10 Tips to Reduce Carbon Emissions
Decrease your building’s carbon footprint and its impact on the environment
- 01 Increase employee and student awareness of ways to reduce carbon emissions. Set up education sessions for employees/students to share home/work tips to reduce their individual and collective carbon footprints. Share tips such as “One compact fluorescent bulb can reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 260 pounds per year.”
- 02 Know where you stand on carbon. Create a greenhouse gas inventory and set goals for reducing your carbon footprint. Where can you start? The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is a great source for information: http://www.epa.gov/climateleaders/resources/design-principles.html.
- 03 Investigate renewable energy technologies to become less dependent on the grid. This is good for our economy, environment, and energy security. Using renewable energy technologies can increase owner revenue and revitalize rural communities, as well as reduce dependence on the power grid – all without consuming scarce resources or emitting pollution or greenhouse gases.
- 04 Promote recycling of technical equipment that has a short useful life. Make sure that employees understand and comply with eWaste reduction goals for cell phones, computers, and batteries. Don’t know where to recycle eWaste? Visit http://www.epa.gov/epawaste/partnerships/plugin/partners.htm. Leverage manufacturer programs that eliminate duplicate transportation and ensure efficient reuse.
- 05 Encourage low emissions alternatives when airline travel is required. Most reservation systems now list equivalent CO2 by itinerary. Hub and spoke travel that “flies east to go west” can double emissions impact.
- 06 Offer telecommuting options to employees. Establish a telecommuting program allowing employees to work from home one to five days a week. Encourage flex time that will stagger start/end times so that employees can avoid getting stuck in rush hour traffic and, as a result, use less gas and reduce emissions.
- 07 Support green suppliers. Use vendors who embrace green practices (i.e. buy local, purchase used or refurbished office furniture, etc.). Don’t overlook a product’s emissions lifecycle. Products that take excess energy to produce and then have short lifecycles are bad for the planet and your pocketbook, even if they appear to be relatively inexpensive. Quality suppliers will share how to reduce carbon emissions and extend product life.
- 08 Modernize your fleet. Update fleets with more environmentally friendly vehicles where applicable and consider switching to electric and hybrid vehicles.
- 09 Promote environmentally friendly commuting. Establish carpool initiatives for employees. When two people carpool just 20 miles per day, they can save 500 gallons of fuel annually. Provide mass transit passes for employees. Reward hybrid car owners with preferred parking. Use shared vehicles instead of purchasing them. Many major cities have car and bicycle sharing available. Car sharing services like Zipcar are inexpensive and convenient, and feature efficient transportation choices.
- 10 Use the power of the new media to stay informed on the latest carbon emission tips. Subscribe to GovEnergy, Sustnble, and EnergyStarBldgs on Twitter. Keep an eye on the World Resources Institute at WRI.org and the Greenhouse Gas Protocol Initiative at GHGProtocol.org. Hop on an interesting blog at cleanair-coolplanet.org for more ways to reduce your carbon footprint.