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University of Utah Library Guides
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Campus Green Office Toolkit: Green Office Checklist - How to & Ideas

This guide is to provide campus green teams centralized access to resources including toolkit information, how-to instruction, and electronic materials.

Step 1: Take Action!

The first step to Green Office Certification is to TAKE ACTION!  

Below you will find six different sections, each with a list of items. Complete all items in each section and achieve bronze certification. These same items can be found in the top section of the Green Office Checklist.  For each item listed, you will find an additional explanation and resources to help your team succeed. 

Have a question? Have a comment? Not sure if you should check off that box or just can't seem to get that last box checked off? Email me and together we will figure it out.  


  • Our Green Office Educator: __________________
    • This is the person or persons designated in your office to represent your department and be the primary contact for the green office program.
    • Make this part of their job.
    • Time commitment: 1-2 hours per week.
    • The Green Office Educator may also be the person(s) who shares information about sustainability activities on campus with the department/college, makes sure recycling is available or answers questions, explores eco-friendly purchasing options, tracks progress of green officer certification, or encourages energy smart business practice.
    • This person may be part of a department or college Green Team. Green Teams may be made up of a group of Green Office Educators, from different divisions or departments.
  • Conduct new hire “green” orientation.
    • Inform new employees of sustainability initiatives, ecofriendly purchasing practices, and expectations. Show them where recycling bins are and how to properly recycle.
    • It is recommended this be done as part of a new employee office tour and in writing as part of a hire packet.  
  • Share information! Post sustainability news and tips on your departments social media, newsletters, or office bulletin board(s).
    • The Sustainability Office often sends out information about events or other activities employees may enjoy. For those who don't receive information electronically, posting a flyer on a bulletin board in the break room is a good way to share information.
  • Follow the Sustainability Office (Sustainable U of U) on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and the Sustainable U blog (
    • Following us on social media will provide your department with current sustainability related activities on campus and in the community.
    • Invite all of your employees to follow Sustainable U of U
  • Links to our Social Media
  • Campus Resources:


  • Use “Turn Off” reminders on lights and electronics
    • Ask our office for reusable decals
  • Enable sleep mode on all computers, monitors, copiers, and printers
    • This can usually be done via "Settings" on your computer. Some computers have a "Power & Sleep" setting that you can adjust. If you are not sure where to find it, try searching Google for instructions.
    • Most equipment have a user manual that tells you how to configure energy saving features.
    • Ask your service technician or IT person to assist with making these changes. It is possible, they have already set these up.
  • Turn off items when not in use and overnight, including:
    • Lights, desk lamps, and under cabinet lights
    • Electronics, including computers, monitors, and printers
    • Copy Machines
  • Share appliances (coffee maker, microwave, refrigerator, etc.)
    • These are usually found in a centralized break room or shared kitchen
    • Replace items that are old and not in good working order
    • Buy only ENERGY STAR appliances
  • Close blinds in conference rooms and other areas when not in use
  • Open blinds to utilize day-lighting 
  • Use only ENERGY STAR and EPEAT certified equipment
  • Campus Resources:

Events & Meetings


We encourage green office program participants to get creative and come up with innovative ideas to green-up their department, workplace, college or school. Here are some resources that may be useful or inspiring. 


  • Centralize and share office supplies and resources
    • Saves money by reducing over purchasing
    • Allows a single shopper to easily source eco-friendly products and buy in bulk
  • Use eco-friendly office supplies
    • Using eco-friendly office supplies reduces environmental impact.
    • Buying items that contain recycled content means as consumers, we are helping to create long-term stable markets for recyclable material that is collected on campus and at home. 
  • Recycle printer and copier ink cartridgesThis is often done through the vendor. If your vendor does not offer to recycle your toner cartridges, contact us for more information. 
  • Shop at U Surplus & Salvage. Learn more at
    • buying used saves money and keeps materials out of landfills
    • reduces environmental impact related to transportation of goods
  • Commit to eco-friendly purchasing:
    • ENERGY STAR and EPEAT certified equipment
    • Paper that is 30% recycled content (or more) and/or is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) 
    • Kitchenware that is reusable, minimum 30% recycled content, or compostable products (Earthware, Eco-Products, Sustainable Earth by Staples, other)
    • Organic, fair trade, or minority-owned products/businesses
    • Cleaning supplies with Green Seal certification
  • Campus Resources:

Recycling & Waste

  • Provide all work stations with desk-side recycling or provide no bins and access to central trash and recycling station(s)
  • Post recycling “how to” signs
    • How to Recycle on Campus: English and Spanish  (by the Sustainability Office)
    • FAQs Recycling at the U (by Facilities Management)
    • Request printed signage from our office here (color print, 11x17 on cardstock)
  • Share the Facilities campus recycling guidelines
  • Keep scrap paper in an easy-to-find location
  • Commit to waste reduction efforts, including:
    • Place recycling bins by all waste bins
    • Set defaults to double-sided (duplex) printing
    • Reduce margins and font sizes to reduce paper usage (except when specific formatting required)
    • Reduce toner use with thinner fonts and/or grayscale
    • Place at least one reusable bag in the kitchen or break room for community use
  • Campus Resources:


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