Green Office Challenge moves home with tips and perks


The Pitt Green Office Challenge has morphed into the Pitt Green Home Office Challenge over the last year, and Samantha Ford, sustainability projects coordinator with the Office of Sustainability, is hoping for more participants, she told the March 17 Staff Council meeting.

To take a survey of your home office space and find out what you’re doing right already and where you can improve, go to the challenge site. It offers insight into making yourself more comfortable and healthier working at home, Ford said.

On the survey, you’ll earn points for each environmentally healthy action you’re taking. “Each practice is assigned a point value based on its impact, ease and cost of implementation,” she explained.

Participants can compare their scores with others around campus, including how much carbon dioxide (or its equivalent) you’ve saved with your actions. The survey covers everything from energy use and printing, purchasing and waste to eating habits and your general health and well-being. The site has a “How to Make Your Home Office More Sustainable” page as well.

So far, the average CO2 being saved by home office challenge participants is the equivalent, for each person, of not driving 9,051 miles, recycling 156 bags of trash or planting 61 trees.

And, of course, there are perks, which include invitations to lunch-and-learn programs and to join other sustainability pilot programs, participant decals and certificates, recognition on the Pitt sustainability website and an invitation to an annual Pitt Green event. No T-shirts, Ford says — they cost more than 14 CO2 equivalents each to manufacture.

The Office of Sustainability also will be offering two upcoming sustainability classes as part of the sustainability certificate program launched last fall:

  • Sustainability Foundations: Balancing the Three Es (equity, environment, and economy), 9-11 a.m. May 5

  • Sustainability: Environment, Ecosystems, and You, 9-11 a.m. June 10

Marty Levine is a staff writer for the University Times. Reach him at or 412-758-4859.


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