The End of March A massive chunk of a witnessed a truly sea shelf, the size of spectacular event in nine Manhattans, the West Antarctic broke off from the Wilkins Peninsula Will this event trigger No, because this ice sea level rise? was already floating in Why then does this the ocean event so trouble Feedback loops scientists? (albedo, water temperature & ocean circulation patterns) & no more buffer
Mauna Loa (Hawaii) Carbon Dixoide Record 1958 - 2004 380 370 360CO2 (ppmv) 350 340 330 320 310 1960 1970 1980 1990 2000 year
1000 Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide Projected (2100) IPCC 2001 - A1FI 800carbon dioxide (ppmv) Projected (2100) 600 IPCC 2001 - B1 400 Current (2005) Vostok Ice Core Mauna Loa 200 400,000 300,000 200,000 100,000 0 Years Before 2100 AD IPCC 2001
It’s not much different from what the rest of us can do We all can take action in these areas: › Conserve energy › Reduce paper consumption & use recycled when possible › Reduce carbon footprints › Consider where goods come from before buying › Implement new sustainable methods of operation › Spread the word › Invest in environmentally conscious enterprises
Enlist a volunteer to take charge of all things green in your organizations This Eco-Point Person should monitor compliance with your organization’s plan to reduce its carbon footprint He or she should also ensure that everyone is aware of their own responsibilities He or she should also educate new employees If you rent or lease space in an office building, get in touch with the landlord to see what more he or she can do
Turn off lights, computer monitors, computers, & printers & anything else powered on when you leave the office. Better yet, make sure everyone has a power strip, and make sure everyone switches them off when leaving › This saves tons of power because of “phantom loads.” Install either CFL or LED bulbs everywhere › CFL bulbs uses 60% less energy than a conventional incandescent bulb & LED bulbs can last 60,000 hours while using 2 watts
The folks at Energy Star have estimated that if every American household replaces just one incandescent light bulb with an Energy Star approved bulb, we could save enough energy to light more than 3 million homes. We would also save more than $600 million in yearly energy costs. If everyone accepted this challenge, we could prevent GHG emissions equal to 800,000 cars.
Computers, monitors, & etc.: Get everyone a power strip – they’re cheap and they’re one of the most effective steps you can take. But . . . it’s only effective in eliminating “phantom loads” if everyone switches it off when leaving. Hey, at least they can’t complain about having to turn off all six buttons – all it takes is one switch.
Computers: Contrary to a lot of popular wisdom, screensavers do not save energy, and they do not save the screen. Instead, the person in charge can ensure that monitors & computers go into sleep mode after a period of inactivity. Additionally, change power management settings easily in Control Panel Power Options Power Saver. Performance suffers little if at all, and a good IT person can modify the settings to suit your needs.
The folks across the river at MIT contributed the following statistics: Powering down computers and monitors can result in significant energy savings. › Powering down a single desktop with a 17” monitor can result in 500 kWh annual savings. An average size Cambridge home uses 700 kWh per month.
If you own it, make the following changes in consultation with the property management types (if you don’t, try to prevail upon the landlord): › Adopt recommendations of the USGBC – even if you’re not putting up a new building now, they offer helpful guidance about what you can do with an older structure. › Consult with your utility or power company about availability of green power. › If none’s available, get a different power company (Ha!) or consider carbon offsets. › Install a green roof.
Does everyone need balmy indoor temperatures in the winter, or a frosty breeze from the air duct in the heat of the summer? › How about dress codes allowing sweater vests? While Fashionistas might look askance at the bas couture, turning the heat down a few degrees with a building-wide control can provide enormous cost & energy savings. Aim for 65 degrees in the winter and 70 in the summer.
Having your local utility or power company perform an energy audit can be a good place to start. They can point out leaks and recommend cost-saving solutions. Once you’ve made necessary changes, you can keep track of your progress by watching your energy bill drop, or by bringing back the utility auditor for a second look.
100 % recycled paper or as much post- consumer recycled content as possible (see www.newleafpaper.com ) Encourage double-sided copying Use the internet and intranets for internal paper routing Don’t print e-mails, use scanners, and use small fonts, reduced spacing, & small margins Share reference manuals and other huge volumes
Recycle, Reduce, & Reuse › Figure out how to dispose of items not typically placed in recycle bins, including potentially dangerous goods like batteries, construction materials, & computer, monitor, and printer parts › Put recycling bins everywhere around the office and encourage their use with gentle prodding or outright screaming if the prodding doesn’t work
Start food, clothing, & book drives in your publishing houses › Unused stuff hanging in someone’s closet, languishing on someone’s pantry shelf, or collecting dust on someone’s bookshelf could be a great find for a neighbor or co- worker Put the Eco-Point Person in charge of establishing relationships with town or city officials to expand recycling opportunities to small businesses
More and more car companies are offering either low-emissions or zero- emissions cars and light trucks. I’ve placed my order for a Smart Fortwo – my brother-in-law will tell me that it’s not a “real” Mercedes, but I’ll spend less for gas than him Most states have ride-share programs to promote car pooling Walk, ride a bike, or take a motor scooter to work when possible
How about offering bonuses or other perks for employees biking to work – discount gym memberships, bike racks, or financial incentives? Preferred parking spaces for hybrids or other low emissions/good gas mileage vehicles For employee travel, encourage rental of hybrids – many cities now have exclusively hybrid car rental companies & most traditional companies offer hybrid choices
Encourage use of public transportation Assign your company’s Eco-Point person the task of organizing employees to start letter writing campaigns to local government leaders & state legislators to increase availability of public transportation Encourage live meet-ups on-line & work from home options with incentive programs
Consider where goods come from before buying The average American meal travels more than 1,500 miles – encourage co-workers to buy locally grown food where possible Buy consumer and other electronic products that have the Energy Star label: Go to www.EnergyStar.gov. Buy fair trade goods, cut back on or eliminate purchases of cleaning products containing hazardous chemicals Give up single servings – buy in bulk – it’s cheaper and much more green
Choose companies that implement sustainable business practices, or encourage them to change Cut down on disposables like styrofoam; provide reusable plates and other dining items for lunchrooms Choose soy-based ink for outsourced printing jobs Conserve water by choosing flush-free or low flush toilets
Install water filtration systems to cut down on bottled water purchases Purchase unbleached paper towels & napkins; or eliminate their use altogether: reuse & wash cloth instead Choose cleaners without toxic ingredients Get busy with supplies: recycle cartridges & toner; reuse old binders, folders & etc; give furniture and other supplies to charities rather than dumping
Spread the word & invest in environmentally conscious enterprises Ensure your Eco-Point person has the tools necessary to educate employees and reward their engagement in the enterprise Bring motivational speakers in to increase awareness and spur further action Encourage donations to environmental causes; consider matching gifts Check out Travelers: $227 billion market in Lifestyles of Health & Sustainability: http://www.hybridtravelers.com/newsroom.htm
Check out this organization which was formed by concerned insurance companies and others. Their mission is to address the problem of global climate change before it becomes prohibitively expensive to insure against foreseeable losses.