IRRI observes Earth Day 2015, urges staff to be climate-smart

 Lem Rosellon   |  
Reduce your team’s environmental footprint by lowering your office’s energy consumption. It will automatically conserve non-renewable fossil fuels and help to reduce IRRI’s contribution to greenhouse gas emissions.

As the world celebrates the 45th Earth Day on the 22nd of April, the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) urges staff to make meaningful commitments towards environmental change and responsibility.

“Staff members can do a lot to help reduce energy costs by using  light and air conditioning wisely as these consume the most energy in the workplace,” said Arman Mohammed, head of IRRI’s Physical Plant Services.

IRRI is taking significant steps to reduce the energy consumption of its various facilities. The Institute is currently installing solar-powered street lights in research areas and staff housing.  It is also replacing fluorescent lights with more energy-efficient LED lights.  Motion-activated sensors are also installed in common areas to avoid wasting electricity when there is no-one in the building.

Here are  five easy tips that staff can do to reduce their carbon footprint at work and at home:

  1. Set the air conditioner thermostat to 23-24 degrees Celsius.
  2. Switch off lights, computer screens, and air conditioners when leaving the room.
  3. Choose reusable food and drink containers and utensils instead of disposable options.
  4. Close the doors and windows of air-conditioned rooms .
  5. Use double-sided printing to conserve paper.

“IRRI scientists are constantly looking for ways to reduce the environmental footprint of rice production,” says Brechje Maréchal, an IRRI researcher and volunteer working behind the Sustainability@IRRI campaign. “Researchers encourage farmers around the world to farm more sustainably by using less fertilizer, water, and pesticides. Individuals in the IRRI community should do their part too.”

IRRI employees  are also invited to join the Sticker Happy contest for friendly reminders on saving energy. The winning entry will be made into a sticker to be placed in buildings and announced in all iTVs across the IRRI campus. Entries must contain less than 20 words and submitted (in Word files) to bulletin@irri.org on or before 15 May.

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