Skip to site content

Indian Health Service The Federal Health Program for American Indians and Alaska Natives

Environmental Sustainability

What Can I Do?

Every individual effort has an important impact on their environment-whether it is at home, your office, or in your community. IHS employees have been proactive in their efforts to further sustainability. You can read more about their efforts by visiting the Green Champions web page and visiting the Going Green web page. Most of the actions you can take are right at your fingertips, simple to do, cost little or nothing, and save a lot. Below are just some ideas.

In Your Home:

  • Use recyclable bags when grocery shopping;
  • Recycle all possible materials;
  • Buy environmentally-friendly and less hazardous and harmful household cleaners and chemicals;
  • Run dishwashers only at full capacity and skip the "dry" cycle;
  • Purchase energy efficient appliances, such as those at ENERGY STAR Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving www.ihs.gov
  • Buy organic and locally grown food products;
  • Set your hot water heater/tank at a lower temperature;
  • Wash your clothes in cold water rather than hot or warm;
  • Take shorter showers;
  • Turn your thermostat down and put on a sweater!;
  • Unplug your unused appliances.

In Your Workplace:

  • Use less paper;
  • Print double-sided;
  • Recycle your paper, cardboard, and beverage containers;
  • Turn off lights when you leave a room and at your desk when you leave for the day;
  • Use the energy-saving settings on your computer and turn it off at night, including the monitor;
  • Reuse folders, including file, accordion, and hanging folders;
  • Eat waste-free meals by using less packaging and bringing your own reusable dishes, cups, and utensils;
  • Use reusable beverage containers for your coffee, tea, and water;
  • Carpool or use alternative transportation (e.g., bike, public transportation) when going to and from work; and
  • Hold meetings with less paper and send the handouts electronically.

Another easy and doable action is to start a "Green Team" at your office or installation. A Green Team consists of a group of employees leading efforts to improve the environmental performance of your operations. The group's membership may include staff from Facilities, IT, Administration, Procurement, and anyone else who is committed to setting goals and making a difference. Being all-inclusive is key to wider participation and encouraging all employees to be excellent environmental stewards. Want to know more about sustainability and IHS initiatives? Sign up HERE to receive notices!

Additional Resources:

  • EPA Power Profiler (by ZIP Code) Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving www.ihs.gov : Determines your power grid region based on ZIP code and electric utility, compares the fuel mix and air emissions rates of the electricity in your region to the national average, and determines the air emissions impacts of electricity use in your home or business.
  • Energy Cost Calculators Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving www.ihs.gov : Allows federal agencies to enter their input values for utility rates, hours of use, etc. to estimate energy and cost savings for energy-efficient products.
  • Can I Buy Green Power In My State? The Green Power Network Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving www.ihs.gov : Allows the user to identify organizations that offer green power in each state. Information includes utility green pricing programs, retail green power products offered in competitive electricity markets, and renewable energy certificate (REC) products sold separate from electricity.