UCSF Sustainability Stories
Deborah Fleischer, Green Impact, January 2013
Top Ten LivingGreen Resolutions for 2013
Happy New Year!
While you are contemplating your resolutions for the year, here are a few easy suggestions for ways to LiveGreen in 2013. With over 20,000 employees, each of us can take one small action that collectively can make a big difference.
Download the BigFix
If you only have time for one small action, this is an easy one that can really make an impact. Computers are a significant part of total energy use at UCSF. Do your part to help us reach our energy reduction goals by installing the BigFix, a power management software tool that makes it easy to reduce energy use on your desktop or server computers by managing power settings and monitoring overall power usage.
The goal of the BigFix is to reduce energy use when a computer is inactive or idle, while ensuring responsiveness when the computer is needed again. BigFix offers advantages over manual settings that your computer may have already enabled.
Certify Your Next Meeting or Event
Watch the UCSF Sustainability Video
If you haven’t seen it yet, take a few minutes to watch the UCSF Sustainability Video. See what Dr. McGreeny has to say about LivingGreen.
Dispose of Electronic Waste Wisely
Be a Vampire Slayer!
When left plugged in, our electronic gadgets and basic appliances still use what’s called phantom or vampire energy even when they are turned off or in sleep mode. A plugged-in cell phone charger sucks energy even when it’s not charging your phone. Turn off your computer monitor; unplug your cell phone charger; switch off the printer. Together, these small actions can add up to meaningful energy savings (estimates range from 5 to 10 percent). To learn more about cutting vampire energy, click here.
Buy ENERGY STAR
When it comes time to buy new appliances for the office, remind procurement to buy a device with the ENERGY STAR® label. ENERGY STAR is a voluntary labeling program designed to identify and promote energy-efficient products. Appliances, computers, and lighting with the ENERGY STAR label generally use 20 to 30 percent less energy than required by federal standards.
Buy Local Food
While not everyone is ready to become a pure vegetarian, eating less meat, and local, sustainable food, is one of the easiest ways to reduce your carbon footprint. Pick one day a week where you will only eat vegetarian food. The Mission Bay and Parnasus farmers’ markets make it easy to purchase local, sustainable food. Click here to learn more about UCSF’s sustainable food successes.
Buy Green Computers
UCSF has made it even easier to green your computer purchases with a new program called JACS or Joint Administrative Computing Standards Program. The program makes it easy to purchase a new Dell or Apple computer and ensures that you are selecting the greenest, most energy efficient models available, as well as benefiting from preferred pricing.
Choosing the right electronics makes a difference. JACS has selected EPEAT rated computers, a comprehensive environmental rating that helps identify greener computers and other electronic equipment. Buying EPEAT green labels is an easy way to reduce energy use. In addition, all JACS computers are ENERGY STAR, a voluntary labeling program designed to identify and promote energy-efficient products in order to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. Click here to learn more about JACS.
Switch to Recycled-Content Paper
Purchasing paper with recycled content is an easy way to help UCSF go greener. Choosing recycled paper has a multitude of environmental benefits, including a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and protection of biodiversity and native forests. Work with procurement in your department to ensure they are purchasing a minimum of 30 percent post-consumer waste (PCW) copy paper; even better, push for 50 or 100 percent PCW paper.
If everyone at UCSF made the shift to 30 percent recycled paper, the campus would save more than 1,000 trees worth of paper each year, without an increase in cost—the switch will not cost more. UCSF’s contract with OfficeMax has negotiated a price on 30 percent recycled paper that is no more than if you used virgin paper! While 50 or 100 percent PCW costs slightly more, if you find ways to go paperless and reduce paper use around the office, it can be easy to offset the slight cost increase.
Sign up for the UCSF LivingGreen listserve
It will only take a few seconds! Sign up for the UCSF LivingGreen listserve on the Sustainability Web site homepage and receive periodic updates and cutting-edge content on how you can LiveGreen throughout 2013.
Story written by: Deborah Fleischer, Green Impact