BY: JLL Staff Writer
Earth Day (April 22) was inspired by the environmental damage created by a massive oil spill off the coast of Santa Barbara, Calif. in January 1969. Originally conceived in 1970 as a “teach-in on the environment” aimed primarily at college students and numbering 20 million participants in the U.S., Earth Day is currently celebrated in 192 countries. Today, Friday April 22nd, more than one billion people around the world are involved in eco-friendly events and celebrations designed to help us to sustain our resources and our planet.
Earth Day is an important reminder of the importance of sustainability in our culture and to our economy, but it shouldn’t be a one-day celebration: sustainability is a 24/7, 365 practice.
As a responsible, global corporate citizen, JLL long ago made its own commitment to sustainability. And, as a property manager responsible for thousands of commercial buildings around the world, including here in Northern California, as well as a leading advisor to corporations and the commercial real estate sector on energy and sustainability through our ESS experts and LEED APs, JLL seeks to pursue sustainability throughout its business every day.
Here are just two of the many ways we can all celebrate Earth Day every day at home, and in the office.
Unplug those ‘vampires’
‘Energy vampires’ are electronics that suck small amounts of electricity from outlets even when the equipment is turned off or in sleep mode. Look around your office: computers, monitors, printers and other peripherals, phone chargers – all draw some electricity when plugged into an outlet. Estimates suggest that energy vampires can add as much as 10 percent to the total cost of your utility bill and up to $10 billion a year to the U.S. economy. Consider unplugging devices when not is use or investing in specially designed power strips that regulate current flow when devices are idle.
Anything diverted from landfill helps our environment and recycling and reuse of materials preserves natural resources. Use those recycling containers strategically positioned around your office for cans, bottles, plastic and paper and make the (small) effort to find out where batteries and cellphones can be recycled, rather than throwing them in the trash. Aerosol cans, for example, still have a relatively low recycling rate even though more than 3.8 billion cans are manufactured in the U.S. alone.
Here in Northern California, we have fewer excuses than most not to recycle. San Francisco has more recycling programs than many other cities. And, be aware that recycling, in addition to being the right thing to do, can even present an opportunity to make money, not spend it.
Happy Earth Day!