By: Lisa Morris, Business Manager
Our main office here in Lexington is located in the heart of downtown in a Blue Grass Trust Historic Building which is over 200 years old. This converted home has both its charms and its challenges. Over the past couple of years we have made a real push both with our landlord and our staff to go green. After much research and consulting with the Blue Grass Trust, our landlord was able to replace many of our drafty windows with double paned glass. For those we haven’t been able to replace, we use plastic sheeting to cover them over. We had “smart” thermostats placed on both our HVAC units so we can program the temperature set back in the evenings and on weekends. The local utility, KU, has sent us CFB to replace all our incandescent bulbs throughout the office. And we are all attempting to turn off lights in rooms we aren’t using. All of these efforts are reducing our energy usage.
The Nature Conservancy as a whole has invested in equipment for all its offices to allow teleconferencing so our staff throughout the state can meet via video conferencing. This greatly reduced the carbon footprint for our monthly meetings.
Recycling has become second nature to us in the office. Our local city government provides large recycling containers for all our paper, glass, aluminum, and some of our plastics. Whenever practically we double side our copies and reuse any mailing envelopes we can. Any broken or obsolete electronic equipment and used CFB get taken over to the ecycling center in town. Even our food scraps are collected and composted by Terry Bopp, our Director of Operations.
Our staff also makes an effort to buy items made from recycled materials. Cups, plates, copier paper, paper towels, labels, paper pads, and any other items we can find that are made from recycled materials and FSC paper are our first choice. Here at The Nature Conservancy of Kentucky we feel that only through promoting truly “green” products can we encourage these fledgling industries to survive. They may at times cost a little more but not if you look at the real cost of degrading our environment.
Our next goal as a staff is to reduce the amount of materials that we need to recycle or reuse. Learning to print fewer pages and use fewer disposable items for our lunches, events and meetings is a big challenge.