New Rochelle’s Sustainability Plan, GreeNR, contains many ambitious goals, some of which are already being actively pursued, including major capital improvements aimed at upgrading the energy efficiency of public buildings. But GreeNR also makes clear that smaller, common sense, day-to-day actions have real value. To this end, our Sustainability Coordinator recently assembled an inter-departmental “Green Team” to review practices in City Hall and make recommendations for improvements. You might be interested in a sampling of the new standards that will be introduced as a result of this process:

  • Encourage general recycling by providing additional recycling bins that are accessible in all areas of City Hall, and also by circulating informational materials to all employees.
  • Reduce paper use by adjusting all printers so that two-sided printing is the default option and by distributing documents electronically in PDF format whenever possible.
  • Improve ink toner cartridge recycling by designating one responsible party in each department.
  • Reduce wasteful energy use by installing motion detectors that automatically shut off lights when no one is present in a room. (These are likely to be installed in 2013.)
  • Promote cell phone recycling through semi-annual reminders to all employees that used cell phones can be recycled at City Hall.

None of these actions are going to change the world, but they are evidence of the City government’s evolving commitment to sustainable practices. We will keep trying to do better.