Greening up by shutting down (Day 72)…

Greening the office is easier said than done. For example, my colleague and I have been trying to get the air conditioning switched off, or at least turned down, every single summer to no avail. The maintenance guys say that if they turn it down, everyone else will complain that it’s too hot; it’s been the same temperature for years, there’s no reason to change it, blahdy blah blah.

Meanwhile, we end up wearing thick wool socks, sweaters, and on some days even gloves at our desks because we’re so freezing even though it’s 30 degrees outside. It’s not all their fault — if we had windows that actually opened, it would probably be easier to regulate the temperature.

But my theory is that the real reason the air-conditioning will never, ever get switched off here is because the thermostat is controlled by men, who I’m convinced have higher body temperatures than women and sweat more (and in the case of my office these are mostly men who, ironically, are still in denial about global warming).

If I can’t win the war of the thermostat, however, I’m going to try and win smaller battles, beginning with my computer. We’re told to log off — but not shut down — our computers every night before heading home, in case I.T. needs to update our software or install some new program. I guess this might be important for editors and higher-ups but, being a lowly writer, all I need is email, the Internet and something to write on.

The cost of not being updated on something just seems far less significant than the cost of the energy required to power my otherwise untouched computer all night.

I’ve decided, then, to shut down my computer at the end of each day. Hopefully I’ve blabbered on long enough that the tech guys at work have stopped reading by now and won’t notice.

6 Responses to Greening up by shutting down (Day 72)…

  1. SarahH says:

    There was a study a while ago showing that yeah, men do typically like lower room temperatures than women. 🙂

  2. climatepolice says:

    For the record, just because someone does not believe in global warming, does not mean they can’t be “green”. I am a meteorologist and do not believe that global warming is caused by CO2. However, I am totally on board with becoming green. Like you, I try to do little things each day. We keep our thermostat at 58 in the winter, we have an organic garden, we collect rain water to water our plants, etc.

  3. If you turn off your machine and the system administrators are running patches to your computer’s Operating System or the browser that may protect it from viruses or other “holes” found in the system, you could potentially be setting yourself up to hackers or system failure. Not to be too dramatic, but if you plan on doing this, you really need to coordinate with your tech guys and let them know your plans. That way, if they are running system updates they know they need to catch up on your system.

    The last thing you’ll want is a major scolding for running a virus that takes down the network.

    Just saying 🙂

  4. Morgan says:

    This is a battle I’m trying to fight as well…and I work for a Federal Crown Corporation. The whole system administrator excuse is lame, if there was proper communication this could be coordinated and planned…instead of leaving a computer running all day and night.

    I have been ragging on people to shut down their monitors, when they walk away for more than 5 minutes and some people are now doing it…I’m even trying to get people to unplug their lap top chargers at the end of the day, because if it’s been sitting on your desk plugged in all day, than it’s charged…you don’t need to leave it plugged in at night when you’re not using it…

    This is super frustrating for me…the amount of electronics that are left on all night long…flickering annoying screen savers of peoples family picnics and photos of last weeks monster truck show!

    Dude…I’m getting annoyed just thinking about this…I’m going to shut off some lights in the meeting rooms here at work, because I know they are all left on!


  5. Hellcat13 says:

    Sheesh, I completely agree, Vanessa. It’s FREEZING in my building at work today. Summer clothes? What are those? You’d risk frost bite if you wore a sleeveless top to work.

    I work for the federal government , and another frustration is the amount of lights left on in each building overnight. I see no reason for the energy waste and the light pollution. (go Morgan!)

  6. We all are instructed to turn off our machines and monitors at night. All our lights detect movement, so they turn off automatically after you leave a room for a spell (the downside is that sitting at your desk, the lights will sometimes turn off).

    Anyway, everytime we turn on our computers and log onto the network we have a startup script that runs and checks for updates or some such thing. If you get into discussions with your managers or tech team, suggest that they think about starting to do this.

    So, institute a policy of turning off computers and monitors at night (and lights). And institute a policy where network services (or whatever they call themselves) manage updates a different way (such as with startup scripts when connecting to the network).

    I work for the government too (local, not feds), but it’s for Natural Resources, so they are way more savvy about saving money. We actually get an email every week with tips about how to save electricity in the building.

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