NASA has made efforts to move to paperless work, but never completely committed to it. Instead, paperless systems have simply been a second layer on top of the paper system. Many of the obstacles to paperless systems have been overcome with the advent of laptops and tablets (to provide portable access to work authorizing documents), RFID badges (to provide identity authentication for signing task steps) and other new ...more »
Many agencies, including ours at EPA’s Region 9, have moved to digitize documents, making it possible to retrieve reports and forms online. During our internship this summer, we recognized a way to improve government efficiency while reducing waste: making electronic tablets available for rent or checkout at the agency library/communications center. We are cognizant that people will have different learning styles and ...more »
Each department of every governmental agency has an expenditure budget dedicated to office supplies/items/furniture. The EPA’s Region 9 spends around $50,000 per year on office items. That’s approximately $500,000 for just the EPA on office supplies. During our summer internship, we sighted one way that federal dollars could be used more efficiently, support American companies, and spur the green economy: by leveraging ...more »
Lighting typically accounts for 25% to 50% of energy use in most buildings. During our summer internship at EPA Region 9, we recognized 2 easy ways to increase lighting efficiency: adopting occupancy sensors and LED bulbs. These methods will result in both energy and cost savings. They have been touted for public use by EPA, DOE, and DOI. Occupancy sensors are devices, frequently mounted on the wall or ceiling, ...more »
Many of our defense sites are located in areas which would benefit greatly from the use of green technologies. For example, sites located in desert locations could use solar panels to help alleviate the energy costs of daily business and of course air conditioning. I understand the upfront costs would be a bit more then other energy upgrades, but in the long term savings and environmental benefits would be huge. Every ...more »
Increase the level of Categorical Exclusions to decrease the amount of documentation needed to do basic actions.
Other Agencies in the US Government do environmental documentation to decide if they will utilize military land for their use. Unfortunately these often conflict with needs on already constrained property and will not come to fruition. They also do feesibility studies which costs money. In addition the agency that would allow this to occur has to do their own documentation to make sure they are not held liable. This ...more »
For many projects monitors are required by entities to watch for cultural resources under Section 106. Monitors can cost $100+ an hour. In addition dependent upon the cultural resource present, more than 1 monitor is required (tribal and archaelogical). Reduction of the efforts for monitors could include: for cultural allowing a maximum of 1 monitor, unless tribal entities choose to participate/volunteer in addition ...more »
For many projects monitors are required by entities to watch for Threatened and Endangered Species. Monitors can cost $100+ an hour. In addition dependent upon the species present, more than 1 monitor is required. Reduction of the efforts for monitors could include: for cultural allowing a maximum of 1 monitor. For ESA reduction could include first week of work monitoring with periodic inspections, unless it is occuring ...more »
By removing deciduous trees and replacing with native evergreen trees would reduce landscaper costs for leave removal in the fall.
The largest healthcare expenditure in the U.S. is bone fractures (not heart disease)! Consider investing in green-friendly cement to fix those fractures (e.g. Jeff Pfieffer of Stanford University is involved in a project). This would significantly lower huge surgery expenses, hospital stays, recovery and rehab costs, etc. that passes along savings to all Americans.
There is a paper company I've found here in San Francisco called New Leaf Paper that produces 100% post consumer waste (PCW) paper. We've been using their paper for publications and day to day copying. Why not purchase this sustainable paper. We found they even cost $30 cheaper per box. We've informed the vendor how to get on the Central Contracting Registration, but until then all of the paper we seem to get is only ...more »
The issue with CFL's the environmental factor due to the mercury. It is true that CFL's are energy efficient, however LED's take 50% less energy than CFL's and last 10 times longer. There is no mercury issue to deal with either and LED bulbs work with dimmer switches and are cool to the touch. CFL's take longer to warm up to light up a room and are usually too warm to remove soon after they are turned on. Link the LEDs ...more »
Mandate that funds recovered via recycling only be permitted for improving recycling operations. Currently funds in our agency are permitted to be used for other "environmental" related items, which even includes garbage bags. If the funds were used for strictly recycling, more improvements could be made.