Network Resources
This category covers a broad range of aspects including transportation alternatives, parking, telecommuting, travel, green lodging, conference planning, indoor air quality, hybrids, office plants.
Pollution PreventionAdministrative Stuff

Pollution Prevention, Administrative Stuff

Pollution Prevention

Eco-Minded Vacation Tips

May 28, 2014
We’re closing in on the start of summer, which means…vacation!  GreenWorksGov has some green tips for employees to consider when planning their trips, including destinations, hotels, airlines, and food.  Green teams, feel free to copy this info or link to this blog in your newsletters.  Just give the info provided credit, as we link to some of the websites that deserve credit for all this useful content.
If you’re taking a vacation that doesn’t include driving or a plane ride, good for you.  Many of us, however, will be buying a plane ticket, renting a car, or driving to reach our destinations.  Check out the US Department of Energy’s fuel efficiency tips before you leave home.  For airline travelers, I checked out this year’s Air Quality Rating, a joint effort of Wichita State University and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.  Alas, none of the criteria apparently include “environmental responsibility” or “waste management and recycling”, but there are aspects rated that are important to air travelers.  A few years ago, GreenAmerica rated the airline industry and found the evidence of environmental responsibility lacking.  Happily, things seem to be improving both in the air and in airport facilities, at least in my personal observations.  GWG will do a focused update on airlines and airports in the future.
Several excellent resources help travelers seeking eco-friendly vacations.  Green Traveler Guides is a comprehensive global resource for sleeping, eating, seeing and doing.  Their motto is “We don’t guide you anywhere we haven’t been.”  The guide comes well recommended and you will find tips, deals, and results for all major tourist destinations.  The EcoTraveller Guide is another strong resource and bills itself as “Your Essential Guide to the Green Travel Scene.”  It also links you to other green guides on its list of the ten best green guides.  For those of you familiar with Expedia, don’t miss their Expedia Green Travel Guide.

Resources such as these make it so simple for green teams to generate helpful information and interesting articles for green newsletters, Intranet pages, and email eco-tips.  Take advantage of the vacation season to be relevant to your employees even when they are not at work. 

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Conservation and RecyclingAdministrative Stuff

Pollution Prevention, Buildings, Conservation and Recycling, Administrative Stuff

Pollution Prevention

Tip Your Caps to Major League Baseball and Pitch Winning Green Tips

May 21, 2014
Take me out to the ballgame, take me out to the park…we’re talking the great American pastime this week.  Major League Baseball (MLB) was the first professional sports organization to team up with the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) to plan a league greening initiative on sustainable stadium operations and team practices.  The MLB Greening Advisor was the first toolkit developed to help a sports organization adopt eco-intelligent practices.  It’s been customized since for many other sports and playing facilities.  Today, solar systems have been installed at five parks where the San Francisco Giants, Colorado Rockies, Cleveland Indians, Arizona Diamondbacks, and Boston Red Sox teams play.  Beginning in 2010, the MLB has collected data from league teams to track their successes.
A new LED scoreboard saves the Seattle Mariners over $50,000 a year in electricity costs, qualifies them for a sizable rebate from the utility and lowered their electricity consumption by 90%. The Washington Nationals play in a LEED certified stadium and divert 80% of waste items from landfill.  MLB’s “jewel” events—the All Star Game and the World Series – are where the organization plays up its green initiatives by highly visible activities such as running public service announcements featuring MLB players encouraging attendees to recycle, using volunteers to recycle at the stadium and handing out NRDC EcoTips with reusable bags made from recycled content at All-Star Game events. 
GreenWorksGov has written two previous blogs this year about the NRDC’s partnership with professional sports organizations to adopt more environmentally responsible practices across their operations from the stadiums and arenas to the concessions and waste management.  Even the front offices are included.  Head to any professional sports league website and you’ll find lots of information about what that league is doing to go green.  In a recent blog, we focused on what the National Basketball Association (NBA) has accomplished.

Seasonally, we will feature a sport.  What do sports have to do with green office teams?  In short, 61% of all Americans profess to be sports fans.  By making the connection  with your employees about what the sports world is doing to go green in a big way, your green efforts will  stand a better chance at getting and keeping their attention and support.  Professional sports organizations have made the commitment to use their influence with fans to change how fans view their relationship to the environment.  Green office teams can hit a home run by capitalizing on the leadership and successful examples from Major League Baseball and other sports organizations.  

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Administrative Stuff

Pollution Prevention, Buildings, Administrative Stuff

Pollution Prevention

"...Air as delicious to the lungs as nectar to the tongue."--John Muir

May 14, 2014
Last year, GreenWorksGov did a series on indoor air quality, specifically focused on fragrances and scents in the workplace.   As I looked out my window this morning and saw leaves stirring in the breeze, I realized I’d never written about air quality in the outdoor sense.  At least, not a dedicated article about air quality.  My “go to” resource is the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to begin my quest to learn about air pollution and air quality and what we can do about it.  Turns out, quite a lot. 
From EPA’s homepage, you can link to a series of pages about air quality and air pollution, AirNow.  The landing page has a feature that allows you to see the current air quality in any location in the US and Canada.  Looking for other countries?  There is a tab with instructions how to view air quality around the globe using Google Earth.  AirNow does a nice job summarizing the health risks of air pollution that could be a suitable subject for a newsletter item for green teams. 
The two features I want to highlight are the sections “What You Can Do” and a cool, free widget that I think would be a helpful addition to an Intranet Green page and would raise awareness about local air pollution and what affects the quality of the air we breathe.  “What You Can Do” has tips for transportation, household, lawn and garden, and precautions for days when the ozone levels are unhealthy and particle pollution is high.  One tip I wasn’t familiar with but makes perfect sense—refuel after dusk.  First among transportation tips is to choose a cleaner commute, such as mass transit, rideshare, biking, or walking to work.  Whether for business or personal need, combine errands to limit “cold starts” and avoid engine idling.
The free widget is brilliant! Consider posting this on your Intranet page which shows the current air quality in your area.   The link shows an image of what the widget looks like on a page and has the code right on it to paste to your webpage.  Include the zip code(s) you want to see and there you are!  Employees have an easy way to be notified of when air quality is in an unhealthy range, particularly a problem for children and the elderly, so they can modify activities to protect their health.
Another “go to” resource for green office teams is your state air quality control agency.  In California, that’s the Air Resources Board, which is a good resource for information about issues and has links to helpful guides.    
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Conservation and RecyclingAdministrative Stuff

Pollution Prevention, Buildings, Conservation and Recycling, Administrative Stuff

Pollution Prevention

Get Your Green Program in Transition for the Easy Basket

May 7, 2014
In a previous blog dated April 16, I introduced an ongoing series about how the sports industry is going green. I promised periodic blogs focused on specific sports of the season, so that green office teams can capitalize on timely opportunities to raise employee awareness and spur them to adopt eco-minded habits at work and in their personal lives. Also, it’s just plain fun. 
As I write, the National Basketball Association (NBA) teams are in playoffs heading to the final games of the NBA season. Basketball happens to be my favorite sport, so I’ve made the choice to start the seasonal sports blogs with the NBA. I had written in the first blog that each year the NBA hosts a green awareness week and has a NBA Green website with news about team green events, activities, and tips for fans. The NBA teamed up with the Natural Resources Defense Council in 2007 to create the NBA Green program. The program’s mission is to take steps to become a more environmentally responsible organization. A Green Advisor for the NBA was jointly developed with the NRDC to guide the league and its teams. The league is taking a comprehensive approach to sustainable practices including greener buildings, recycling and waste management, concessions, energy, water, travel, paper usage, and community service projects. The NBA boasts six LEED certified arenas and five solar roof installations. 
Just this past April, the NBA held its fifth annual Green Week, presented by Sprint to highlight league and team environmental initiatives.  Click here to read about what specific teams did during NBA Green Week.  Across the league, teams and players held in-arena awareness nights, recycling programs, hands-on service projects, and educational curriculum.  The Miami Heat hosted an annual Beach Sweep cleanup in South Florida, the Memphis Grizzlies players helped elementary school kids learn about bicycle maintenance and safety and hosted a Tour de Grizz, a pregame bike ride to FedEx Forum to promote alternative forms of transportation, players including Dwight Howard did Public Service Announcements to encourage fans to go green, and many other teams held events in their cities. These examples are a fraction of what the NBA teams do during Green Week and throughout the year.
The NBA Live Green tab is a mosaic of ongoing events and information to assist fans to participate in environmental projects.  Also, check your local team’s website for news and information about upcoming Green events.  If you live near one of the 30 NBA teams, this is a slam dunk to promote participation in a community service project hosted by your team.  For any green office team, you can publicize the NBA’s efforts, adapt one of their many project ideas to suit your circumstances, and share their green tips for fans.  I am convinced you’ll be as successful as Ray Allen is “automatic” at the foul line. 
Read more about the accomplishments and upcoming goals for the NBA’s Green Program here.
Read more about the NRDC and NBA Green program partnership here.  
Pollution PreventionAdministrative Stuff

Pollution Prevention, Administrative Stuff

Pollution Prevention

This Vehicle Consumes No Gas

April 30, 2014
May is National Bike Month, celebrated by the League of American Bicyclists since 1956.  The League is all about getting people to enjoy the many benefits of bicycling and to promote bicycle-friendly communities.  Each year the League ranks the states in order of bike friendliness considering five categories, such as legislation and enforcement, education and encouragement, and infrastructure.  Washington, Colorado and Oregon headed the list last year.
Riding a bicycle to work in lieu of a car racks up environmental benefits fast.  Check out YouCanBikeThere.com.  A midsize car used to commute 10 miles round trip to work five days a week emits 1.3 tons of carbon emission annually.  Cut that by just one day a week and the savings is almost .3 tons of CO2.  Save at least $100 on gas, too.  EcoGeek has some interesting visual examples to demonstrate what the volume of CO2 looks like.  Check it out.
One of the most popular ways to commemorate the month is a “Bike to Work” day, which encourages co-workers to join others to ditch the car and pedal to work.  In 2014, Bike to Work Week is May 12-16 and Bike to Work Day is May 16.  I have noticed, however, that localities often set their own dates in May, as the entire month is the focus. 
Here are some dates and links for cities in the US and Canada:
The Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition is inviting all interested bicyclists to join them in celebrating the 20th Bay Area Bike to Work Day on May 8.
Orlando’s Mayor Dyer is inviting everyone to join him on May 9 to celebrate the city’s Bike to Work Day.
San Francisco does it up big for the entire 31 days of May, with the “Bike to Work” day on May 8.
In Denver, Bike to Work day is June 25. Colorado law declares June as Bike Month.
The League offers free online materials to make it easy for green teams to publicize bike-friendly events in the month of May.  You can also locate events near you by entering your city’s name or zip code on the League’s website.
If you live in one of these cities ranked the 10 best to live in without a car, which include Salt Lake, Portland, and Honolulu, you may already be biking to work.
A great website for answers about bikes and cycling is Biking Answers.

    

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