When you are a teenager one of the greatest feelings is being able to drive. Getting in that vehicle and just going anywhere and everywhere, although, we have taken advantage of this liberty. Just hopping in the car and going for such short distances, to grocery store, to a friend’s house, to the pub?? I might just be the biggest culprit, living not only 3 km from work and less than 10 km to the grocery store and my closest friend’s house. I’ve started thinking how am I personally and professionally able to reduce my carbon footprint in this world. From turning off the lights when not in the room, or while watching T.V., using the recycling programs, washing my clothes with cold water, hanging them to dry and starting now walking to work. The question is what can you do while at work? Well obviously turning off your computer an hour early is not an option so how about we try some of these cost-effective ways:
- Use smaller fonts – using smaller fonts will actually save reams of paper per week. Other saving paper tricks are double-sided printing and using electronic copies rather than hard copies. Not only are you savings paper costs you are saving printing costs and trash hauling costs.
- Eco Friendly Products – By using these specialty products we are making a conscious effort of what we are putting back out into our waters and environment. The average office is cleaned about once a week, four times a month. Each time products are used with little thought of what they’re made of and what companies are washing down the drain.
- Switching off – One of the most notorious office habits is leaving your PC running – now times this by the millions of companies and times that by how many computers each company has! Simply switching your PC off can prevent an extra 1,000 pounds of greenhouse gases each year. Contrary to popular myth, this practice of turning your computer off doesn’t hurt, but if for some unknown reason you have a program running or have a deep-rooted aversion to turning your computer off, then just set it to sleep mode before you call it a day.
- Rooftop Gardens – that doesn’t work was my first thoughts!! This is a new concept to me but if you think about it having vegetation, even something as simple as grass on a rooftop not only reduces heating and cooling costs, it also helps combat higher temperatures associated with urban environments. What about reducing waste? Since these roofs last decades longer than traditional roofs you are not only reducing cost to dump old materials in the landfill but also re-roofing costs. If you are wondering where this is being done, the Olympic Village in Vancouver, British Columbia has used this concept which will be used as residential, retail, commercial and public space after the Olympics, who knew?
Oh I can go on (just ask my co-workers). No but really check out these links to learn more about how you can reduce your footprint.
– H. Corbett