By Keith L. Epps
It takes planning and focus to build a workplace that promotes a sustainable environment, as we are trying to do here at Mason. Sometimes physical plant investments are required to save energy and money over time. But there is a lot that each of us can do just in the course of the day that requires only our creative ideas and effective habits. I call this emphasis on every day routines “Reduce, Report and Rethink.”
The most important aspect is to be mindful. Which means that we take notice of what happens around us and thinking through our choices that we otherwise make automatically. Rather than passing it by, you can make a difference to Reduce, Report and Rethink!!!
Turn Lights Off
Turn off lights when you finish a meeting or when a room is empty (unless it has a motion sensor).
If you are replacing lighting, specify compact fluorescent lighting, which use much less energy and last longer than ordinary light bulbs.
Shut Down Your Computer
Set it so that it goes into sleep mode after only a few minutes. Or shut it down totally if you are going to be out of the office for several hours.
Use a power bar for your electronics as many electronics draw current even when turned off. One flip of the switch on the power bar can turn off several devices at once.
If you are going to be gone for a while (vacation, winter break, etc.), unplug all those extras that you do not need. All electronics draw power that is wasted if you are not around to enjoy them. That trickle adds up quickly. Why not unplug to reduce the load?
The university wants to assure that equipment is well maintained and occasionally monitored. Report that damaged or unclean “whatever” or, at least, find out if it has been reported. Early detection can prevent major expenses later on.
Does it feel like you are being nosy about energy consumption around you? Well, then, good for you. You are now part of the Reduce, Report and Rethink patrol!
Keith Epps is a building supervisor within Student Centers. He is on a mission to deploy small, routine changes that end up saving significant resources every day.