www.vagazette.com/entertainment/parenting/ct-tribu-weigel-green-office-20101129,0,2062653.column

vagazette.com

Is your office green?

Worried about the environment? These hot products can help you be more eco-friendly in the workplace.

Jen Weigel

Lessons for life

November 29, 2010

Advertisement

Many of us have made an effort to be greener at home but what about the office where we spend as much, if not more, time? TribU chatted with Laura Meyer, the founder of The Ultimate Green Store (www.theultimategreenstore.com), and she shared the latest green office must-haves.

(Find more information about the following products in our photo gallery; click here.)

Weigel: We talked a lot about eating at the office in our column recently -- is there a product out there to help those who never leave their cubicle for lunch?

Meyer: "Yes! The Power Lunch System is perfect for this. It's a roomier adult size of the popular kids' version and features a Japanese bento-style box with compartments for different foods, a reusable fork and spoon, and a reusable water bottle. The roomy outer carrying case is made from 100 percent recycled content and the kit is free of the chemicals which should never be near the food we eat. The product is lead-free, BPA-free and phthalate-free. It even comes with a recipe book for healthy lunch ideas!"

Weigel: There are still some people that need to print on paper, yet many people are trying to "save a tree" here and there. Any suggestions?

Meyer: "You can save many trees and help to protect our ecosystems by stocking up on recycled paper. Keep in mind that not all recycled paper is created equal. Recycled content on the package can range from 30 to 100 percent. The higher the percentage, the more eco-friendly the paper. You can find 100 percent recycled paper made by Neenah Paper, Boise and Wausau on our site.

"In addition to your typical recycled office paper, there's now tree-free Coffee Paper and Banana Paper with matching envelopes (made out of agricultural waste from coffee beans and bananas). Sales also go towards supporting an orphanage in Costa Rica."

Weigel: What about writing utensils?

Meyer: "I really like Green Apple pens made out of recycled currency or tree-free pencils and Treesmart tree-free recycled newspaper pencils."

Weigel: My briefcase is kind of awkward and I'm sure it's not eco-friendly. What green items are people using to lug things around these days?

Meyer: "The Voltaic Converter Solar Backpack is my favorite. I use it as my everyday bag. Not only does it charge my camera and Blackberry, but I also meet tons of people who stop to talk to me about the bag. Not only does it have integrated solar panels, but the bag material itself (which is highly durable) is made from recycled plastic water bottles. If you don't want a full-size backpack, the daypack makes a great everyday bag.

"Another great bag [called English Retreads] that's made from recycled tires for the hip vegan can be found on the site.And not many people know that conventional laptop sleeves are made using a highly toxic process. Check out [the Greensmart] Neogreene cases in cool colors," also on theultimategreenstore.com.

What are your favorite green office supplies? Let us know.

jweigel@tribune.com