Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Being Green in 2013: Week 5

Cutting Down on Printing

How to save a tree one page (0.012%) at a time

Let's talk numbers. According to Conservatree.org, one tree produces 8,333.3 pages of printer paper. The EPA says the average U.S. office worker uses 10,000 pages of printer paper, so that's 1.2 trees each year.

Based on the standard LS&A printing allowance of 400 pages per semester, in 4 years a University of Michigan student uses over 26% of a tree in printer paper. That’s 4,608.93 trees worth of printer paper alone for University of Michigan students in 2012, and let’s not forget about books, notebooks, coursepacks, class handouts, and students who exceed the printing allowance.

It can be hard to think about trees when you’re sitting in the Fishbowl or in your dorm’s basement computer lab, but making conscious printing decisions can make a big difference. Here are some helpful printing tips:
  • Print double-sided whenever you can
  • With large font documents, print two pages per sheet
  • Two lines left on the last page? Reduce font size or enlarge the margins
  • When printing readings, Set the page range to skip the title page and bibliography
  • Submit electronically whenever possible
  • Skip printing and read off your computer screen
  • When printing Powerpoint slides, print multiple slides per page… or just don’t print them at all!
There are plenty of ways to reduce paper use aside from printing, too. Save paper and money by buying used books and using friends’ old coursepacks. Buy notebooks made with recycled paper or, better yet, take notes on your computer.

Finally, remember to always recycle!

For a guide to recycling in the office:
For more facts and figures on calculating trees to paper:

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Being Green in 2013: Week 4

iRecycle iPhone App

Answers to all your recycling questions

iPhone Screenshot 1     iPhone Screenshot 2     

Recycling in Ann Arbor is getting easier each year. With single-stream recycling introduced in 2010, recycling bins in the Diag as of 2011, and last week’s announcement of a change in plastics labeling that will help eliminate confusion among recyclers, recycling is easier than ever.

But what about those materials that you’re still not sure how or where to recycle? Wouldn’t it be nice if there was one place to look, where all your recycling questions could be answered?

At last! The iRecycle app by Earth911, Inc. answers all your “Is this recyclable?” and “Where do I recycle this?” questions. This FREE app found at the iTunes Store and can be used with the latest versions of the iPhone and iPad and was created to tell you how, when, and where to recycle just about anything. The app is extremely user-friendly and also allows you to share your enthusiasm about recycling through social media sites. And did I mention it's FREE?

Through the iRecycle app, you’ll find that Washtenaw County Home ToxicsCenter, located in Ann Arbor, will take your used chemistry sets, oil-based paints and paint thinners, lighter fluid, full aerosol cans, and more. BabyEarth RENEW, located in Texas, has a mail-in program accepting strollers, car seats, swings, jumpers, high chairs, and diaper bags and uses old parts in new construction projects. And Terracycle’s mail-in program accepts a wide range of previously non-recyclable waste including candy wrappers, energy bar wrappers, drink pouches, and shoes.

The list goes on, but the point is: from yoga mats to surf boards, batteries to bricks, there’s a second life out there for most of our trash. Get the iRecycle app and find your waste a better home.

For more recycling tips, news, and ideas, like us on Facebook (Recycling at the University of Michigan) and follow us on Twitter(@UmichRecycling).