Your health and the environment

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Carbon emissions and global warming

UKOfficeShop is serious about the environment, global warming, carbon offsetting and recycling. In fact, this web page on "your environment" has existed since 1999. Unfortunately, the UK government and many UK companies now see global warming as an opportunity to benefit themselves. Our planet has a long history of climate change. The British Isles suffered a mini ice age in the seventeenth century when the Thames froze over. Conversely, we enjoyed two warm periods, one in Medieval days and the other in the Holocene Maximum. These warm periods were centuries before humans began producing carbon dioxide. Temperatures also rose before 1940 and fell after a few years, despite post war high carbon industrial emissions. What is the cause? Most of the planet's carbon dioxide is produced by animals (cattle 18%), agriculture, bacteria, vegetation and the ocean. Carbon emissions due to human activity are actually small. However the UK treasury taxes carbon emissions from cars and aircraft because it cannot tax cattle, bacteria or solar activity and it has become politically and socially fashionable. Tax relief for vegetarians might discourage us from eating gas producing cattle? We need to know the whole life carbon cost of products and services. For example, what is the carbon footprint associated with the production, charging, replacement and disposal of batteries for electric cars? What will be the effects of bio-fuels on agriculture? Why is air travel taxed but cruise ship travel is not? What is the carbon cost of manufacturing, transporting and retailing the latest fashions, leather goods and cosmetics? We need honest answers, constructive government action, international agreement and public support.

Visit www.carbontrust.co.uk

wi-fi wire free connection

Many products are now using Wi-Fi technology. These products rely upon weak radio signals to transfer data/information a short distance to avoid using a wired connection. The strength of these radio signals is very low and no health risks have yet been identified.

Visit www.wi-fi.org/knowledge_center/qanda-072005-wlanandhealth

Power save

Most new office equipment employs power reduction circuitry which saves energy when the machine is in standby and not in use. This not only reduces your company's energy costs but reduces your company's carbon footprint.

Ozone free

Ozone is produced as a by-product of electrostatic printing as used by laser printers and copiers etc. It can be identified by its distinctive sweet metallic smell. Prolonged exposure can cause headaches. Many office machines now use new technology to reduce the production of ozone and ozone filters on some machines are a simple but effective solution.

Visit www.healthyoffice.co.uk and www.tcodevelopment.com

Paper recycle

Recycle your used paper to save trees and help benefit the environment. You will need to separate rubbish from white paper (letters and printouts) and newspapers & magazines. Contact Paper Round for details of weekly paper collection on 020 7247 0470. Alternatively try Waste Watch.

Visit www.wastewatch.org.uk or www.paper-round.co.uk

Ink and toner cartridge recycle

Ink and toner cartridges can be recycled. When purchasing recycled cartridges it is best to confirm that they have been taken apart, cleaned, repaired and recharged to end up as good as new. They are cheaper than new and kinder on the environment. Did you know that four million printer toner and ink cartridges are dumped in landfill sites each year. These wasted cartridges could have been refilled, regenerated and reused and the waste prevented. Please save old cartridges or forward them to an appropriate recycling centre.

If requested, our driver will collect your old toner cartridges on delivery of a new replacement. Alternatively you can donate your used cartridges to Scope, the charity for the disabled. This initiative has raised over £300,000 since it was started in 1997. Call Scope on 0800 781 2600 for more information.

Visit www.scope.org.uk

Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI)

This complaint is common in those people doing repetitive tasks which stress the body - normally the upper body. The condition is progressive so may initially only be recognized as tiredness or minor pain in the area concerned. Be aware of, and employ ergonomic practices to avoid rsi.

Visit www.healthyoffice.co.uk and www.tcodevelopment.com

Stress

Work-related stress is the result of a conflict between the role and needs of the individual employee and organisational, personal or ergonomic factors in their work place. There can also be an unacceptable tension between the demands of work and the individuals' life outside work. Stress is also often typified by a lack of control over conditions at work. Six and a half million working days are lost in Britain every year through stress.

Visit www.workstress.net

PC Monitor - Eye strain

Although there is no reliable evidence to suggest that even long-term intensive use of pc monitors is damaging to the eyes, it is true that users tend to complain of eye strain more than non-users. This is likely to be due to fatigue through causes such as:

Any of these conditions could lead to fatigue; all can be overcome through good design of the working environment and by regular eye care.

Visit www.eyecare-information-service.org.uk and www.tcodevelopment.com

Mobile phones - radiation

The effects of mobile phone microwave radiation on human tissue remains a matter for investigation and debate. However it would be wise to employ precautions when using a mobile phone particularly if used frequently. It is better to:

Visit www.tcodevelopment.com

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