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FCW Insider: Happy Earth Day

Yes, it is Earth Day -- the "holiday" that started in 1970 to "inspire awareness of and appreciation for the Earth's environment," according to Wikipedia.

There are some good government resources on Earth Day.

The Environmental Protection Agency has an Earth Day page at www.epa.gov/earthday -- complete with Earth Day podcasts. And GSA's USA.gov has an Earth Day page pulling together resources from across the government. It can be found at www.earthday.gov. The EPA has a wonderful blog about its Great Lakes 2008 Earth Day Challenge -- "For Earth Day 2008, US EPA challenges residents and communities around the Great Lakes to collect and recycle electronic waste and to properly dispose of unwanted medicines." They had an item headlined "How many EPA employees does it take..." and the item is about CFL bulbs. They also posted public service announcements on YouTube.

(More info about the Great Lakes challenge can be found here.)

And I just happened to order a whole bunch of crunchy books about being green. There is one in particular that I would recommend: The Live Earth Global Warming Survival Handbook: 77 Essential Skills To Stop Climate Change by David de Rothschild. The book is graphically written and provides insights about how much effort and cost each of the initiatives would necessitate. And they cover almost every part of one's life. In the half-hour I spent with it last night, I found it well done.

Meanwhile, over the weekend, here in DC, there was the Capital Area eCycling Day where they collected unwanted computers and equipment. The event was organized by the EPA in cooperation with Dell, TechTurn and the National Recycling Coalition. No word yet how much they collected, but it seemed busy when I passed by.

Also last week, David Winstead, GSA's commissioner of Public Building Services, testified before the House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Economic Development, Public Buildings and Emergency Management, on their green initiatives. (The committee does not have testimony posted, but GSA has Winstead's testimony available.) He had some amazing stats:

The Federal government is the largest single consumer of energy in the United States. According to the Department of Energy, Federal buildings account for 37% of the government’s energy usage, use as much as 1.5 percent of the Nation’s electricity and emit about 2 percent of all U.S. building-related greenhouse gases. Since 1985, Federal agencies reduced their energy intensity in Federal buildings by 23 percent in 2005 (for standard buildings).  Agencies cut their carbon emissions from facility energy use by 3.3 million metric tons in 2005 compared to 1990.  At GSA, since 1985, we have cut our energy consumption by 30 percent and carbon emissions by 281 thousand metric tons (comparable to removing 210 thousand vehicles from the road in one year) in our public buildings.  We are using green principles and leading by example in the efficient use of energy, water and materials, as well as promoting space that enhances productivity and the work environment.

And, of course, I try to be as green as possible -- yes, I drive my Prius, and yes, like many Prius drivers, I'm smug about it. (Kidding! Well, kind of!?!)

Posted by Christopher J. Dorobek on Apr 22, 2008 at 12:17 PM


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