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Green and Healthy New Year!

As you begin 2011, consider opportunities to improve your personal health and the health of the environment. Small changes at work and at home can make a difference. Try incorporating the following activities into your life, and encourage others to do the same. The start of a brand new year offers an exciting opportunity to become more sustainable!

  1. Photo: A man with a full recycle bin.Recycle. Recycle at home and learn about your workplace recycling program. Take steps to properly dispose of waste.
  2. Make good transportation choices. Reduce the time you spend driving in the car alone. There are several options available to help make your commute healthier and more environmentally responsible.
    • Active Transportation Options such as biking, walking, or using mass transit
    • Ridesharing Options such as carpooling and vanpooling
    • Telecommuting and Alternative Work Schedules
      Learn more about commuter choices. CDC, and other federal agencies, have developed a number of transportation policies and guidelines to be more green and healthy.
  3. Telework/Telecommute. Does your workplace have a teleworking/telecommuting policy? If so, have a discussion with your manager about arranging a flexible work schedule. Choosing to telework can help to reduce your carbon footprint significantly. If not, consider suggesting to your human resources department that teleworking be an option for all employees. The Telework Exchange and the Clean Air Campaign offer a number of telework resources and tools.
  4. Turn off your computer. Save energy by turning off your computer each night when you leave the office and at home when your computer is not in use. Check out these energy-saving tips from the U.S. Department of Energy.
  5. Photo: Turning off a light switch.Turn off the lights. When you leave the office, or are the last to leave a room, turn off the lights to save energy.
  6. Purchase environmentally responsible products and services. Whenever possible, buy or request materials that are recycled, biodegradable, or Energy Star and EPEAT compliant. Check out this EPA purchasing tool to learn more about green products and services.
  7. Print double-sided. CDC has implemented double-sided printing as the default for most network printers. This is an initiative that most workplaces can adopt! If you have a desktop printer, change your settings to print double-sided, and print only when necessary.
  8. Take the stairs. Increase the amount of physical activity in your day and reduce the amount of energy used in elevators. Learn more about using the stairwell for better health.
  9. Bring your own cups and dishes. Bring your own reusable cups, dishes, and flatware to cafeterias or when you bring your lunch from home. Did you know that you can circumvent the cup dispenser in a coffee machine by inserting your own mug? These practices help reduce the amount of waste produced at your workplace.
  10. Join a Go Green, Get Healthy initiative. Working with others to go green and be healthy is a positive initiative that we can all take on. Consider volunteering for a local organization or group involved in environmental stewardship to help them reach their goals. Together we can all be more sustainable! Check out the U.S. EPA Guide to Environmental Community Service.
  11. Begin a Green & Healthy workgroup at your workplace. Assist your manager and/or human resources department in launching an initiative that will help workers begin the new year in the right direction.
  • Page last reviewed: January 18, 2011
  • Page last updated: January 18, 2011
  • Content source:
    • Office of the Associate Director for Communication, Digital Media Branch, Division of Public Affairs
    • Page maintained by: Office of the Associate Director for Communication, Digital Media Branch, Division of Public Affairs
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