Here are a few tips for reducing your energy consumption (and your energy spending!) in the workplace.
1. Keep it natural. Turn off lights when you leave a room. Take advantage of natural light in your workspace. Turn off lights at the end of the day.
2. Be unprepared for that 3am meeting. Items that are plugged-in still use energy, even at 3am. Unplugging unnecessary appliances, electronics, and computers mean that you will not be wasting energy during the workday and you will eliminate the silly use of energy while there is absolutely no one in the building.
3. Go on a Power (S)trip. There is no need for your workplace to be “on” 24 hours a day. Plug all electronics into a power strip and turn off the power strip at the end of the day.
5. Charge it. Use rechargeable batteries instead of throwaway batteries in devices that need standard batteries.
6. Sun, salutations. Invest in Solar Power if your budget allows. It’s just a good idea.
7. Shift your energy. If you can, purchase renewable energy through your local power supply company or the US Dept. of Energy website.
8. Be a star. Purchase energy-efficient office equipment. An ENERGY STAR computer uses 70% less electricity than computers without this designation. If left inactive, ENERGY STAR computers enter a low-power mode and use 15 watts or less. Spending a large portion of time in low-power mode not only saves energy, but helps equipment run cooler and last longer.
9. Layer. Like any summer day in San Francisco, you want to wear layers. Set your thermostat comfortably low in the winter and comfortably high in the summer, and just make sure to bring layers to the office. Install a programmable thermostat that is compatible with your heating and cooling system.
10. Go mobile. Consider buying a laptop for your next computer upgrade; they use much less energy than desktop computers.