Today was our second Green Team meeting and it went really well.
- We reviewed the benchmark data gathered since our last meeting:
- electricity usage in both buildings
- gas consumption for both buildings
- paper recycling levels
- solid waste recycling levels
- Options for providing safe drinking water for staff and guests were reviewed in light of the decision to stop providing serving bottled water – bottleless water cooler option looking very attractive (not to mention a lot cheaper than what we’ve been doing). Decided we needed to think about it more and will revisit this at our next meeting.
- Reviewed the results of our complimentary lighting audit done for by a consulting firm that works with our utility company. I need to double check the numbers but it looks like we could completely convert our lighting in the office building to T8s, get a 50% rebate from our utility AND payback the remaining cost through energy savings in 1.21 years. Not to mention the on-going savings after that.
- Then came the fun stuff. Over the past three weeks we challenged our coworkers to come up with “green” ideas. Anything goes – that was the only parameter! I received 130 ideas! I’ll share the best ideas in a later post but just wanted to say that at this stage the act of asking everyone had so much benefit:
- Staff buy-in for change
- Revelation that some were unaware of existing recycling and energy saving rules already in place building-wide – really made us think about how we convey the rules and how staff are oriented to the way things should be done
- Behavior is already starting to change – more people are turning off lights in unoccupied offices and rooms, more people are using ceramic mugs rather than disposable cups for coffee…
- Excitement that they can help the System save money by changing how we do things – people were so anxious to help, it was wonderful
- Next steps identified:
- Codify existing rules related to recycling and energy savings and create a staff web page so people can reference the info – things like what is recyclable, who is responsible for turning off lights, making sure everyone is turning off computers/monitors at the end of the day…
- Create tip sheet on reducing paper use based on the input from staff gathered over the last month
- Work with the Computer Operations Department to audit all computers and printers in the building to make sure they have basic energy saving settings in place and to develop how-to info for people that want to adjust the energy saving settings
- Use input from staff to create a checklist of things they can personally do to reduce energy consumption
- Develop a staff education event to orient them to the building, how they can play a part in reducing, reusing and recycling
So for those of you in our member libraries – the Business Office won the MHLS Go Green Challenge – they came up with twice as many ideas as the other two floors. Doris, our receptionist, was the champ, I got more ideas from her than anyone in the building! Go Green!