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EPA's Energy Star at Work Launchpad

EPA

I have to admit, I may be the Logical Ecologist but I do get tired of hearing about everything “green” multiple times a day, every day.

I shouldn’t complain, though. It’s really a good thing that people are more concerned about all aspects of our environment. And now the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has a new online tool to help us green-up the workplace.

Our commercial and industrial workplaces account for almost half the energy use nationwide–and nearly half the greenhouse gas emissions. EPA’s Energy Star at Work tool takes you on an interactive tour of a typical office, with small steps employees can take to make a big difference in the overall energy use at work–everything from using a power strip to turn off all your equipment at the end of the day to creating a Green Team with coworkers.

You can also sign up for the Energy Star Challenge, a national call-to-action to reduce workplace energy consumption by 10% or more.

Energy Star is a joint EPA and U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) program to help the environment through energy efficiency. In 2007, Americans prevented 40 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions by using Energy Star practices and products.

And the other big benefit of going green at work?  We all save money.

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As I’ve said before, we’re not running out of water–just running out of cheap water. 

In Florida, the drought combined with population growth is putting a strain on the water supply from existing sources. 

Typically, well water is the least expensive to treat, and it’s the preferred source for communities where it’s available. Fresh surface waters, such as lakes and some rivers line up next on the cost scale.  And when the water is brackish or salty the price starts to soar.

The water war pitting north Florida against central Florida is just a result of everyone vying for the lowest cost alternative.  But since this debate has been in the news, I’ve heard several people say that using sea water would be the best bet.

There’s plenty of it–that’s true.  But the cost of treatment is astronomical.  And there’s a couple other things to consider along with the rising water bill. 

The process for treating sea water uses huge amounts of energy.  Not good if we’re all supposed to be watching our carbon footprints.

And when you take salt out of the water it has to go somewhere.  The concentrated brine solution is considered a pollutant.  So finding a discharge location can be a challenge.

Just something to think about before everyone jumps on the sea water bandwagon.

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