Alternatives to Petroleum Based Products

June 28, 2010
Hoboken, NJ – June 28 2010 – This will be a 3 part series in reducing our use of Petroleum based products. Reasons to reduce our use of Petroleum are extensive. There are health, environmental, and political reasons. The spill in the Gulf has many people reexamining our dependency on oil.  Now there are certainly ways we can reduce our use of fuel, heating oil, gasoline, etc. This article will focus on additional ways we can reduce our use of Petroleum. We can reduce our use of Petroleum by first understanding common items that are made by Petroleum.
 
  • Plastics & Synthetic Rubber
  • Paint, paint thinners, lacquers, solvents, floor cleaners,
  • Petroleum (or paraffin) wax used in candy making, packaging, candles, crayons, matches, and polishes
  • Petroleum jelly – used in medical products and toiletries (lip gloss)
  • Polyester and other synthetic fibers.
  • Fertilizers, pesticides
  • Many more miscellaneous items such as hair spray, printing inks, asphalt

 1. Plastics and Synthetic Rubber: Today, there are many alternatives to utilizing these items.  Take plastic bags for example.  Many grocery and even clothing stores now sell reusable bags made from Corn or Hemp. Some local grocers also give discounts to people who bring their own bags.   

   

Even garbage bags have an eco friendly option. There are entire lines of disposable garbage bags that biodegrade. “EcoDegradable” bags now come in all sizes and strengths. (See here STOG2430W70)

 

Cutting down your use of plastic is even easier. Many manufacturers are using alternatives such as corn and vegetable plants in place of plastic! Take a look at these disposable knives, forks, and spoons, (ECOEPS001, ECOEPS002, ECOEPS003) all made from plant starch.    We also found disposable plates made from sugarcane (ECOEPP016, ECOEPP013, ECOEPP005, ECOEPBL12).   

 

PVC is one of the most widely used and potentially toxic forms of plastic.  Many manufacturers now make PVC free products. For example, both Avery and Wilson Jones make an entire line of PVC free binders and office products (AVE79699). 

 

2. Paint:  According to the EPA, indoor air is 3 times more polluted than the air outdoors. Much of this comes from the materials we use to build our homes and the paints and finishes we put on the walls. Paints and finishes release low level toxic emissions into the air for years after application. Luckily for us, most manufacturers now make paints based from Natural products with less toxicity and even petroleum free alternatives.

    

Casein, a protein found in milk products is a fast-drying egg-based paint that has been in use for hundreds of years. Today, it is purchased in a dry and powdered form. The powder must be mixed with water and then used immediately (usually within hours to days) to prevent the paint from clumping. Milk, like clay, is intended as an interior paint and only comes in a matte finish.  

    

Another Alternative is Lime Wash. Limestone, a calcium-based mineral, is combined with water to form a natural paint. It can be used indoors or outdoors and forms a unique, glowing finish that comes in a variety of colors. Although 100% natural, limestone is corrosive to both eyes and skin, so wear gloves and goggles during application.  Ask your hardware store personnel for green friendly and petroleum free products the next time you shop for them.  

    

This concludes Part 1 of this article.  Join us for Part 2 (coming soon) of this article as we continue to explore ways to reduce our use of petroleum.


Save Energy, Save Money

June 21, 2010

Simple and Easy Ways to Conserve energy in the home or office

Hoboken, NJ – June 21 2010 – Sometimes being green friendly and wanting to save energy (and money) requires a major change.  Fortunately, for you reading this, we are exploring the simpler options.  Hey, it is the little things, right?

 

1. Vampire electronics:  Most of our electronic devices continue to utilize energy even when they are turned off!  This “standby energy” is constantly being drained as long as the device is plugged in.  Your entertainment system when it’s not in use is costing you an estimated $76 a year, ouch.  Several manufacturers are working on energy saving surge protectors.  The Belkin (BLKBG10800004)  surge protector comes with 2 “always ON’ outlets for items like Routers and DVR’s but has six outlets that can be turned off when not in use.  These “Eco outlets” stop energy from flowing to the plugged in device which will prevent the energy drain on appliances not in use.   As an added bonus, it comes with a remote for easy operation.  This summer, a number of similar products are expected to hit the market. 

 

2. Computer or Home Office: How about tackling 2 items with one solution?  The Tripp Lite ECO series UPS system provides “Eco” surge outlets, Phone/DSL surge protection, and is a UPS backup system that protects your computer from data loss in the case of a power outage. We found several versions with the entry level around $50.  The entry level TRPECO350UPS gives you 6 outlets (2 Eco friendly and 3 with UPS backup).   Protect your computer from data loss and save energy?  Not a bad deal considering that your computer easily uses $50 a year in ‘standby’ energy.

 

3. Give the home or office Fridge a break:  Refrigerators account for about 20% of Household electricity use.  Use the thermometer in your refrigerator to set your fridge to 37F degrees and your freezer to about 3F degrees. Good rule of thumb, make small changes with your freezer to ensure that you don’t set it too hot or too cold.

 

4. Use the sun to your advantage: On hot days, while you are at work, leave the blinds drawn or closed to keep out the sunlight and reduce the heat in your house.  Come home to a much cooler house!  On cold winter days, allow plenty of sunlight to flood your rooms. 

 

5. Turn down your water heater thermostat:This is a simple process and there are many guides to help you do this.I would caution, as with any electric device, if you are unsure of what to do, seek professional help.  However, most people could probably do this on their own.  Thermostats are often set to 140 degrees F when 120 or even 110 are usually fine. Each 10 degree reduction saves 600 pounds of CO2 per year for an electric water heater.

 

“All Your Office Needs!” 
 
Sincerely,
 
# # #

 


Save Energy, Save Money

June 15, 2010

Simple and Easy Ways to Conserve energy in the home or office  

Hoboken, NJ – June 15 2010 – Sometimes being green friendly and wanting to save energy (and money) requires a major change.  Fortunately, for you reading this, we are exploring the simpler options.  Hey, it is the little things, right?

1. Vampire electronics:  Most of our electronic devices continue to utilize energy even when they are turned off!  This “standby energy” is constantly being drained as long as the device is plugged in.  Your entertainment system when it’s not in use is costing you an estimated $76 a year, ouch.  Several manufacturers are working on energy saving surge protectors.  The Belkin (BLKBG10800004)  surge protector comes with 2 “always ON’ outlets for items like Routers and DVR’s but has six outlets that can be turned off when not in use.  These “Eco outlets” stop energy from flowing to the plugged in device which will prevent the energy drain on appliances not in use.   As an added bonus, it comes with a remote for easy operation.  This summer, a number of similar products are expected to hit the market. 

2. Computer or Home Office: How about tackling 2 items with one solution?  The Tripp Lite ECO series UPS system provides “Eco” surge outlets, Phone/DSL surge protection, and is a UPS backup system that protects your computer from data loss in the case of a power outage. We found several versions with the entry level around $50.  The entry level ECO350UPS gives you 6 outlets (2 Eco friendly and 3 with UPS backup).   Protect your computer from data loss and save energy?  Not a bad deal considering that your computer easily uses $50 a year in ‘standby’ energy.

3. Give the home or office Fridge a break:  Refrigerators account for about 20% of Household electricity use.  Use the thermometer in your refrigerator to set your fridge to 37F degrees and your freezer to about 3F degrees. Good rule of thumb, make small changes with your freezer to ensure that you don’t set it too hot or too cold.

4. Use the sun to your advantage: On hot days, while you are at work, leave the blinds drawn or closed to keep out the sunlight and reduce the heat in your house.  Come home to a much cooler house!  On cold winter days, allow plenty of sunlight to flood your rooms. 

5. Turn down your water heater thermostat:This is a simple process and there are many guides to help you do this.I would caution, as with any electric device, if you are unsure of what to do, seek professional help.  However, most people could probably do this on their own.  Thermostats are often set to 140 degrees F when 120 or even 110 are usually fine. Each 10 degree reduction saves 600 pounds of CO2 per year for an electric water heater.

 

 

 

 “All Your Office Needs!”    Sincerely, Supply Brothers


Top 10 Office Pranks for Your Coworkers

June 13, 2010

June 14 2010 – Supply Brothers’ ‘Office Talk’

1. The Mouse Trick

Utilize the USB port to attach a second mouse to a neighboring coworker’s computer. This works especially well if you are sitting across from him or her. Plug in, wiggle away, and watch them squirm. Added points if you have a wireless mouse.

2. Mouse Trick Number Two

The laser mouse may have ended the era of mouse-ball stealing, but it opened up another option. Stick a few layered pieces of transparent tape on the bottom side of your friend’s mouse to really mess with its functionability. Or, tape a small Post-It note that says “Why won’t my mouse work?” over the laser.

3. Ketchup with Your Phone?

Yes, you read correctly. This is a classic trick to play on your coworker. I have actually had it done to myself, and it was quite a laugh for the whole office. Next time you go to lunch take a few extra ketchup packets. Next wait till your coworker steps away from his or her desk. Quickly place ketchup all over the ear piece of the phone. Gather your surrounding coworkers and let only them in on the prank. When your coworker returns to his or her desk, give them a ring and laugh obnoxiously.

4. Busy Computer

This is anther classic mouse trick. Under the ‘mouse settings’ go to the ‘pointer tab’ and click on the hour glass. This will switch their pointer to a busy hour glass. Suddenly your coworker’s computer is always busy!

5. Wrap it Up

Wrap your entire coworker’s desk with aluminum foil. This includes their computer, pens, pencils, folders, etc. Don’t leave anything out. The more, the funnier it will become.

6. Can You be Mine?

Sent a fake love note to a coworker from another coworker.

7. The Paper Clip

Make some copies of a paper clip. Then, put this same paper into the paper tray of your copying machine. People will go bananas trying to figure out why all their copies have a paperclip on it!

8. No Toilet Paper

Place a sign on the restroom door that reads, “The Company ran out of toilet tissue; please use your own resources.”

9. Congratulations on Your Baby

Get all the women in the office to individually speak with the President, confiding that you are pregnant. By noon, he will think that all of his female coworkers are pregnant and he will not be able to tell anyone because each asked for confidentiality.

10. Booo!

Halloween never gets old. So why not scare the living daylights out of your friend at work. All you need is an old mailing box that is big enough for you to fit in. Next, put the box in a strategic location for scaring your victim. Some keys spots are near the elevator, break room, or near his or her cubicle. Get in the box and wait for your victim to come strolling by. Jump out and scare your victim using whatever means necessary; screaming, yelling, arm movements, etc.

Disclaimer: Supply Brothers is not responsible for any of the consequences as a result of these acts. However, if you do, be sure to have fun and be safe.


5 Tips to Improve Office Ergonomics

June 6, 2010

5 ways to improve office wellness. Staying happy at work is very important. Doing so makes you more productive and helps maintain a positive mental attitude.

Tip 1:
Avoiding shoulder pain
Hunching your shoulders, while talking on the phone, can greatly increase your chances of developing neck pain. The best way to improve your chances of preventing neck pain is by using a hands free headset. Search Headsets

Tip 2:
Don’t overuse your hands
Hand pain is one of the most common occurrences in the office. Avoiding overuse of your hands can greatly reduce carpal tunnel and arthritis. Instead, use an electric stapler. They are not expensive, and they will reduce your changes of injuring your hands. Search Staplers

Tip 3:
Correcting bad posture
Lower back pain is as common as a cold. Preventing it is easy! Getting the correct lumbar support is crucial for office wellness. Using a lumbar cushion will greatly reduce your risk of lower back pain. Search Lumbar Cushions

Tip 4:
Taking care of your eyes
If you are spending a lot of time starring at a computer screen, chances are, you are at risk of eye strain. If you suffer from itchy, sore, dry, and blurred eyes, then you have most likely developed eye strain. Making a small investment on an antiglare screen monitor goes a long way to help preserve your vision. Search Antiglare Monitors

Tip 5:
Avoid leg pain
Making sure your legs are bent at a 90 degree angle is very important, when you are sitting for long periods of time. Finding a chair that is adjustable and comfortable is key. When looking for a chair, be sure to pick one that is can be lowered and raised to a comfortable height. Search Chairs

All Your Office Needs!

Sincerely,

Supply Brothers