by Hillary Ryan, Communications and Programs Strategist, Western Museums Association
As Earth Day approaches you may be asking yourself “what can I do lessen my carbon footprint on the planet?” And while you may not be able to convince your boss to install solar panels on the roof or convert the museum van to an electric hybrid, there are still ways that your impact can make a measurable impact on the reduction of waste, improve your health and well-being and that of your co-workers, and make a difference in moving toward climate-change solutions.
Use electricity wisely
Turn off all electronic devices at the end of the day. When leaving a room, turn off the lights. Bring an extra sweater, hat or puffy vest to the office and turn down thermostats. Consider converting to florescent light bulbs.
Practice the 3 Rs
If the kids are doing it, you can too. RE-duce. RE-use. RE-cycle
Adopt environmentally friendly cleaning products
There are a wide variety of environmentally friendly cleaning products that are available for commercial use. Check with your janitorial services (or staff) to see what they are using and request modifications to supplies at the next purchase opportunity.
Encourage alternative transportation and telecommuting
American workers spend an average of 47 hours per year commuting through rush hour traffic. This adds up to 3.7 billion hours and 23 billion gallons of gas wasted in traffic each year. There are many ways to cut your carbon footprint (and commuting costs) by changing the way you get to work. Bike, walk, and take public transportation or carpool. There are a lot of local groups and networks to help you find people to commute with or even bike with you on your first ride. If you are attached to your car or don't find green commuting as convenient as driving, try alternating driving with a greener option once or twice a week. For a totally free and green commute, try telecommuting — no cost, no gridlock, and no angry parking lot attendants…