Friday, May 1, 2009

Green Office Champions

Potter Hall wins!

When first measured in March things were ugly in Potter Hall. The building had the highest electricity use per person, occupants generated tons of waste, and recycling was not a habit. Many occupants of Potter were critical of my blog posts. They did not like being labeled environmentally unfriendly.

While they were angry, they changed. With help from students in Environmental Science (ENV211), occupants in Potter Hall took important steps to reduce their environmental impact. Refrigerators were uplugged, computers were powered down overnight, and more material made it to the recycling bin. During the Green Office Challenge Week, Potter Hall realized a 53% recycling rate (up from 20%). They also managed to reduce electricity consumption by 35%.

Potter Hall did not cruise to victory though. The occupants of Plummer Hall were committed to winning. Every watt of energy possible was conserved in this building as they reduced electricity consumption by 46%. Plummer also had the highest recycling rate during the competition week (54%) but their total waste was up 43%.

Based on recycling, waste, and electricity Plummer actually had an edge over Potter. But occupants in Potter stepped up in one additional category- vehicle miles traveled. During the competition week, a few occupants of Potter changed and either walked to work instead of driving or carpooled. This change in behavior was not seen in any other building. Thanks to the effort of these individuals, Potter Hall was the clear winner. Look for the Green Office Challenge Award on the door of Potter soon! Congratulations!

I must recognize the efforts of all the occupants of Plummer, Potter, Bancroft, and Klingbeil. Thank you for taking the competition seriously and for working with my students. I always appreciate your willingness to help students with their academic projects. I hope you will continue to take measures to reduce your environmental impact in the office.

Finally, Klingbeil deserves recognition for being green to begin with. While they did not come close to winning the Green Office Challenge, this building was already quite environmentally friendly. Electricity consumption and waste generation were already low, and recycling was already high. Dramatic improvements such as those seen in Plummer or Potter were difficult when things were already quite lean. Keep up the good work Klingbeil!

I've pasted the table of final results below.

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