Queller/Strassmann Lab Receives Green Office Certification
“Office environments throughout Washington University in St. Louis’ campuses are major consumers of energy and materials and significant contributors to our waste stream. The Green Office Program is a framework and set of resources that has the potential to significantly reduce the environmental footprint of our university community.” –WUSTL Office of Sustainability
Alicia Hubert, technician of the Queller/Strassmann Lab, discovered The Green Office Program on the WUSTL Office of Sustainability website because of her own personal interest in sustainability. Alicia lives an environmentally friendly lifestyle by using only reusable bags and water bottles. She had a zero-waste wedding and she drives a hybrid vehicle. Also, Alicia and her husband are growing a 3-acre permaculture food forest at their home in Illinois, including 250 fruit and nut trees, shrubs, and an annual vegetable garden.
Alicia says receiving the Green Office certification is easy if you put in a little effort. Simply download a checklist, fill it out, submit it and receive a score reflecting your office’s level of sustainability. Your office will also receive a plaque at the annual Green Carpet Awards. The rankings are bronze, silver, gold and platinum; the Queller/Strassmann Lab’s certification is silver. The checklist includes big and small items, plus you can add your own innovative details. For example, Alicia takes co-workers’ compostable waste home from the office.
The Office of Sustainability has its own goals, which include encouraging WUSTL staff to contribute to sustainability efforts as smaller pieces of the big picture for the university. Many offices likely already qualify for bronze certification simply by doing what they are already doing, such as recycling paper waste, turning off lights and computers, and biking or taking the metro to work. The certification system shows how making small sustainable choices can have a big impact overall. The program also illustrates how easy it can be to integrate environmentally friendly practices into everyday life, especially with the resources the university already provides. The checklist on the site clearly outlines actions that can be taken to increase sustainability. Soon, Alicia will present options to her co-workers in order to raise their certification to the gold level.
To learn more about WUSTL’s Green Office Program and apply for certification: https://sustainability.wustl.edu/get-involved/staff-faculty/green-offices/.