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August 6, 2008

ReUse within the U Too!

This tip comes to us from our colleague Debbie Hanson (National Center on Educational Outcomes), in response to an earlier Green Tip on donating office supplies to local schools. "Although the public schools are a worthy cause, it's more cost efficient to keep extra office supplies within the University system. The University Reuse Program accepts used office supplies to be redistributed to other University departments at no cost. I've used them myself many times for such items as manila folders, green hanging folders, accordion folders, and many other items. You can send items to them via campus mail, or if you have large quantities you can call them to arrange a pickup (see ReUse Center for more information). Also, if you need more campus envelopes and don't want to pay for them by ordering them new from U Stores, you can call Campus Mail at 4-8803 and ask them to send you used ones." Thanks for the tip Debbie!

July 17, 2008

Donating Excess Office Supplies

We've all got it: That pile of extra pens, folders, and other office miscellany that we know we're unlikely to use in this millennium. Why not liberate your unused office supplies by donating them to the Minneapolis Public School District or St. Paul Public School District? You'll be helping the environment and our local community, not to mention clearing out some desk clutter!

July 9, 2008

Farmer's Market Starts Today!

Today is the official start of this year's University of Minnesota Farmers Market! The market is held every Wednesday on the East Bank and runs from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. Remember, when you shop at local farmers' markets you not only receive the health benefits of fresh produce, but also reduce your carbon footprint by purchasing food that's not shipped from hundreds of miles away. See more information about the U of M Farmers Market.

June 18, 2008

Recycling Unleashed!

Some great green news from the Star Tribune: "Finally, a way to recycle those yogurt containers and margarine tubs. Eastside Food Co-op has joined with Consolidated Container Co. and the city of Minneapolis to begin taking used plastics, including previously nonrecyclable items." Read the full article.

June 11, 2008

(Further) Reflections on Green Living

Summer is a great time for taking stock of your eco-life, and for adding a little extra oomph to the good habits you already have. For example, are there any "hard-copy" activities you could do online, such as bill paying or travel planning? Do you need multiple light sources in your office, or would one do the job? Could you take mass transit to work two days a week instead of just one? Take time to ask reflective questions such as these--the Earth will thank you for it!

June 4, 2008

Buy at the ReUse Warehouse

Did you know that there's an eco-friendly retail spot right in our own backyard? It's true! The ReUse Program Warehouse regularly sells used furniture, bicycles, and other items from across the University. The warehouse, located at 883 29th Avenue SE (see map to warehouse) is open to University departments on Tuesdays and Wednesdays and to the public on Thursdays. Visit the ReUse Program Web site for more information, including pictures of recent items.

May 16, 2008

Consignment Clothes Work for Work (and the planet)

When looking for ways to make your office life greener, don't forget about your clothes. Try shopping for gently used work clothes from thrift stores or consignment shops. If you do buy new clothes, check the labels for organic or recycled materials. Avoid clothes that need to be dry cleaned, but if they must, seek out an establishment that uses environmentally-friendly cleaning methods.

May 7, 2008

Buying Local at the Market

We're entering the prime farmer's market season, which means that it's a great time to start buying locally. Purchasing locally-made goods cuts down on CO2 emissions (since the products have a shorter distance to travel) and helps support your local economy. So start buying local today: Take a stroll through the nearest farmer's market or visit Locallectual, a Web site that helps you find locally produced goods in your area.

April 30, 2008

Turn Down the Volume

Pollution doesn't just apply to things you can see or touch--It also applies to things you can hear. Exposure to noise pollution can be very stressful, causing you to lose your concentration and, oftentimes, your temper! Do your part to turn down the volume with these tips: Keep your cellphone ring at the minimum level you need to hear it; Lower your voice when talking in public spaces, especially if you're near a colleague's cubicle or office; If you listen to music at your desk, use headphones; and if you must listen to a radio or stereo in a public place, turn down your bass levels--bass travels easily through walls and doors.

April 23, 2008

The Magic of Baking Soda

Right now, you probably have an all-purpose cleaner, deodorizer, fire extinguisher, skin exfoliator, and silver polisher hiding in your cupboards without even knowing it. What is this wonder substance, you ask? Why baking soda, of course! Baking soda has dozens of uses around the house, is non-toxic, and can be bought for mere pennies at most grocery stores. Check out a list of baking soda uses.

April 9, 2008

Slim Down Your Mailing List

Do you know if your mailing list is updated? It's not always possible to use electronic publications instead of printed ones, but you can still help the environment by updating your mailing lists whenever possible. Keeping mailing lists correct and current cuts down on wasted print material, and saves you money on postage to boot.

March 26, 2008

Recycling at the U - What's Possible?

Pop quiz: Which is acceptable for recycling here at the University, hardcover books or cereal boxes? Whether you know the answer or not (it's both!), it never hurts to brush up on your recycling dos and don'ts. For more information, go to the University recycling guidelines or contact the Recycling Hotline at 612-625-8084 for up-to-the-minute advice on what can and can't be recycled (things change, ya know!).

March 19, 2008

Got Gas Pain? Ride the Bus

Avoid auto annoyance by taking public transit to work. You'll be saving on gas and helping the environment (the average Twin Cities commuter puts a remarkable *2.6 tons* of greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere every year by driving alone to work!) MetroTransit's user-friendly Trip Planner can help you become an eco-conscious commuter in no time.

Also, consider getting a Metropass. Metropass is a bus pass that offers unlimited rides 24 hours a day. It's valid on all regular routes, as well as express, local, limited-stop, or Downtown Zone routes. And best of all, it only costs $45 per month! For more information, visit the University's Metropass program.

February 28, 2008

Hey You! Bring Your Mug :|

Coffee, tea, or M.E.? (Mother Earth, that is!) When you're going to a meeting where you know beverages will be served, take your own mug along instead of using a disposable cup (and be sure to smile!).

February 27, 2008

Decline Unwanted Magazines Online

Tired of receiving unsolicited catalogs? Reduce your mailbox clutter and paper waste by visiting Catalog Choice. Catalog Choice is a free service that allows you to find and decline catalog mailings using an online database.

February 26, 2008

Our Grandmothers Did It, So Can We! Reuse Cards

How many times have you received a card that you think a friend may enjoy too? How can we begin to pass on the fun? When in the spirit of sending a card rather than write directly on the card insert your comments on a separate sheet of paper (recycled of course) or a recipe card and encourage the receiver to reuse the actual card then the fun can be shared over and over again. (Posted by Mark Olson)

CEHD Insider Green Tips

Thanks to Anitra Budd, editor of the CEHD Insider emails, we have loads of green tips to share!