Green Offices

By Lina Younes

During last week’s blog I focused on the fact that with simple actions at home we can all contribute to environmental protection. One of individuals who left comments to that blog pointed out that many office buildings in the DC area leave the lights on after office hours and weekends. What an enormous waste of energy!

Did you know that the combined annual energy costs for US commercial buildings and industrial facilities is $202.3 billion? Did you know that about thirty percent of the energy used in buildings is done so inefficiently? So, what types of steps could we take to improve energy efficiency in commercial buildings?

Many of the things we can do to improve energy efficiency in the office are not that different from some of the steps we take at home. How about turning off the lights when you’re not in the office? Replacing the bulbs in desk lamps with compact fluorescent lights will also use about 75% less energy than traditional incandescent bulbs. How about creating a green team among your co-workers to identify additional energy saving methods in the office?

In addition to energy, reducing waste is another way to make the workplace more environmentally friendly. We should all do our part to make a difference. How have you contributed to a healthier workplace?

About the author: Lina Younes has been working for EPA since 2002 and currently serves as Acting Associate Director for Environmental Education. Prior to joining EPA, she was the Washington bureau chief for two Puerto Rican newspapers and she has worked for several government agencies.

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