CHICAGO — In honor of Earth Week, Governor Pat Quinn and the Department of Central Management Services (CMS) today encouraged employees to participate in the State’s “No Print Week” program from Apr. 21-25, to help increase awareness about paper usage and reduce unnecessary paper consumption. After the success of 2013’s “No Print Day,” this year’s efforts will span all of Earth Week and will highlight tips on how to reduce both the State’s environmental impact and costs.
“We want to make Illinois the greenest state in the nation,” Governor Quinn said. “During Earth Week – and beyond – we are identifying simple steps that can help minimize the need to print, reduce unnecessary consumption of paper and recycle whenever possible. Our efforts to shrink our carbon footprint and save the state money are a win-win for taxpayers and the planet.”
According to the U.S. EPA, about 69 million tons of paper and cardboard are used and more than 2 billion books, 350 million magazines, and 24 billion newspapers are published each year. Approximately one-third of paper materials is made of trees – which are precious resources that throughout their lifetimes, help generate oxygen and purify the air, strengthen root systems, prevent soil erosion and recycle water.
“We encourage state employees to rethink the need to print, copy or fax documents, particularly when other forms of electronic communication are readily available,” Illinois Department of Central Management Services (CMS) Acting Director Simone McNeil said. “Earth Week reminds us to explore reduction and recycling options that will help us continue to protect the environment and increase overall workplace efficiency. This is an important message to keep in mind this week, and all year long.”
Through its I-Cycle program, CMS recycled over 280,000 devices, diverting over 1,400 tons of electronic waste from landfills. These efforts to reduce the number of print, fax, copy and scan equipment has resulted in an estimated savings of more than $13 million annually. In fiscal year 2013 the state has recycled:
• 5,521,906 pounds of paper (mixed and white)
• 830,714 pounds of OCC (card board)
• 2,486 pounds of plastic
• 4,114 pounds of aluminum
• 103,449 pounds of scrap metal from empty food cans
• 48,179 pounds of assorted comingled items.
Governor Quinn reminded employees of techniques to reduce paper consumption, ensure recycling and reduce costs throughout the state:
• Recycle at the nearest recycling bins.
• Unplug unused appliances.
• Turn off the lights when exiting a room.
• Send faxes electronically.
• Prioritize email communications.
• Use your monitors, e-readers and tablets.
• Use Adobe’s Portable Document Format (.pdf) to electronically “print” and save documents
• Deliver official documents electronically instead of through the mail.
• Emailing invoices, statements and purchase orders is an easy and quick way to distribute important documents, that also saves envelopes and postage.
• Minimize junk mail and opt out of prescreened offers by visiting OptOutPrescreen.com, run by the three major credit reporting agencies, Equifax, Experian and Transunion. DMAchoice and the National Do Not Mail List can also help eliminate unsolicited commercial mail.
• Think about necessity before you print!
Additional resources and helpful information:
• EPA Paper Reduction Tips: http://www.epa.gov/osw/conserve/materials/paper/faqs.htm
• United States Forest Service: http://www.fs.fed.us/
• General Service Administration Sustainability Facilities Tool: http://sftool.gov/
More information on the state’s recycling efforts is available at: http://cms.illinois.gov or visit green.illinois.gov to learn more about Illinois’ efforts to go green.