Department of Homeland Security

Effective, Economical, & Commonsense Conservation Measures

The Government can and should increase efficiency and cost-savings through various commonsense conservation measures, including:


• Requiring the default on our printers and copiers to print double-sided. The IT department(s) could set an Organization-wide default, and in those instances where individuals need to print single-sided, it is easy enough to do so. This would save paper, ink, and significant material costs, in addition to supporting the ‘paperless environment’ initiatives.


• Reducing the amount—even by merely a couple degrees—of our Heat/AC usage. Modifying thermostat settings to a few degrees warmer in the summer and a few degrees cooler in the winter would create meaningful cost savings. Further, because temperature is so subjective, it is unlikely that employees would object.


• Making it a priority to Shut-Down/Standby our computers, turn off our monitors and printers (as opposed to allowing them to “sleep” or "hibernate"), and turn off our office lights. Turning off one’s other electronic devices, including office lighting, would also yield significant cost (and environmental) savings. For those lights that are not connected to motion sensors, it would be a positive step forward to install motion-detecting sensors to reduce needless energy consumption and increase cost-savings.


• Recycling. Although recycling bins are often present, there is not full participation. Moreover, there are not necessarily recycling bins/collections available for all recyclables. Recycling sets a positive message about conservation, asserts our commitment to the environment, and allows us to role model positive civic behavior.


These conservation measures are moderate yet effective. They will establish our commitment to our environment, the Government's efficiency goals, and the conservation of taxpayer dollars.



Idea No. 1865