Tips for encouraging your organization to go green
Partners for Clean Air has compiled a listing of several resources that will help your organization with its “green” efforts. We encourage you to take advantage of these resources by downloading the Environmental Resource Guide.
Building your Action Plan
Below are ALL suggested "green" activities. Any activities not implemented regularly may be considered as actions to take on Air Pollution Action Days.
- Use teleconferencing or videoconferencing instead of driving to meetings.
- Offer flex-time to employees to lessen traffic congestion during morning and evening rush hour.
- Offer special flex-time hours on Air Pollution Action Days.
- Offer four-day work weeks to eliminate one day of commuting.
- Allow employees to work from home, when possible.
- Give incentives/recognition to employees who take public transportation, bike or walk to work; provide preferred parking for hybrid, carpool, Zipcar® and I-GO™ vehicles.
- Encourage use of public transportation by subsidizing and/or selling employee transit passes or single tickets/cards at the office.
- Offer preferred parking and/or provide secure and convenient bike storage.
- Provide facilities for showering or freshening up for those who walk or bike to work.
- Display transit maps and schedules of nearby routes for your employees; for more information, visit RTA's website.
- Put a carpool matching map in the office or educate employees about PACE's Rideshare™ system.
- Allow employees to dress casually to encourage walking or biking to work on Air Pollution Action Days.
- Provide extra incentives for employees who take public transportation, bike or walk to work on Air Pollution Action Days.
- Install motion sensitive lights in rooms or storage areas that are infrequently used.
- Purchase computers and monitors that are EPEAT registered.
- Purchase ENERGY STAR-rated electronics, office equipment, lighting, heating and cooling equipment, and appliances.
- Dim lights during the day or incorporate natural lighting to reduce energy consumption.
- Replace incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs).
- Use ENERGY STAR-rated LED lighting in recessed fixtures, task lighting, portable desk lamps, and outdoors.
- Adjust thermostats 2° warmer in the summer and 2° cooler in the winter; use programmable thermostats to turn down heat/air conditioning when the building is vacant.
- Conduct an energy audit of your facility and implement energy management programs.
- Implement a policy encouraging employees to power down workplace computers, printers, photocopiers, and other office electronics in the evening and over the weekend.
- Insulate hot water tanks and hot and cold water pipes.
- Make sure all lights, office equipment, and electronics are turned off when not in use.
- Host education lectures on environmental or charitable/non-profit opportunities during the lunch hour. Provide incentives for those bringing their own lunch (e.g., a free drink or dessert).
- Encourage employees to bring their lunch in reusable containers/bags and reusable bottles.
- Provide extra incentives for employees using reusable lunch containers, bags and water bottles.
- Encourage employees to share rides at lunch instead of taking separate trips if they must go out for lunch.
- Implement a recycling program that incorporates paper, plastic, cardboard, glass and metal.
- Provide reusable plates, cups and cutlery.
- Create an Air Pollution Action Day "blue plate special" in the cafeteria to encourage employees to eat lunch on-site.
- Replace old vehicles with more fuel-efficient or hybrid vehicles.
- Keep vehicles in good mechanical condition; make sure tires are properly inflated.
- Schedule deliveries together to eliminate multiple trips.
- Create a no-idle zone for vehicles waiting to be loaded or unloaded. Some areas currently have restrictions on diesel vehicle idling. Please check your area for any local ordinances. The city of Chicago recently enacted such an ordinance.
- Allow employees to bring company vehicles home at night to avoid unnecessary trips to the workplace when traveling for business.
- Green your fleet! For more information, visit www.illinoisgreenfleets.org.
- On Air Pollution Action Days, postpone deliveries until the next day, if possible.
- On Air Pollution Action Days, delay refueling of equipment and fleet vehicles until the evening or the next day.
- Plant low-maintenance, native landscaping to reduce the need for pesticides and watering.
- Mow grass to a minimum height of 2.5 inches to prevent weeds, discourage insect attacks, and reduce watering.
- Institute integrated pest management; for more information, visit the University of Illinois' website.
- Do not use gasoline-powered mowers and other landscaping equipment on Air Pollution Action Days.
- Do not use liquid chemical fertilizers and pesticides on Air Pollution Action Days.
- Ask employees to identify opportunities for process improvement.
- Select non-toxic cleaning products that do not require special handling or ventilation; look for products that do not require warning labels.
- Use water-based or bio-based solvents.
- Cover solvent tanks when not in use to reduce evaporation.
- Schedule structural painting for cooler weather.
- Use low-VOC paints, stains and sealers.
- Implement money-saving pollution prevention actions such as waste separation, solvent recycling, or the use of high efficiency motors.
- Defer using volatile materials until late in the day.
- Postpone high emissions or batch production activities until evening shifts, when possible.
- Reschedule small structural painting jobs for non-Air Pollution Action Days.
In addition to the actions provided above, Illinois Partners for Clean Air also provides suggested actions for residents, kids and schools. View the pages below for additional tips to share with your employees.