Green Office Resources and Tricks


Are you unsure where to find the answers to certain survey questions? Check the recommendations below for information sources.

  • Ask for a show of hands at a staff meeting or ask your staff via our internal staff survey:
    • U2: how many employees set office electronics to sleep mode?
    • U3: how many employees use task lighting instead of overhead lighting?
    • U5: how many employees use natural lighting whenever possible?
    • U10: how many employees close windows when heating or air conditioning are active?
    • U11: how many employees adapt to varying office temperatures by wearing layered clothing?
    • WM9: how many employees are informed on the special materials that can be recycled at OSU?
    • WM11: how many employees recycle used batteries at OSU collection bins
    • T5: what percentage of employees routinely get to campus using something other than a single-occupancy vehicle (SOV)?
    • T6: how often do employees use teleconference technologies to replace travel?
    • T8: how often do employees utilize the Beaver Bus to make short trips around campus?
    • OE2: how many employees are subscribed to the Sustainability at OSU bi-weekly e-newsletter?
    • OE3: how many employees have calculated their carbon footprint via the OSU Carbon Calculator?
  • Ask the office manager/administrator:
    • U8: does your office send an email containing an energy saving checklist to your staff before holidays and breaks?
    • WM5: are printers set to double-sided printing as a default?
    • WM6: does your office have a designated area in the supply closet for sharing and reusing office supplies such as file folders, binders, pens, paper clips, etc.?
    • T1: do you work with OSU Transportation Services to supply print and web resources so employees are informed regarding their commute options like walking, bicycling, taking transit, car sharing (ZipCar), and carpooling?
  • Ask the person who handles purchasing in your office:
    • P1: what percentage post-consumer waste content office (copy) paper does your office purchase? 
    • P2: what percentage post-consumer waste content letterhead, envelopes, business cards, folders, notepads, post-its, and other paper products, does your office purchase?
    • P3: does your office consolidate orders?
    • P4: does your office only purchase computer-related equipment that is EnergyStar compliant and/or with an EPEAT rating of at least Gold?
    • P5: does your office only purchase recycled or remanufactured laser and copier toner cartridges?
  • Email the Sustainability Office:
    • U12: what is your sink aerator flow rate?
    • U13: what is your toilet flow rate?
    • Any survey question that you are not sure how to answer.


The Sustainability Office provides an internal survey to help gather data required by the main Green Office Certification Survey. For example, the Internal Employee Survey might help you answer question U2, which asks you to indicate what portion of electronics are off or asleep after one hour of activity.

PLEASE NOTE: Use of the Internal Employee Survey is not mandatory. If you prefer to estimate answers rather than ask fellow employees, please do so. The Internal Employee Survey is intended to help you find answers to certain questions from the main survey, not to complicate the process. 

If you would like to utilize the Internal Employee Survey, please email the Sustainability Office. We will send you a survey link you can distribute to fellow employees; then we will either give you access to the survey data via Qualtrics or send you the data in an email once the results are in, depending on your preference.


The OSU Sustainability Office is the main resource for this section. Feel free to reach out via

How to:

Change Your Computer Sleep/Hibernation Settings:

Change “sleep” or “low-power mode” settings on devices to save energy after a specified time (recommended no longer than 30 min.).

  • Copiers & Printers: Most copiers and printers have energy-saver buttons to configure settings, or sometimes this is found under general settings. If you cannot find how to change the power settings, most models have tutorials online.
  • Computers:
  1. Open the Control Panel
  2. Search for "Power Options" (without quotations)
  3. Select "Change Power-Saving Settings"
  4. Select the "Power Saver" power plan
  5. From the side bar, select "choose when to turn off the display" and select how long you want the display to be on

Contact Your Building Manager: Each building has at least one building manager who can assist with general questions or direct you to the correct person. By clicking on the title link above, you can search by building to find out who your building manager is, and view any current work orders.

Create a Work OrderIf something is broken or running inefficiently, you can submit a Work Order form through OSU Facilities Services in the title link above.

Request an Occupancy Sensor:

Occupancy sensors are a great way to reduce energy use from lighting, especially in shared spaces where people don't feel as accountable for turning lights off. We recommend that occupancy sensors be installed in shared spaces where the maximum amount of lighting will be controlled, such as large shared offices, hallways, restrooms, breakrooms/kitchens and labs. An occupancy sensor request can be made by sending an email to the Sustainability Office.

Request Replacement of Incandescent Light Bulbs:

If you know of any incandescent lights in your department and would like them changed to CFLs or LEDs, please email the Sustainability Office with a request. CFLs use 75% less energy than incandescent lighting! 

Request a Smart Power Strip:

You can request a TrickleStar Model 183SS-US-8XX Smart Powerstrip to be installed in your work space. Smart powerstrips have two components that make them different than regular power strips: an occupancy sensor to detect human movement and a unique plug to sense increases/decreases in power output (for example when a computer is turned off or goes to sleep). Click the link in the title to complete the form and a Sustainability Office team member will contact you for an installation time.


Campus Recycling is the main resource for this section. Feel free to reach out to John Deuel, Recycling Program Manager


The OSU Sustainability Office is the main resource for this section. Feel free to reach out via



OSU Transportation Services is the main resource for this section. Feel free to reach out to Sarah Bronstein, the Transportation Options Coordinator.


The OSU Sustainability Office is the main resource for this section. Feel free to reach out via

This newsletter provides information on events, projects and news at OSU and within the community.

These brochures are especially applicable if your office is a high traffic area for visitors, students or staff. 


  • Request a Light Switch Reminder Sticker or Water Conservation Poster:

A Light Switch Reminder Sticker or Water Conservation Poster request can be made by sending an email to the Sustainability Office.



  • Comparison of Types of Light Bulbs:


  • Occupancy Sensor: 

A lighting control device that detects when a space is occupied by people and turns the lights on or off automatically. To request one in your building visit Occupancy Sensor Request.

  • Sink Aerator: 

Attached to a sink tap, an aerator screws onto the tip of the faucet and mixes air and water to increase pressure for the user while decreasing water usage. The flow rate in gallons per minute (gpm) is typically stamped on the side of the aerator. If you still need help identifying your building's aerator flow rates, please email the Sustainability Office.

          Low-flow faucet aerator installed in a bathroom

  • Surge Protector: 

A device designed to protect electrical devices from voltage spikes by blocking or shorting to ground any unwanted voltages above a safe threshold.

  • Task Lighting: 

Lighting that aids in illuminating personal activities such as reading, office work, etc. It can be recessed or track lighting, or portable floor or desk lamps. Task lighting saves energy compared to overhead lighting that brightens spaces not always needed.

          Image result for task lighting

  • Toilet Flow Rate: 

The flow rate of a toilet or urinal is the volume of water it uses per flush in gallons per flush (gpf). Ideally, we want toilets to use <1.6 gpf and urinals to use <1.0 gpf. Most toilets have the flow rate stamped on them. If you need more help on identifying your building's toilet flow rates please email the Sustainability Office

         Image result for how to find toilet flush flow rate stamp