EC Green Office

"Green" features of the Environmental Center's office space

Recycled and reclaimed materials in work areas

  •  Work desk surfaces are made from recycled agricultural waste or reclaimed wood waste (certified by Forest Steward Council). Only non-toxic, emission-free glue and ecologically sensitive stains were used in their construction.  Desk and table legs are manufactured from 100% post-consumer recycled cardboard. Glues, color dyes and moisture barrier sealers used in the manufacturing process are water-based and non-toxic. Table legs are protected at floor level with a rubber boot made from recycled tires.  Our conference table is covered in maple veneer from a certified sustainable forest.
  • Seats and backs of ergonomic chairs used in the administrative offices are made with 100% recycled plastic bottle caps. The fabric coverings on the ergonomic chairs and on the chairs around our conference table are made of 78 - 100% recycled polyester.
  • Modular walls of recycled and sustainable materials serve as office dividers.  Fabric covering is 100% recycled content.
  • Cabinets in the entrance area were designed and built locally of agricultural waste Dakota Burl board and beetle-kill pine.
  • A bench in the front of the office is made from recycled plastic milk jugs.
  • Artwork on display by local artist who uses upcycled materials and reclaimed paint from the local Household Hazardous Waste drop-off program.

Energy efficiency

  • The Environmental Center uses an Energy-Star rated all-in-one copier/printer/scanner/fax to reduce energy use.  
  • Recently installed LED lighting uses significantly less energy than standard flourescent light fixtures, lasting two to three times longer and cutting electricity consumption by about 50%. (And LEDs are non-toxic and recyclable while traditional fluorescents are considered hazardous waste.)

Recycled content supplies

  • The Environmental Center uses only 100% post-consumer paper for standard print and copy jobs.
  • We specify recycled content whenever possible when purchasing office supplies.

Green building

Built during the University Memorial Center's 2001 LEED certified expansion and renovation, the Environmental Center benefited from a number of green building principles:

  • Recycled content carpet and linoleum (a natural-based, durable flooring)
  • Daylighting from numerous windows means less electric light use during the day.  Room occupancy sensors automatically turn lights off after about eight minutes of inactivity in a room.
  • Indoor air quality was improved through the use of low VOC paint and adhesives, and operable windows.

Waste reduction and other green office practices

  • The Xerox ColorQube copier/printer/scanner/fax in our office uses waste-minimizing cartrige-free solid ink.
  • We print most of our promotional posters on our own Xerox on re-used, reclaimed or recycled paper.
  • We keep a supply of already used one-sided paper to use when possible in our copier/printer and for notes.
  • Computers print settings default to double-sided printing.
  • Scanning and sending documents electronically instead of copying is practiced and encouraged.
  • Old computers are made available for student-group use, then recycled through CU's Property Services.
  • Many office supplies are rescued during student move-out at the end of academic years, and during sorting at the campus recycling facility, and reused in our office.
  • A zero waste station in the office offers options for composting and recycling.  A "Landfill Only" sign on the trash can discourages wasting anything that might be reusable.
  • Reusable dishes, utensils and water bottles used by staff in office.

Reference/contact information for green office products

Trendwall modular walls by Trendway, http://www.trendway.com

Custom eco-friendly cabinetry by bare Earth designwww.bareearthdesign.com

Ecowork workstations, www.ecowork.com

HAG ergonomic managerial task chairs with recycled plastic content, www.hag.no

  • Environmental Center chairs are model H03 340 with Messenger and Milestone 78% recycled polyester by Maharam,www.maharam.com

Dauphin stacking meeting chairs with arms and recycled content fabric available on request from Juniper Valley Products, www.cijvp.com/

  • Recycled content fabric requested by Environmental Center was Back Again 100% recycled polyester by Architex.

Recycled plastic bench for indoor/outdoor use purchased from EcoProducts in Boulder, www.ecoproducts.com/

EnergyStar (energy efficient office equipment) information available from the Environmental Protection Agency, phone 888-STAR-YES, www.epa.gov/epahome/hi-energystar.htm

  • Energy Star rated office equipment meets energy efficiency criteria set by the Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Energy, and uses about half as much energy as standard equipment through settings that power down the equipment when not in use.
  • Environmental Center all in one copier/printer/scanner/fax is a Xerox ColorQube 9201, www.office.xerox.com

Recycled paper information available from Conservatree, www.conservatree.com/ or Earth Island Institute,www.rethinkpaper.org/.

  • The Environmental Center purchases 100% post-consumer recycled copy paper through the State of Colorado's Office Supply contractor Staples.

Information on green building available from US Green Building Council, www.usgbc.org/

Upcycled wall art by Colorado artist Lowell Thompson, using paint reclaimed from the Boulder County Household Hazardous Waste program.

Contact Dana Kelly at CU Environmental Center, ecenter@colorado.edu, for other references and products encountered.