October 17, 2017

Your Tuesday Top 5: Take Simple Steps to Reduce Your Energy Footprint

Posted by AGU Career Center

Every Tuesday, Patricia Yaya, AGU Vice President of Human Resources & Administrative Services, sends a message to the entire AGU staff featuring five short tips for getting by in the workplace.  On the Job will be publishing these tips in a new weekly segment, Tuesday Top 5.

Looking ahead to our soon-to-be NetZero/sustainable AGU Headquarters, there are a few simple tweaks that we can start doing now to prepare for our new reality. 

· Did you know that cords that remain plugged in have power in them? It is called “ghost” or “phantom load” and will certainly count against us in our NetZero efforts. 

· Did you know that longer cables have more power draw than shorter ones? It makes sense when you think about it.

· Did you know that electronic devices that are plugged in continue to draw power? It is best practice to unplug cell phone chargers, radios, and coffee makers when not in use.

Here are your Tuesday Top 5 tips on how to Take Simple Steps to Reduce Your Energy Footprint: 

1. Use power-saving features on your mobile devices. By optimizing the power-saving features like screen brightness and using sleep or standby mode, you will reduce the amount of energy consumed.

2. Unplug your mobile device when it is fully charged. Overcharging shortens the battery life of your device. It also continues to draw energy from the grid. Unplugging the charger from the power source will stop the energy draw. (In our temporary space, unplug from the extension cord if possible. Do not unplug extension cords from each other or from the power source.)

3. Power down your devices and turn off the lights. When leaving the office at night, power down your laptop, and if possible unplug it. Also, turn off your monitor, conference room lights, and the floor lamps. These simple measures will save energy and reduce carbon. A computer turned off uses 65% less energy than a computer left on or idle with a screen saver. That is a lot of power overnight and especially over the weekend.

4. Conserve hot water. When washing dishes or your hands, turn off the tap water to minimize waste. This saves water and energy.

5. Reduce printing and reuse paper for note-taking. Printers consume vast amounts of energy. Minimize what you print, and print on both sides of the paper. Save print-outs that are on one side for note-taking.

Patricia Yaya is the Vice President of Human Resources and Administrative Services at the American Geophysical Union.  Additional AGU Staff contributed to this blog.