Hello, Lebanon. It’s me, your friendly Green Patriot. Do you commute to your office every morning? Or if you are a student, do you work at your university department or volunteer at an organization? Most of us have some sort of function outside of the home. Naturally, the environment affects us there, too. Here are a few tips and tricks that make a big difference in terms of environmental conservation!

Given that we are in the digital age, the need for us to print and photocopy is far less than it used to be. After all, we use PDF formatting, send documents as email attachments, and even if we want something to be reviewed, we have “Track Changes” so whomever is reviewing your manuscript can do it online and not have to print it. Nevertheless, the average office worker uses approximately 10,000 sheets of copy paper each year! We can reduce this by relying more on emailing each other documents. If printing is a necessity, you can print on both sides of the page. In any case, please leave a recycling bin around both the printers and the photcopy machines. This trend is already apparent at LAU, AUB, at ACS, and other institutions. Let’s keep it up!

In terms of printers and photocopiers, both of them have toner cartridges which are essential for use. However, when either cartridge finishes, you can save it and have it refilled; it is both cheaper and more environmentally friendly to do so than to buy a new cartridge. Alternatively, you could also save the used cartridge and trade it in when you go to get a new cartridge.

Speaking of electronics, did you know that laptop computers use up to 70% less energy than desktop computers, and generate less heat waste? As such, it is better to use a laptop computer than a desktop one not only for personal purposes, but also for environmental ones. In addition, a lot of money and energy is wasted when electronic devices are plugged into electrical sockets but not in use, or when they on standby power. A great way to prevent this is to simply turn your device off and then unplug it. No harm will come to your device.  to immediately reduce your impact is to plug all of your computer and electronic devices into a Power Strip that you can turn off every night with the flick of a switch. In addition, simply removing your phone or laptop from the charger and then unplugging the charger from the socket makes a big difference! Naturally, using energy-efficient light-bulbs and turning off the light when you are not using it makes a huge difference.

On to your personal office space. A lot of us like to order food from outside, or keep plastic/paper plates and plastic utencils. When we have the office water dispenser, a lot of use plastic cups. Instead, bring a few of your own washable dishes and a mug to work. It is cleaner, less costly (as opposed to having to buy these items regularly), and better for the environment! It is also healthier; plastic reacts with hot water, and if you drink this water, you will be ingesting toxic chemicals. My fellow Lebanese, let us improve our health, our finances, and our environment. We can do it, Lebanon!!!