"Green Office," a Way of Life

Do not leave the tap running, write emails instead of letters on paper and turn off the air-conditioner when you leave the office.

It is hoped all these will soon become a way of life in Beijing as China begins to promote the concept of “green office” - being environmentally-friendly at work.

A group of government administrations, businesses and academic institutes in Beijing are piloting a scheme in China and taking concerted measures to bring the “green office” to life.

On Tuesday, a public campaign was launched and the environmentalists hope their efforts will be embraced by even more companies, schools and government offices.

“If we save a drop of water, it can help prevent the drought of the Yellow River. And if we stop using disposable chopsticks, we can save forests,” said Lee Yoon-jung, a South Korean student studying in Peking University.

Concerns about wasting electricity and other activities that lead to environmental problems in offices are rising in China as environmental protection becomes an increasingly hot debate.

Chen Yao, an environmental expert, said environmental problems are growing in office buildings. “Office equipment is often left on at night while paper for photocopying and faxes is being wasted. Office workers pay little attention to things like this,” Chen said. But Song Ruixiang, vice-minister of the State Environmental Protection Administration, said urban office workers, especially in big cities, have increasingly joined the efforts to curb pollution and waste.

The campaign for the “green office” follows a public project to recycle used paper which was begun last year in Beijing.

The one-year experiment has helped to recycle up to 5 tons of waste paper, the equivalent of 85 trees, said Song. However, Zhang Liang, a journalist in Beijing, said: “Although I have realized that I need to change my work style for environmental concerns, I cannot easily shake off my old habits.”

But Zhu Tianyi, a student at Renmin University of China, argued that a person needs to be self-disciplined to protect the environment. Zhu said he began to recycle old batteries and paper last year.

(China Daily 06/06/2001)

In This Series

Public Awareness, Key to Environmental Protection

Environment Improving in Major Cities

Nation Fosters Green Farming

China Issues Communique on Environment Protection

Plan to Protect Environment Outlined

Environment Proves to Be Top Public Consideration

Nation Set to Concentrate on Rubbish Problem

Old Electric Appliances Threaten Environment



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