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Which is better: a recycled material or a natural material?

There is no perfect material or product. All materials in one form or another have a negative effect on our environment. The key is setting priorities for what you want to accomplish with that material or product and then minimizing the environmental impact of that material or product. Some key questions to consider when making your decision are:
a) Where did this material or product come from?
b) What are the by-products of its’ manufacturer?
c) How is the material delivered and installed?
d) How is the material maintained and operated?
e) What do we do with them once we are done with the materials?

What is indoor air quality? How can I improve it?

The toxic chemicals found in most common building material negatively affect indoor air quality (what you breath every day). To help prevent some of this clean or replace your HVAC filters per the manufacturers instructions. Inspect and clean air ducts and both supply and return grilles on a regular basis to minimize dust collection and mildew.

How can I help the environment in my office?

Purchase office supplies from local companies. Purchase/lease low emission vehicles and provide a written policy on all future vehicles. Environmental concerns related to building include vehicle emissions and the need for vehicle infrastructure as building occupants travel to and from the site. There are a number of ways to mitigate these emissions. Among them are hybrid vehicles, alternative fuel vehicles, carpools and mass transit. Provide incentives (if possible) for carpooling, biking or using mass transit.

How can we set up a recycling program?

Identify a central location for recycling in your building. In the past when land fill space was readily available and disposal fees were low, recycling or reuse was not economically feasible. Now recycling is the norm and many municipalities require recycling of corrugated paper, plastic and metal products. Designate a used goods area for reusable items like binders, folders, boxes and padded envelopes that may be reused.

How can I conserve water?

Use water efficient fixtures, flow restrictors on existing fixtures, low flow toilets or waterless urinals. Lowering potable water use for toilets, showerheads, faucets, and other fixtures can reduce the total amount withdrawn from natural water bodies. Water efficiency cuts costs by reducing the amount of water that must be treated, heated, cooled and distributed all of which requires energy.