Where offices can turn for ‘green’ advice

Dear Benny:
I know I could be more green right at my own desk, but I’m not sure what steps I should take to get started. What can I, and my co-workers, do to reduce our carbon footprint? Is there anybody out there who can give us a few pointers?
—Seeking Sustainability

Dear Seeking:
As you know, Penn has pledged to take a leading role in addressing global climate change and the effort requires commitment from every person working and studying on campus. It is terrific that you and your colleagues want to go green. Penn’s sustainability team suggests four significant ways you can reduce your carbon footprint at work:

• Reduce your energy use by turning off everything that you turn on (lights, monitors, etc.).
• Know what can be recycled at Penn and make use of the bins all over campus.
• Double-side when printing, or better yet, read documents on your computer and avoid printing altogether.
 • Leave your car at home and commute via transit, bike, foot or carpool.

If you would like to delve further into the topic and get even more suggestions, consider scheduling a “Sustainability 101” presentation for your group or department. This presentation, given by members of Penn’s sustainability team, provides important information about the University’s overall commitment to sustainability and the specific goals of the Climate Action Plan. It also offers tips on how individual staff and faculty members can contribute toward those goals.

Staff and faculty members across campus have also volunteered as Eco-Reps and are starting up local “Green Teams” that will brainstorm ways to green our departments and schools. To join your local Green Team, get in touch with your Eco-Rep by emailing sustainability@upenn.edu.

To schedule a presentation in your office, email sustainability@upenn.edu. The sustainability team will come to you at your convenience.

Got a question for Benny? Send it via e-mail to current@pobox.upenn.edu or via regular mail to the Current, 200 Sansom Place East, 3600 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6106.

Originally published on April 22, 2010