How RMLEB Just Became Greener and a Few Tips for You to Do The Same
In so much of its work, the Rocky Mountain Lions Eye Bank talks about renewal: renewed sight, renewed hope, renewed faith, renewed legacies. Now, we’ve taken a new turn in renewal.
Each year, the eye bank gives away around 6,000 free pens. Recognizing its responsibility to planet earth, RMLEB switched to pens made of 100 percent recycled materials. The pen barrels are made of post-consumer recycled paper. Plastic parts are formed from pre-consumer recycled plastic and the clip is made from pre-consumer scrap wood.
For several years, RMLEB has had a “no paper in the trash” policy and recycling bins for plastic, aluminum and newspaper. RMLEB’s letterhead, envelopes and this newsletter are printed on papers certified by the Sustainable Forestry Initiative or the Forest Stewardship Council. The new pens continue this commitment to renewal of the planet’s resources. In addition, the majority of RMLEB employees work 10-hour days, which reduces commute fuel consumption by nearly 20 percent (as you'll see in the tips below).
Environmental problems can’t be reversed in a day. But a step each day can make a difference. Author Jodi Helmer shares her eco-friendly tips in “The Green Year: 365 Small Things You Can Do To Make a Big Difference” (Alpha Books, $14.95).
Here’s a sampling.
• Change the margins on your Word documents. The default margins on the documents you print are 1.25 inches on all sides. Simply changing the margins to 0.75 inches will reduce the amount of paper you use by almost 5 percent. It might not seem like a lot, but if everyone in the United States made the change, we would save $400 million and a forest the size of Rhode Island.
• Trade your plastic water bottle for a stainless-steel version. Stainless-steel water bottles look trendy but more important, they are free of bisphenol A (BPA), an allegedly toxic substance used to make clear and shatterproof plastic.
• Park your car in the shade. Gas evaporates from your fuel tank more quickly when you park in the sun. Parking in the shade lowers the temperature in your gas tank by up to 7 degrees, significantly reducing fuel evaporation.
• Move your refrigerator. Leaving space between your refrigerator and the wall increases air circulation around the condenser coils, allowing the fridge to operate more efficiently. If you have a freezer, be sure to move it away from the wall as well.
• Request an electronic tax refund. You could let the IRS mail you a check, or you can have your refund deposited directly into your account. Every year, the IRS has to print and mail 54 million tax refunds to individual taxpayers across the United States.
• Create electronic to-do lists. Instead of scribbling your grocery list on a piece of paper (or printing it off a computer), e-mail it to your mobile device. You’ll save a lot of paper and it’ll never get lost at the bottom of your purse.
• Ask about flextime at work. Working four 10-hour days will cut fuel consumption on your commutes by 20 percent.
• Wrap presents in gift bags. Once you tear the wrapping paper off a holiday gift it ends up in the recycle bin, but gift bags can be used over and over again.