Greening the Office
Many people have asked, Ã¢â‚¬Å“What is the first step to greening a global event?Ã¢â‚¬Â As my colleague Josh S. from Brand Neutral would say, regardless of what you are doing in the world, you must look inward first. This is not meant to be philosophical Ã¢â‚¬â€œ it is to remind us to look at our everyday surroundings as opportunities to have an impactÃ¢â‚¬â€œ in Live EarthÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s case, our office (and our individual homes).
Josh and I began by calculating the carbon footprint of Kevin WallÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Control Room offices in Los Angeles, where most Live Earth staff is working. We purchased carbon offsets to achieve Ã¢â‚¬Å“carbon neutralÃ¢â‚¬Â status - but purchasing offsets is only a small piece of the solution and definitely not the mission of Live Earth. To successfully combat the climate crisis, each person, company, and organization must actively reducing the total amount of carbon produced while maintaining or enhancing quality of life or success as a business. The mission of Live Earth is to inspire and motivate our society to act, so we started looking for ways to reduce the footprint of the Control Room/ Live Earth office and staff.
So we started to clean house. We purchased new printers that could print double-sided to decrease our paper trail and we adjusted their Ã¢â‚¬Å“sleepÃ¢â‚¬Â settings so they go on stand-by after only a few minutes. To date, no one has noticed, which means it saves power and doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t affect day-to-day business. We donated our old printers to a nonprofit so they'll be reused.
We analyzed our office supplies and realized we could invest in more earth-friendly products, such as 100% recycled paper. We set up recycling stations around the office and purchased power strips so we could more easily shut off all our electronics at the end of the night. We swapped our incandescent light bulbs for energy efficient CFL bulbs and spoke to our cleaning staff about shutting of lights before they leave at the end of their shifts. As the office grew, new furniture was purchased with the environment in mind Ã¢â‚¬â€œ the chairs, for example, are made from recycled material and are able to be easily recycled at the end of their lives.
We posted friendly reminders on our walls to make sure our colleagues are turning off their computers, recycling, and using reusable ceramic mugs for their cup of Joe instead of paper or Styrofoam.
We even got our colleagues to carpool more frequently, a huge feat when you consider how car-dependent Angelenos can be.
Live Earth employees even brought these ideas into their homes. One member of the Live Earth team Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Tom Oliver Ã¢â‚¬â€œ came bounding into the office one day with a (reusable) bag filled with empty CFL packages. He had just replaced 11 bulbs throughout his home.
We are on the right path, but like many things in life, there is more that can be done. We'll keep you updated on the other things we're doing to keep our offices as green as possible.
Live Earth Green Team