How Green Are You?

Learn to mail a package the smart way

You carry canvas bags to the grocery store, recycle curbside and turn off lights when leaving a room. Great! Now kick it up a notch and look for even more ways to go green at home and work. Start by learning how eco-friendly you really are and in the process you’ll discover more ways to help protect the environment. Answers are provided at the end. Good luck!


1.      When it comes to efficiency, what’s the best temperature for your hot water heater?

a.       98

b.      120

c.       150

d.      180


2.      If you’re trying to cut down on leaks in your home, what’s the best way?

a.       Add more insulation into the attic

b.      Caulk, seal and weather-strip windows and doors

c.       Place towels on the windowsills

d.      Keep room doors shut


3.      At what interval should you check your air filter?

a.       Weekly

b.      Twice a month

c.       Monthly

d.      Quarterly


4.      What device in your home uses the most water?

a.       Dishwasher

b.      Outdoor hose

c.       Kitchen faucet

d.      Toilet


5.      On average for each load you wash how many gallons are used?

a.       10

b.      28

c.       41

d.      67


6.      There are few things in life more pleasurable than a long soak in a hot bath, but is it worth the luxury?  How many gallons does it take to fill up an average bathtub?

a.       27

b.      43

c.       61

d.      70


7.      By contrast how many gallons of water does a shower use?

a.       10-25

b.      30-40

c.       45-60

d.      61+


8.      Solar power can provide energy on cloudy days or at night.

a.       True

b.      False


9.      For maximum energy savings, consider turning off your monitor if you?re gone for what period of time?

a.       20 minutes

b.      30 minutes

c.       1 hour

d.      2 hours or more


10.  When doing your spring cleaning consider this: The average American throws out how many pounds of clothes each year?

a.       17

b.      68

c.       100

d.      250


11.  Carbon dioxide is produced by burning oil, coal and gas. When you drive a car or make dinner, you’re adding to the carbon footprint. How long does it take carbon dioxide to disperse into the atmosphere?

a.       5 years

b.      50 years

c.       75 years

d.      100 years


12.  How much carbon dioxide does the average American emit annually?

a.       1.2 tons

b.      7.5 tons

c.       11.6 tons

d.      18 tons


13.  Which of the following items lasts longest in the environment?

a.       Paper

b.      Glass

c.       Plastic

d.      Wood


14.  At the office, what is the potential savings to turning off computers at night and on weekends?

a.       $18 per computer per year

b.      $25 per computer per year

c.       $37 per computer per year

d.      $44 per computer per year


15.  Installing LED exit signs at your office vs. conventional exit signs can save how much per year per sign?

a.       $7

b.      $15

c.       $24

d.      $53





1. b. Setting your hot water temperature to an optimal 120 degrees also decreases potential scalding. Installing an automatic timer to turn your water heater off overnight can save you about $50 a year.


2. b. Air leaks can increase costs by 10 percent. Weather-stripping can save you about $2 per drafty window.


3. c. A clean air filer helps your HVAC system run efficiently, cutting your heating and cooling costs by 5-15 percent annually.


4. d. Shocking but true, flushing the toilet accounts for more than a third of home water use. When updating yours look for high-efficiency models that use 60 percent less water.


5.c. While newer energy-efficient models use less than 30 gallons, older washers use much more. The save water always wash full loads and in cold water. Line dry as much as possible.


6.d. Soak sparingly!


7.a. A 5 minute shower consumes 10-25 gallons.


8. a. Since many solar energy systems have battery storage, you can still draw energy when it’s dark outside.


9. a. There’s a small surge when you start up your equipment, which levels out over time. The rule of thumb is when leaving for 20 minutes or more, turn off your monitor to save energy.


10.b. Instead of tossing them in the trash, donate them or turn them into rags if they’re no longer wearable.


11.d. Combine errands and walk when you can since your CO2 emission will be around long after you are.


12. b. In fact, the U.S. has the second largest carbon footprint in the world.


13.b. It takes 1 million years for glass to decompose. If you recycle nothing more than glass, that’s a great way to help the environment.


14. d. This costs you nothing and can save you a bundle.


15. c. LED signs last 100 percent longer and are a breeze to maintain.

As we celebrate Earth Day on April 22, consider incorporating some of the eco-friendly tips above or find more ideas at one of the websites below.  Another valuable source for environmentally-friendly ideas?  Your local Office Supply Dealer. They can help you retrofit existing equipment and make your office more energy-efficient all around.  Just a few simple changes can reap great rewards!








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