PROPOSAL: To save the Federal Government somewhere between $173,000,000 and $598,000,000 (OR MORE) over the next 12 months… by reducing the amount of copier/printer paper consumed and therefore the equivalent: (1) budget expenditure; and (2) paper (i.e. natural resources) wasted. HYPOTHESIS: Relatively large savings to the budget could be realized by imposing four simple practices on Executive Branch employees: 1. ...more »
When a landowner or government agency wants to get a permit to dredge or fill a wetland, is it really necessary to have 4 or 5 government agencies review the project? I think a lot of times there is too much overlap in environmental regulation. The amount of government time spent reviewing the smaller scale impacts can be overwhelming and very costly when you consider the number of people involved in the permit review ...more »
I work at Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, and there are many large areas of grass (like a golf course). Letting these area grow would save money and help the environment by reducing pollution from lawnmowers, weedwackers and leafblowers. Especially on code orange days.
While working at the NIH I see a lot of shipping materials arriving by Styrofoam boxes. We do not reuse or recycle them. They go to the trash straightaway. There is no policy that I know for recycling them. The danger is styrofoam is non-degradable, and it can last FOR EVER as pollutant in the environment. Even metals, such as iron and tin, degrade over a period of hundreds of years but not the styrofoam. We MUST reuse ...more »
Instill low flow toilets and urinals in high area use bathrooms throughout VA. Add water flow restrictors to existing faucets. Because these are high use areas, the toilets will pay for themselves in 3-6 months and then will start saving money. They will also reduce water usage significantly. Faucet flow restrictors will help save money right away and are very easy to install.
Solar Roadways are quiet and clean (ideal for military bases, eliminates unsightly powerlines, ideal for charging electric cars, can be used in remote areas, much less pollution). Also, production would create lots of green jobs. This idea can also be applied to sidewalks, walkways, playgrounds, parking lots, etc... They melt snow and ice eliminating lots of snow removal and they illuminate roads. It would be a great ...more »
A somewhat common issue at many facilities seems to be that traffic is unable to pass through a traffic light without several iterations of green during peak hours. This leads to lengthy idle times and constant stop and go that are unnecessary as well as detrimental to the environment and the vehicle itself. A simple solution would be to increase the time a light stays green during times of high traffic flow. Allowing ...more »
CURRENTLY: Maintenance of military installation grounds is necessary to keep up appearance and provide safe environment. Services performed under grounds maintenance contracts like cutting grass, caring for trees, flowers, and shrubs are VERY costly depending on installation size/population, climate, # of buildings, special events, political significance, etc. Most grounds maint contracts have allowances to buy new Annuals ...more »
Much of civil litigation involving the U.S. government involves thousands of pages of memoranda, correspondence, and other documents. The amount of paper involved in the discovery process or in the production of documents pursuant to Freedom of Information Act requests can often quickly spiral into the thousands of pages. The Department of Justice and indeed all agencies should push towards a fully electronic discovery ...more »
Dear Mr. President and Mr. Vice President: Congratulations for opening this important dialogue! As a former MA & GA Teacher, and now a current DC Public School Teacher, I have been appalled at the enormous waste generated by our public schools, nation-wide. I have worked with my principal for 2 years, trying to get a simple recycling program started in our building. We asked the Mayor's office, the DOE, and even private ...more »
In the fall, the facilities workers at my agency use leafblowers to clean up the outside of our building. These leafblowers are not only expensive to buy (or rent) and to repair, but they waste energy and contribute to both air pollution and noise pollution. Why not replace those leafblowers with good old-fashioned rakes? Rakes are less wasteful, not just when they're being used, but also when they're being manufactured. ...more »
We currently give most returnable cans and bottles to charity. Although this is good, I think we could better be using this money to fund full scale recycling programs in our buildings. The money obtained from recyling cans and bottles should be used to hire a contractor that will take all recylable items including all things that are recycled at households in California and other states. Tin and steel cans glass jars ...more »
Our agency's building has revolving doors, but they're slow (for some reason, they operate automatically), and impatient people frequently avoid them and use the conventional automatic doors that are next to the revolving ones. These conventional doors are primarily intended to be used by people with disabilities, but I've seen entire groups of ten, twelve, or more people head through one of the conventional doors en ...more »
Cover the roofs of large buildings on military installations with solar panels. The enormous square footage of these roofs presents an "already-in-place" platform for solar energy generation. No additional space would be required for solar farms, wind turbines (which would be impractical due to the danger posed to flight operations), etc. Just use the space we already have. This would drastically reduce the strain ...more »
I have noticed that when the janitors come around to empty people's trash cans (which typically occurs once or twice a day), they often take out the plastic bag with the trash in it and put a new bag on the trash can. This is wasteful both with regard to the cost of the plastic bags and the external cost to the environment. Most of the time it would be perfectly acceptable for the janitors to simply dump out the contents ...more »