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Two Peas in a “Green” Pod

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JEpost6-24.jpgWhat the BP Oil Spill and My Grandpa Have in Common

Where the wind comes rushing down “the plain” (also known as Oklahoma), three windmills and a solar panel stand in my grandpa’s backyard.  As a self-proclaimed “poor German immigrant,” my grandpa uses his “every penny counts” attitude and self-taught engineering skills to build these energy-generating machines.  They power his house, they lessen his environmental impact, and his most valued benefit, they eliminate his electric bill.  “Love many, trust few, always paddle your own canoe” is his mantra (and if I had a dollar for every time he said that to me, I wouldn’t have to worry about my electric bill either).

His self-sufficiency through sustainability mentality has never been more practical than now.  As we pass day 65 of the BP oil spill, I believe America, and the rest of the world, now acknowledge the negatives of oil dependency and how it causes environmental and economic devastation.

It’s time to re-wire — the way we work, the way we get around, the way we consume — all of it needs a positive charge.  Green technology and software that enables mobile work, along with small steps such as recycling, reducing consumption, etc., will enable us to paddle our own canoes and save the environment from unnatural disasters.

And this isn’t just about hugging trees and saving whales — it’s about saving the American economy and putting more money on the balance sheet.
 
According to a 2010 Telework Research Network study, If U.S. companies were to implement a workshifting policy, America could:

  • Save $23 billion a year in imported oil
  • Reduce greenhouse gases by taking the equivalent of almost 10 million cars off the road
  • Cut Persian Gulf imports by 37%
  • Achieve 27% of the nation’s 2020 goal for GHG reduction from light cars and trucks
  • Prevent over 95,000 traffic injuries and deaths and save over $11 billion in accident costs
  • Lower highway maintenance costs almost $2 billion a year

Additionally, workshifting could save employees between $2,000 and $6,800 per year in gas and other commuting expenses.  I don’t know about you, but I’ll gladly take that 2K and skip the commute, thank you very much.

All in all, my grandpa’s lessons of self-sufficiency and sustainability, along with the negatives of dependency on oil, make me realize that a new form of energy and work is necessary, now.  We can’t wait, because nothing is slowing down — not the fast pace of business and, sadly, not the oil spewing into the Gulf.

Do you workshift to A) reduce your environmental impact, B) create more work-life balance, C) save money for you and your company,  or D) all of the above?

  • magpaysd

    My job-share partner and I both telecommute and we, along with others across the USA, work for a virtual company. We all work this way because it doesn’t make sense any other way to deliver services to our customers in their 24/7 environment.

  • Josiane

    Excellent post- I agree it’s time we press “refresh” and re-wire the way we work and look to our attachments to things that no longer serve the environment.

    • Jessica Eastman

      Thanks, Josiane. I agree–I just think it’s going to take a long time for the refresh/rewiring to happen, unfortunately. But, I think with the recent events, it will be a faster transition than before because people realize the problems not being green creates.

  • https://twitter.com/DavidBaeza David Baeza

    Great post. My answer to your questions is D, all of the above.

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