Earth Day 2017: The Kirksey Impact
Kirksey provides tips on how to offset carbon footprint and gives out energy-saving LED bulbs to every member of the firm to help promote Earth Day and the 2030 Challenge.
Kirksey has always been known to “go green” and is proud of the sustainable reputation the firm has built toward green design and architecture. To combat climate change and contribute to a long-term and sustainable solution to global warming, our firm has made a commitment to become carbon positive. To do so, we strive to reduce our carbon footprint by switching all overhead office lights to LED and instituting the Kirksey Transportation Plan. The plan will encourage telecommuting one day every two weeks (which equates to 100,000 lbs of CO2 a year, at just 60% participations) and providing incentives for carpooling (saving 32 lbs of CO2 from entering the air each day) and alternate transportation modes.
On the reverse side, we will continue to increase our carbon handprint (postive environmental contributions). Currently, we accomplish this by purchasing renewal energy through our electrical provider, completely offsetting the firm’s electricity load. We also plant trees each year as part of our “healthy buildings, healthy people, healthy planet” mission. Over the last 30 years, we have planted more than 10,000 trees in our community. The trees planted this year have offset an estimated 210 mT of carbon (the equivalent of CO2 emissions from over 23,000 gallons of gasoline consumed) - this offset amount increases at an exponential rate every year as the trees grow!
As a way to celebrate Earth Day, and to continue Kirksey’s commitment to the 2030 Challenge (an initiative asking the global architecture and construction industry to become carbon neutral by 2030), Kirksey gave each member of the firm two Energy Star LED bulbs and five easy steps to help reduce or offset their own carbon footprint.
Here are the five easy steps you can incorporate on your own, too:
- Purchase renewable energy: You can purchase renewable energy for your home at prices comparable to fossil fuel-generated electricity. The number of companies offering renewable energy has significantly increased in recent years. Check out www.powertochoose.com for a complete list of electrical companies that offer renewable energy.
- Give your car a break: Transportation is one if the biggest culprits when it comes to carbon emissions. Reducing your work commute by just one day a week can have a significant impact on reducing your carbon footprint. Alternatively, you can reduce your annual vehicle mileage by using alternate methods of transportation, such as taking the bus, biking, or walking to your destination.
- Carpool or telecommute 1 day/week = reduce annual emissions by 1,200 lbs CO2
- Heat and cool your home intelligently: Approximately 40% of residential electricity consumption is due to heating and cooling. Lower your energy consumption by operating your systems more efficiently with these tips:
- Turning up your thermostat 2 degrees in summer can save 2,400 kWh annually
- When buying new appliances, fixtures, and equipment for your home, look for the EPA’s Energy Star label in order to select the most energy-efficient product.
- Replace your light bulbs with LED light bulbs: For less than $4 a bulb, you can switch your incandescent to equivalent LED bulbs and save over $150 in operating costs over the bulb’s lifetime for each fixture. If you are replacing your CFLs, you will save over $15 for each bulb’s lifetime - LED bulbs last three times longer than CFLs and use 30% less electricity.
- Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle: 29% of US greenhouse gas emissions are from the “provision of goods,” which is resource extraction, manufacturing, transport, and disposal of consumer products and packaging.
- Buy used products when possible and resell or recycle your old ones. If you begin recycling in your home, you will save an annual 1,062 lbs of CO2.