Green Office Certification Profile - Juan Jaime
Green Office Certification Profile by Mary Ann Wilson
Juan Jaime, Library Assistant
UCLA Biomedical Library, Access Delivery Services
How did you come to the decision to do the Green Office program?
Jonathan Wilson, who used to work here but now works in the research library, asked me to if I was willing to do our department, which is Access Delivery Services. So I said sure, and he worked alongside me. I was on it from the beginning.
How long did it take you to complete certification?
We got through it within a month. We were almost silver just from the things we were already doing. I don’t think that we made a lot of changes to reach silver. Once we make more changes, maybe we can do it again and see if we’ve moved up a bit.
How did you motivate your department to make changes?
It was mostly just me and Jonathon doing a lot of things, making small changes. Again we didn’t do major changes to get where we were, mostly if we do this, we’ll get a point here and so on. And nothing was major. There are still a lot of major changes that I want to make that I hope to make in the near future.
How would you characterize the initial response to implementing these changes?
The changes were so small that there wasn’t any response but there was definitely awareness, because at our staff meetings, we talked about things we could potentially do, like something as simple as double-sided printing. So now we do as much double-sided printed as we can, not everything but things like meeting notes, handouts and things like that. That was easy enough to get everyone on board with, although Jon had to get IT to add that as an option.
If you felt any resistance to making changes, were you able to overcome it?
There wasn’t any resistance. Access Delivery Services is a small department; there are only five of us.
Did you have any up-front costs to implement any of these changes?
Did you see any savings as a result of implementing these changes? (e.g., lower energy costs, lower paper costs, no plastic ware, etc.)
At this point I’m not sure if we have yet. But if anything we’ve saved on paper. Though we still use a lot of paper, though that’s one thing we’re still trying to change.
What are the challenges, if any, in maintaining a green office? Or ir sounds like you want to improve.
We have our annual goals that we set and one of the goals we’re trying to reach is to be more environmentally friendly and create less waste in every department in the library. Hopefully all the departments will try and do it.
I don’t think we’re where we want to be, I think there’s a lot more we can do. The challenge is getting administration on board to do some of these bigger changes. There are some things that are out of our power that we’re trying to do -- for example, having a light switch. I don’t even have a light switch for the office I work in, so the lights stay on all the time. No one works in this office (where we’re holding the interview), but the switch in this room turns off all the lights in the rooms back there, so we can’t turn off the light here. We would have to get wiring done from our breakers to get our light turned off in our office. That’s something I want to push forward and I recently talked about that with my boss about putting that back on the table, because I want to be able to turn off our lights.
Also, we don’t have smart power strips for our CPUs. That’s one thing we’re going to look to do in the future. We have probably close to 12-15 computers that we’d like to put on smart power strips.
Have you gained any insights from implementing this program that may be helpful to others?
I think we definitely need more education, like getting everyone to hear some of the simple things they can do. A lot of it is obvious but they don’t do it, but we can make them think about some of the things they can do which will easily save a lot of money, energy and paper. Let everyone know how simple it is to make these little changes, and these little changes can go a long way, something as simple as double-sided printing - just click a checkbox and you save quite a bit of paper.
However, we do a lot of color and the color bleeds which is why we can’t do as much of double-sided as I want. The quality and weight of our paper doesn’t allow for the color to not show through the other side. What we do is we actually make photocopies and then scan them. It’s in the process of scanning them that the color bleeds through to the other side. Our department is a little weird about how we do things because of the contract licensing. We’re forced to print articles and then scan the articles because of our license issue.
We do use recycled paper, but as far as using more than 30% recycled content, I’m not sure how far we can go with it.
We recycle as much packaging as we can. We reuse and reuse and reuse our packaging. We send out a lot of books every day and we use a lot of recycled jiffy pads and things like that, and just keep sticking labels on top of them, which has minimized the waste of plastic and paper products. We’ve changed some procedures; for example, now we work on documents on the computers instead of printing them out and do as much as we can without having to print, but we still go through a lot of paper each day - 5 reams a day.
There are a lot of changes that we want to make that we haven’t made yet.
Published: Monday, December 19, 2011