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Earth Day Every Day – How Everyday Decisions Make a Difference
Release Date: 04/22/2005
Contact: David Deegan, EPA Office of Public Affairs, (617) 918-1017, firstname.lastname@example.org
For Immediate Release: April 22, 2005; Press Release #dd050408
(Boston) - Each year on Earth Day many Americans take some time to plant a tree or visit an event that raises their awareness about environmental issues. Indeed, Earth Day is an ideal time for both individuals and institutions to commit to taking actions in our day-to-day activities that both protect our environment and save money. It’s called reducing our environmental footprint.
Across the country, innovative people and businesses are creating environmentally friendly systems that protect the environment, provide cost savings and increase employee morale. One significant way both families and businesses can make a big difference is by increasing energy efficiency and use of clean energy sources.
“There are easy ways we can all use less energy,” commented Robert W. Varney, regional administrator of EPA’s New England office. “From light bulbs to better insulated houses to more fuel efficient cars, we can have both a high quality of life and lower environmental impacts from our personal decisions.”
In EPA’s New England office, employees regularly identify ways to prevent pollution and promote innovations that result in more efficient use of our resources. Recently, the focus has been on ways to reduce gasoline, electricity, and paper consumption in our Boston office. Since 2002, EPA New England has reduced paper consumption by using double-sided printers and copiers, and by sending routine office communications only via email, not on paper. Our office is also replacing traditional vehicles in the fleet with more fuel-efficient hybrid vehicles. Over 90 percent of our employees take public transportation to work, helping to keep private automobiles off the roads and reducing emissions into our air.
Reducing your environmental footprint starts with identifying where changes in lifestyle and habits can be made. Many business start by adding energy efficient lighting and equipment. Others start by recycling all the paper used in the office. In homes, we can start by ensuring our houses are well insulated and by using digital thermostats to control the heating and cooling systems.
Today, the state of New Hampshire is being recognized by EPA New England for taking steps to reduce energy consumption in state-owned office buildings. In fact, EPA awarded an Energy Star designation to a 50-plus year old building that has been renovated with conservation in mind. The office building will reduce energy usage by roughly 37 percent, preventing more than 2 million pounds of carbon dioxide emissions annually. More information on Energy Star is available at: http://www.energystar.gov .
Another New England business that has stepped up to the plate, realizing that sound conservation measures results in a better bottom line in addition to a cleaner environment, is the Boston-based Saunders Hotel Group. Their flagship Lenox Hotel in Boston is outfitted with water-saving shower, sink and toilet fixtures; energy-efficient lighting, heating and cooling; and Low VOC (Volatile Organic Compound) cleaning products, paints and air fresheners that help the hotel’s indoor air quality to be healthier and more enjoyable.
EPA New England is proud to be both a member and promoter of the Best Workplaces for Commuters program, which helps businesses to promote transportation alternatives for employees. This innovative program currently boasts over 110 active member businesses in New England alone, helping thousands of workers commute to jobs using public transportation or other alternatives to driving a private car. For information on the Best Workplaces for Commuters program, see: http://www.bwc.gov/ .