The county is engaged in extensive energy efficiency efforts in the areas of renewable energy and building- and fleet-management. In addition, each county employee has an important role to play in conserving energy. Conserving energy lessens our impact on the environment, but it also saves money so that it can be redirected into programs.
Take the following steps to reduce your impact on climate change:
Rethink your commute to work
Conserve fuel when driving a county vehicle
Simple changes in your driving habits can make a big difference in fuel economy, energy saving and greenhouse gas emissions.
- Slow down. As speed increases, fuel economy decreases exponentially. Don't exceed the speed limit.
- Avoid jack-rabbit starts and hard braking. Accelerate and brake smoothly and moderately.
- Eliminate idling at start-up and while stopped for more than a minute or two. Warm up the vehicle by driving at a moderate speed.
- Plan trips and routes to avoid unnecessary driving. Carpool with other employees or teleconference when practical.
- Remove unnecessary items and weight from the vehicle. One hundred pounds of extra weight can reduce fuel economy up to 2 percent.
Dress for the county's temperature guidelines
Dress appropriately for the county's temperature guidelines of 69 degrees for the winter months and 75 degrees for the summer months. In the winter, dress warmly and wear layers. In the summer, opt for short sleeves.
Use less energy in your work space
- Avoid the use of prohibited appliances in county facilities. Prohibited appliances include portable heaters, humidifiers, air cleaners, electric coffee cup warmers and holiday decorations.
- Turn off the lights in conference rooms, offices and other spaces when they aren't being used for extended periods of times.
- Turn off electronics such as task lights, lamps, radios, fans and computer monitors in individual work areas at the end of each work day.
- Turn off office machines and equipment at the end of the work day when possible.
Reduce, reuse and recycle at work
Using less reduces the amount of energy needed to extract, transport and process raw materials required in manufacturing products. Recycling also saves energy because making goods from recycled materials requires less energy than making goods from raw materials.
- Save paper. Think before you print. Ask yourself, "Do I really need to print this out?" Send and file documents electronically.
- Print double-sided whenever you do need to print something.
- Use the surplus property bulletin board (bulletin board link is to an internal county server) to facilitate the exchange and reuse of surplus furniture and equipment among departments.
- Take a second look at the county's in-house recycling program to make sure you are recycling everything you can.
- Make your next meeting a green meeting.
Purchase green products
- Look for the most environmentally friendly-products.
- Buy and use green cleaning products for cleaning white boards, desks, shelves and kitchenettes.
- Buy green office supplies.
- Pack a waste-free lunch by using a reusable lunch bag and reusable containers.
- Look for products with reduced packaging, and buy in bulk.
- Look for the EnergyStar label when purchasing appliances and electronics to make sure you are getting the most energy efficient model.
- Buy the least toxic or hazardous product available to get the job done.
For more information see the county's green purchasing information.