20 ways to go green at home, work

Posted at 07/10/2011 9:30 AM | Updated as of 07/11/2011 4:51 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The Canadian Embassy in Manila listed 20 simple ways to go green at home and at work.

Last year, the embassy was able to reduce its electrical consumption by 11% thanks to "smart, simple choices and a committed staff."

It is committed to decrease its carbon footprint in the Philippines this year, and to reduce paper usage by 20% over the next 3 years.

"The priorities of this committee are to reduce energy consumption, improve solid waste management, suggest options for green procurement, eliminate the use of ozone depleting substances, improve water management and reduce the use of hazardous materials," Canadian ambassador to the Philippines Christopher Thornley said, referring to the embassy's environmental committee.

He continued, "Beyond that, the committee encourages its employees to think green in everything they do, whether at work or at home."

Below are the Canadian Embassy's tips on saving the environment:

At home

1. Switch to LED lighting.
2. Shut down all electronics at the end of each day.
3. Turn down the air conditioning.
4. Disable hot water heaters in water dispensers.
5. Replace all-purpose cleaning sprays with eco-friendly alternatives.
6. Start recycling light bulbs, batteries and e-waste.
7. Install ceiling fans instead of air conditioners.
8. Draw curtains in sunny rooms to keep the heat out during the day.
9. Rinse clothes with cold water to lessen energy usage.
10. Dry clothes by hanging rather than the dryer which is the third largest energy user at home.

At work

11. Use smaller trash bins. Studies have shown that reducing the size of garbage bins can dramatically reduce the amount of waste that is thrown out -- in some cases by up to 50%.
12. Eliminate the use of disposable plastic cups.
13. Use compact fluorescent bulbs, which use less energy.
14. Switch to office paper produced from 75% recycled material and 25% sustainable tree plantations.
15. Bring plants to the office.
16. Carry a cotton sac to lessen the use of plastic bags.
17. Purchase hybrid or fuel-efficient vehicles.
18. Have paperless meetings by projecting documents on an LCD screen.
19. Go to work via walking, biking, or carpool.
20. Send employees e-mails on how to go green on a regular basis to gradually change their behavior.