Help Your Office Go Green With These Tips
By Art Gib
Everyone’s talking about “going green” these days: and no wonder! The media is all abuzz with stories about global warming or other climate change; also, as populations across the world skyrocket, responsible citizens understand that it is more essential than ever to do everything possible to help reduce energy consumption and preserve natural resources. If you have been assigned to help your office adopt more green practices, here are some tips on some ways to go about it.
— Go for Energy Star rated equipment: The US Department of Energy has set very specific guidelines on which electrical appliances and other items are most energy-efficient and which are not. Even office equipment products such as computers and other electrical devices that are commonly used can come with an Energy Star rating: so look for these when it’s replacement time.
— You can imagine how much power an office uses in a single day, but did you know that unnecessary energy usage is also high at night? Leaving computer systems plugged into separate wall outlets provides a continuous drain: plug multiple units into power strips instead and simply flip off the power switch at the end of the day. When the computers are in active use, make sure that the power management feature is always in use.
— If you haven’t already, replace all incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent ones. The energy savings incurred by making this one simple change are simply staggering. Compact fluorescents last 10 times longer while using up to 80% less energy!
— Keep the hot air out in the summer and the cold air out in the winter: the same principles apply in offices as they do at home. You should check for an unnatural amount of air flow and temperature changes around exterior points such as windows and doors. Commercial building foundations experience settling just as homes do, which means that doors that sealed tightly just a few years ago may not be so airtight anymore. Use weather stripping for minor leaks, but you may need to replace exterior doors and windows altogether.
— Change the thermostats: raising the thermostat just a few degrees during the summer and lowering it just a few degrees during cold weather will make a huge difference in your office’s overall energy consumption. Running HVAC systems is very expensive: encourage employees to bring desk fans during the summer to help keep consumption and bills low.
These are just a few of the measures an office can take to “go green.” If your office is riding the green wave, your employees can be satisfied in knowing that the effort will really make a difference both locally and globally.