2016 is the 46th year of the Earth Day movement! At Steven Winter Associates, it’s a year-round celebration of our planet. Take a look into the SWAstainable lifestyles of our employees, and tell us about your commitment to ‘living green’ in the comment section. #EarthDay
Author: Celeste McMickle, Senior Sustainability Consultant
Waste reduction is an important topic these days in New York, as the city is currently targeting sending “zero waste to landfills” by the year 2030 as part of the One NYC program. What zero waste means from a practical standpoint is a reduction of more than 90% of waste to landfills, as this accounts for non-recyclable toxins, and so forth.
Much like the US Green Building Council (USGBC), the US Zero Waste Business Council (USZWBC) has developed a rating system that allows business to track and achieve different performance tiers of waste reduction in their operational practices. Read more
Using gamification to incentivize consumer-level sustainable behavior is a relatively new strategy. It applies classic principals of game playing to encourage green living, offering a challenge, a platform for social competition, and a reporting system that quantifies performance. In an increasingly networked society fascinated with social media and gaming, tracking lifestyle behavior in a way that’s sharable and interactive transforms the mundane into the meaningful. Read more
In partnership with the District of Columbia’s Department of Energy & Environment (DOEE) and the Institute for Better Communities (IFBC), SWA is implementing DC’s first multifamily housing energy and water challenge.
What is the POWER DOWN DC Challenge?
POWER DOWN DC is a 4 month building-to-building, education focused competition in Washington, DC with a goal of empowering building residents and staff to change behavior and reduce overall energy and water usage. Residents compete as a building team against other apartment buildings to hit a reduction target and strive to make the greatest overall reduction.
Driving Savings through Friendly Competition
The basic concept is simple: bringing people together for friendly competition is more likely to encourage meaningful action than simply providing information about energy and water efficiency alone. By joining the competition, participants try to reduce their own energy and water use and help members of their apartment community do the same. Residents will be encouraged to make a commitment to efficiency and take simple steps every day that collectively will have a big payoff. Actions like turning off lights, fixing a leak, and taking shorter showers, multiplied across dozens of apartment units will have quick results. In DC, residential buildings make up 20% of total energy use and 23% of total water use. If all multi-family residents take action, we can save 83,000,000 kilowatt hours (KWH) of energy, 96,000,000 gallons of water, and $31, 400,000 dollars annually. Small steps = big savings.
Greenbuild 2015 has come and gone, but that doesn’t mean we can’t keep celebrating its “monumental” success. Having a booth in the expo hall allowed us to meet so many engaging and intelligent people. We want to extend a gigantic thank you to all those that stopped by the SWA booth for making our experience memorable and rewarding.
Bummed you missed Greenbuild 2015? No fear, reader! Here are five takeaways from the massive green building gathering.
Greenbuild 2015 Five Takeaways Read more