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Department of Commerce Green Team

by Neil S.

The US Department of Commerce is answering the President's call to service through an all-volunteer "Green Team" at our headquarters building in Washington, DC.

The Team is comprised 134 volunteers with representatives from the Office of the Secretary and all seven Operating Units located at, or nearby, the Herbert C. Hoover Building (HCHB).

The purpose of the HCHB Green Team is to promote energy awareness and environmental stewardship throughout the Department of Commerce through efforts in the HCHB.

Recently the Green Team held a cell phone drive to benefit Doorways for Women and Families, a non-profit organization that strives to end homelessness and family violence by offering safe shelter and housing to women and children.

Additionally, the Green Team participated in the Department of Commerce's Annual Earth Day Fair, assisting with distributing information, handing out plants and Earth-themed items, and organizing environmental activities for children.

The HCHB Green Team is taking an active hand in helping reshape the way Department of Commerce employees think about the environment. Members respond to email enquiries and comments to the team's email address on topics ranging from how much electricity is saved by turning off your computer at the end of the day to what plants do best under drought conditions.

Due in part to their activism, the Department is evaluating "greening" our cafeteria operations, encouraging employees to bike to work, purchasing and placing recycling bins, and reporting needless water and energy usage to help conserve our natural resources.

Recently, members of the Green Team have also volunteered to assist with the Feds Feed Families campaign: http://www.fedsfeedfamilies.gov/ in helping the local DC Food banks meet their needs. During the first month, the Department of Commerce raised more food then any other Federal Agency in DC.

Moving forward, the HCHB Green Team is planning exciting events to celebrate America Recycles Day: http://www.nrc-recycle.org/americarecycles.aspx and Energy Awareness Month http://www1.eere.energy.gov/femp/services/energy_aware.html.

We plan on meeting with other Green Teams and hope to work with them on joint projects to benefit not only DOC but the surrounding community.

Click here to read more Energy and the Environment stories.

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