Happy Earth Day from Ecoimpact Consulting. Since its inception in 1970, Earth Day has served to promote environmental awareness issues. From the creation of the US Environmental Protection Agency and the passage of Clean Air and Clean Water Acts to the Earth Day Network’s Climate Rally on the National Mall and the Billion Acts of Green campaign, Earth Day has inspired many to unite for one purpose: the fight for a clean environment.
With over 30 years of dedication to sustainability in the built environment, the Partners at Ecoimpact would like to share some of our favorite “going green” at the office tips:
- BLINDS: During cold weather, take advantage of the sun’s warmth by keeping blinds open during daylight hours. To keep out the heat of the summer sun, close blinds in warm weather. Raise and lower blinds year-round to allow maximum daylight in to your office space while still preventing glare.
- LIGHTS: Rely on natural lighting as much as possible. If you have the ability to control the general lighting in your work space, consider turning off the overhead lights and using just your desk lamp when outside conditions are bright. Remember to turn off the lights when leaving conference rooms and your work space, especially at the end of the day.
- VENTS: Make sure window vents are clear of papers and other items so the air can circulate freely.
- COMPUTER: Look for the Energy Star label and enable power management settings on your work computer and monitor so they automatically enter a low-power mode when not in use.
- POWER STRIP: Even when turned off, electronic and IT equipment often use a small amount of electricity when plugged in. Use a power strip that has a central “on/off” point, when you are done using office equipment turn the power strip off to completely disconnect the power supply.
- RECYCLE: Separate paper, metal, glass, and plastic for recycling. If your employer or building does not have a recycling program, create one. Bring your own recycling bin to the office and take it home with you each week to include with your curbside pickup.
- PURCHASING: Endeavor to influence purchasing practices in your office; from the evaluation of energy efficiency in replacement light bulbs to the promotion of a reduced paper workplace by purchasing recycled content copy paper and printing double-sided.
- BREAKROOM: Consider the environmental impacts of your breakroom policies. Bring and reuse ceramic mugs instead of using single-serve paper or Styrofoam cups for coffee or tea. Consider creating a catered lunch policy in your office that minimizes boxed lunch waste.
- YOU: Create a Green Team with your co-workers to help save energy and reduce waste. Let your employer know what is important to you; whether that means working out of a LEED certified office space, or working for a company who participates in corporate sustainability reporting and assessment; you can make a difference by getting involved.