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.