health System Green Team. The St. John Green Team is committed to environmental stewardship, to a sustainable future, and to improving the social, economic and environmental well-being of the community. Through our actions, we hope to inspire others to adopt practices that reduce energy usage and waste to create a cleaner and safer community. The purpose of this team is to develop strategies, procedures, policies and standards that will allow the health system to achieve this mission.

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