Re: Personal heaters
2014-01-19 13:43:21 UTC
(1) Find out details of particular problems and give staff a respected and reliable point of contact in the work area who will report problems, stay on top of them, and report solutions. Provide a quick read thermometer to the POC, so the person can document real problems. (Often there are real problems.)
(2) Work diligently with building engineers to solve problems & report to employees via the point of contact. Examples I've encountered:
-- Heat was turned down on weekends and not started back up 'til 7am Monday, so workers were always cold when they arrived (and room temp could be documented at under 60 degrees). Solution: Earlier startup on Monday morning.
-- Leaky windows. Solution: Weatherstripping and cute "draft snakes."
(3) Create an office culture that welcomes sweaters, lap blankets, etc.
(4) Persuade employees who need extra heat to switch from space heaters to heating pads (65 watts on highest setting, on average, per informal google research). A heating pad can be moved around as needed -- back, lap, feet -- and it's cozy. It gives heat fast. Also, it doesn't affect other employees, who may have a different comfort level. Automatic timed shutoff reduces energy consumption and other risks.
Re: Effective Signage for Waste Diversion
2012-08-01 16:57:49 UTC
My only experience is as a user and I really appreciate the combination of photos & words. For example, I regularly consult San Diego's excellent curbside recycling flyer -- available online at http://www.sandiego.gov/environmental-services/pdf/recycling/101112yesno.pdf -- when deciding what to recycle at home. It's updated each year as more becomes recyclable and the pictures make it easier for me to identify quickly & remember what's allow and what's not.
One recommendation: KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid) -- or, better yet, KISAC (Keep It Simple And Consistent). I get frustrated when I eat at Whole Foods and try to make appropriate decisions re which bins to use to discard food scraps, the plates they're on, utensils, cups, etc.; the pictures help but its signage is waaaaaaaaaay too difficult to decode and seems inconsistent with the labels on its containers.
Re: Canadian Stakeholders in ISO 14001 - Environmental Management Systems
2010-12-02 13:38:28 UTC
Lynn: I read your description with interest. As a student in a university sustainability program, it's a bit frustrating not to be able to access any of the ISO standards without buying them. Not having access to ISO 14001 (without paying CHF 106 -- or about the same amount in US dollars), I can't read the clauses to which you refer. Although they may be designed for organizations of any size, the ISO standards don't seem to be readily accessible by organizations or individuals on a shoestring budget. I hope I'm wrong. If so, I'd appreciate knowing how to access the various standards so that I can really learn what conformity & certification entail. Best regards, Jo
Reducing Water Use in Luxury Condo
2010-09-04 23:29:13 UTC
As part of a sustainability class at UC San Diego, Im researching how to reduce water usage in a commonly metered luxury high rise (here in drought-prone Southern California) and how to present my proposals convincingly to homeowners. There are over 150 units and about 300 residents. (For many, its a second home, and occupancy is seasonal. Owner occupancy is the norm, but some units are rentals.)
The building is an iconic structure thats now more than 40 years old. Plumbing is not (and Im told, but havent verified, that it cannot be) individually metered. A significant number of units have original high-flow plumbing fixtures, and staff believes many fixtures also waste water through leakage. Toilets need to be wall mounted, which increases the cost of replacement and limits options. Additionally, common metering reduces the incentive for individual owners to incur retrofitting costs. However, local regulations do require 1.6 GPF toilets be installed upon re-sale, so owners cant avoid eventual replacement.
The HOAs General Manager & Facilities Manager, as well as some of the HOA Board members, are sustainability advocates. Some residents are not. Indeed, some view conservation efforts as lowering their quality of life (perhaps remembering the unsatisfactory early generation low-flow fixtures) and feel they can afford, and have earned the right, to use as much water as they wish. Thus, financial incentives are unlikely to have much impact.
Im looking for social marketing techniques that will appeal to the rich. Ive been thinking in terms of finding out what fixtures are used at other luxury residential buildings and/or hotels (e.g., the Ritz Carlton condos in DC and the Plaza in NYC) and inspiring residents to keep up with the Joneses as part of the campaign.
Re: Cool Biz
2009-08-08 17:04:16 UTC
I hadn't heard of any organization taking Japan's approach linking casual dress to changing the thermostat to conserve energy. It's brilliant marketing! The only linking I've heard between casual attire and environmental causes is much more indirect: a NYC law firm allows attorneys and staff to wear jeans on Fridays if they donate to the firm's ongoing fundraising drive each time they do so ($10 per attorney; $5 per staff; $1 per intern). One of the beneficiaries of the fund-raising is an environmental NGO. See http://www.tano.org/en/art/629/ -- this helps the environment somewhat but, of course, doesn't lower the carbon footprint.
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