It was full of grim statistics about our loss in endowment, stocks, and other news not fit for maintaining one's holiday spirit.
Attached to the email was a document outlining a dozen of ways we could immediately reduce costs, in hopes of avoiding layoffs.
Nearly 100% of those suggestions were measures that would benefit the environment. Instead of cutting salaries or employees, we were urged to cut our electricity and paper use. Among the suggestions and changes:
- Turn off lights when rooms are unoccupied.
- Shut down computers and monitors overnight and especially over breaks.
- Travel less.
- Don't heat buildings that aren't in use.
- Use the web instead of print publications to share information.
- Don't change the trash in offices everyday. (Thank goodness! I hated that they would change a whole bag for one little cereal bar wrapper. Annoying.)
- Email direct deposits - less paper.
- Reduce printing, reuse scrap paper, and print on two sides.
- Spend less money on bottled water. Hallelujah!
All of this just proves that reduce, reuse, recycle isn't some hippie thing, it isn't just for a few of us, and it doesn't just "Save our Mother Earth!". It can be simple and save money.
It shouldn't take a huge financial crisis to get an organization to carefully examine their spending and waste - but I am content if it means a little less waste and a little more consciousness.