The ENERGY STAR label was established to:
- Reduce greenhouse gas emissions and other pollutants caused by the inefficient use of energy; and
- Make it easy for consumers to identify and purchase energy-efficient products that offer savings on energy bills without sacrificing performance, features, and comfort (http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=products.pr_how_earn).
Using screensaver on computer screen does NOT save much energy, to be frank. Try to personalize your computer working mode (usually there’re 3 modes: high performance, balance, and power saver). When you work for a long time with a relatively light , basic type of computing, then the 3rd suits best.
I always use this mode to extend battery life while being away from power outlets. If you use desktop PC (which is more energy consuming than laptops or netbooks) for work, try the same trick and don’t forget to turn off the monitor. I sometimes find people who leave their monitor ON the entire weekend even they already switch off the machine (CPU). My coworkers are also seen locking his PC while away for pray or lunch break. That’s such a waste! Turn any electronic equipment off if you want to leave them. Switching it on again as you come back is as easy as snapping your fingers, so stop making excuses like “It’ll take a longer time to switch it on again, open the browser, connect it to the network and get back to work again”. Don’t be selfish, let’s not think of how long it’ll take us to switch it on again when at the same time there’re millions Indonesians out there can’t enjoy the electricity. Shame on us!
4. Share working equipment
Sharing is caring. Aside from being social, sharing our equipment offers more opportunities to cut down energy spending and budgets to purchase more equipment.
By having only necessary equipment in the office, you cultter the workspace less and that means you can save headaches. Clutter is the culprit of ineffciency and unproductivity.
By sharing working equipment, we also interact with other people/ coworkers more often. Even if you don’t want to talk with him/ her, you have to. For example, because there’s only a printer at my coworker desk, I have to walk there every time I need to print something, and ask his favor. This is supposed to be regarded as ice breaking ‘tactic’ not a distraction. Every time we get bored and sick of the busy-ness and overwhelming tasks, what seems to be distraction of concentration may become a mood booster. Take time. This way, we’re encouraged to be more physically active, which in turn replaces the sedentary life style that kills many of modern Homo Sapiens as well.
5. Use electricity powered tools rather than compressed air versions. These will use roughly one tenth of the energy.
6. Run photocopiers in batches to ensure that the photocopier does not spend more time than needed switching between high power and sleep modes. It is the same principle applied to ironing clothes. If you iron more clothes less frequently, it means you save more energy than those who iron their fewer clothes but more frequently.
7. Get a place to stay within walking distance
Really, you’ll be so grateful to yourself for getting a place to stay or live in a walking distance from your workplace. Not only can you save a lot of stress and headaches due to maddening traffic jams and inhaling the poluting gases, but you can also walk more, which means you workout more and live a healthier life style. With fewer hours spent on streets, you can enjoy more productive times at home.
I recently bumped into an emerging, Twitter-based community called “@JalanKaki”. This is kind of great to promote public awareness of the importance of walking more and driving less in every corner of Jakarta and several other cities. And by public, it refers to middle up social group with stronger influence and more intense pressure to the ignorant government, as Glenn Marsalim (@GlennMars) put it. Glenn and Marco Kusumawijaya created this @JalanKaki community.
8. Unless really urgent, try to take mass transportation
Personal cars are the last resort, particularly in Jakarta. If you must keep an appointment in a last minute, personal rides may be of great help. But if there’s still plenty of time, why not taking a mass transportation earlier in the morning or 30 minutes earlier than the departure time? Even Dahlan Iskan, the minister of state-owned enterprises of Indonesia, does this.
9. Exchanging emails and video conferencing
Video conferencing and emails may prevent our higher carbon print owing to excessive travelling. Even travelling is great and offers firsthand, eye opening experience, emails and video conferencing spend less time on the road and lower budget. Try to set up a shrewd, effective strategy of picking which business activity requires travelling and which one doesn’t (and thus can be replaced by emails and video conferencing).
I report and interview people. I go out sometimes but whenever possible, I prefer exchanging emails with my interviewees. Video conferencing is fun but that only holds true if the broadband you’re using is really broad. Mine is moody, it switches dynamically from “broad”- “somewhat broad” – “relatively broad” – “obscurely broad” to “by no means broad”. Unhappily, it never reaches “certainly broad”.
10. Working from home
Working from home can significantly reduce travel needs. Investigate this possibilities of your job. As for me, I work for a online site. I write mainly, and it can be done completely online. My performance is measured heavily based on the number of articles and the hits each of it records. So basically I can work anywhere anytime with an Internet-connected device.
11. Share personal rides with coworkers or shift to bikes
Promote car sharing or hitchhiking if you live around the same neighborhood with your coworkers. One site offers the same concept of hitchhiking as the modern transportation solution: http://nebeng.com/. Another community for cyclists who work downtown is “Bike to Work Indonesia” ( http://www.b2w-indonesia.or.id/).
12. Purchase company cars based on their fuel efficiency
If your company cars are already 30 or 20 year-old, that means they need replacement.