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The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) scientists and engineers are making significant progress toward a clean energy future, but your help is needed too.

To meet the energy challenges of the 21st century, it’s important for everyone to consider the effects of their actions at home and in the workplace. Use the following tips and resources to be a leader in environmental stewardship by adopting sustainable practices such as choosing alternative transportation methods, preventing pollution, reducing waste, and increasing electronic stewardship. 

Tips to Increase Sustainability—In and Out of the Workplace

Environmental sustainability practices incorporate wise resource use as a core principle of daily activities to reduce emissions, prevent pollution and waste, and reduce energy use. Here are some quick tips applicable in and out of the workplace!

Alternative Transportation

The mode of transportation you choose and how often you use it affect fuel use, transportation costs, and environmental impact. Whether commuting long distances or making short trips, transportation choices matter. Alternative transportation options include:

  • Commuting by walking, riding a bike, or using public transit instead of driving. If you have to drive, try carpooling
  • Reducing electricity use from elevator operation by taking the stairs. Burn some calories and conserve energy at the same time
  • Reducing unnecessary travel by replacing in-person meetings with video calls, webinars, and recorded presentations
  • When driving is necessary, learn how to save money on gas or buy and drive fuel-efficient and alternative fuel vehicles.
Pollution Prevention and Waste Reduction

Reduce, reuse, and recycle are the core principles of wise resource use. Deploying these principals preserves and protects natural resources by reducing landfill waste, energy consumption, and pollution. Reduce pollution and waste by:   

  • Reducing paper use by replacing printed documents like agendas and reports with electronic versions
  • Printing double-sided to save paper and energy when hard copies are necessary
  • Choosing reusable water bottles, cups, and utensils instead of disposable ones
  • Disposing of plastic, aluminum, and paper in the proper recycling bins.
Reduce Energy Use

When appliances are turned off, they continue to consume small amounts of electricity, known as standby power. Reduce energy consumption from standby power by:

  • Unplugging cell phone and laptop chargers when not in use
  • Turning off speakers, lights, and other electrical equipment when not in use
  • Simplifying evening shut down by plugging all devices, except your computer, into a power strip
  • Trading or upgrading a desktop to a laptop, which use less energy and is portable.

Find low standby power products and energy-efficient products.

Learn more about energy-efficient use of electronics and appliances.

Learn more about saving money and energy at home.

Sustainability Resources for DOE Staff

DOE has deployed environmental sustainability practices throughout the complex. These sustainability resources are offered to DOE staff to help incorporate energy-efficient principles into daily activities.

Transportation

Learn about the Subsidy for Energy Employee Transit program and van or car pools.

Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging Stations

DOE has EV charge stations open for use by Federal staff. Contact Ellsworth Howell for access and reservation details.

Conferencing

The Office of Conferencing and Special Events can assist staff in arranging online meetings via WebEx, video conference, and teleconference.

BlueEarth Electronics Recycling

DOE employees may use the U.S. Postal Service's BlueEarth program to mail-in their personally owned electronics and accessories for free recycling. Items accepted include laptops, computer towers, hard drives, and printing cartridges.

DOE Recycling

Starting with standard solid waste recycling in 1991, the Office of Administration manages and champions several recycling programs and has expanded to include batteries, toner cartridges, carpeting and cell phones. For a detailed list of the products that DOE headquarters recycles and where to recycle them, visit the Recycling Programs page.

Energy Use and Costs

Learn more about energy use and costs by visiting the Forrestal Energy Metering page. It provides detailed performance data and an interactive tool to help you understand the importance of adopting sustainability habits to reduce consumption in the workplace.