Posted by: Lawyer Sanders | April 14, 2009

Kentucky environmental lawyer Sanders says Kentucky state employees offer great suggestions to conserve environmental resources for Earth Day 2009!

Sunset over City of Fort Thomas, Kentucky in April 2009

Sunset over City of Fort Thomas, Kentucky in April 2009

Earth Day

Suggestions from Commonwealth of Kentucky’s State Employees




Turn down the contrast when printing drafts to save toner.


Reduce margin size and single space lines to save paper by fitting more information on each page.


Reuse file folders many times by replacing the label and inverting folders.


Save files electronically instead of in hard copy.


Look for new equipment that is energy efficient.


Use your computer to send faxes and eliminate the need for hard-copy faxes.


Reduce documents to fit two pages onto one.


Use a lighter-weight paper.  Lighter-weight paper requires fewer raw materials and energy.


Eliminate unnecessary subscriptions.  Cancel newsletters, newspapers and magazines you don’t regularly read.


Keep indoor plants in the office to absorb air pollutants.


Assemble a team to conduct an energy audit.  Look for lights and equipment needlessly left on. Make recommendations to co-workers for saving energy.


Turn off lights, computer monitors and other equipment when not in use.


If possible, take the stairs instead of the elevator.


Buy reusable office supplies, such as undated, erasable wall calendars, instead of disposable supplies.


Set up an area to store and exchange reusable supplies. 


Agencies, divisions and departments that use a lot of disposable batteries should switch to rechargeable batteries.  This not only reduces waste and the impact to the environment but ultimately reduces the cost of operating the battery-powered equipment.


Report leaky faucets and toilets to building maintenance.


Use presentation software or dry erase boards for meetings rather than flip charts. 


Use conference calls instead of traveling to meetings.  This saves time and resources.


Request inks with nonpetroleum bases, such as soybeans.


Use nontoxic, biodegradable cleaners.  They contain low- or no-volatile organic compounds. 


Use a small fax label instead of a full-size cover sheet. 


State employees could use their morning and afternoon breaks to pick up trash around their office buildings.


To demonstrate state government’s leadership in recycling/waste reduction efforts, agencies should purchase products, goods and materials with recycled content. 


State government employees should set an example of proper behavior by not littering and also by picking up litter around office buildings and parking lots.


Government agencies should recycle printer and toner cartridges.  There may be a local school or organization that collects these items as a fundraiser.


During replacement of fleet vehicles, state agencies should purchase vehicles that maximize fuel efficiency.  This would save state government in fuel costs and would also have positive impacts on the environment.


Agencies should be encouraged to distribute newsletters electronically rather than on paper. 


Managers should encourage their staff to use two-sided printing for their day-to-day computer printing.  This will save resources.


State employees can collectively reduce substantially the cost of heating and cooling by lowering their thermostats in the winter and raising them in the summer.  Employees could dress accordingly for comfort.


Install motion-sensitive on/off switches for lights in places such as restrooms, supply closets, copier rooms and smoking rooms.


Place recycling bins near printers to encourage employees to recycle.


Employees should be encouraged to stay in for lunch or walk or bike to lunch during Earth Week.


Organize a cleanup of a local park for staff during a lunch hour.


Agencies should designate one printer (or one printer tray) to reusing paper.  Unneeded paper that has printing on one side could be used for printing internal documents, drafts and e-mails.



  1. In addition to using rechargeable batteries instead of disposable alkaline, any state agency, office, business can recycle their used rechargeable batteries at no cost through the nonprofit program, It’s the only industry product stewardship program of its kind. There is no cost to participate. Free collection boxes are provided that are pre-addressed and shipment prepaid.

    Visit or call toll free 877-723-1297 to enroll your office and collect all the business application rechargeable batteries (cell phones, laptop computers, two-way radios, digital cameras, etc…). For consumers, they can visit the website, type in their zip code to find convenient neighborhood participating retailers.

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