Green Coworking at Citizen Space

We’ve always wanted Citizen Space to be a green space — not just the walls (which they are) — but that we’d have as small a ecological footprint as possible in how we run and manage the space. And no, it’s not easy given that we work in high tech and there’s lots of disposables (like a 4′ long box that Amazon sent my new laptop in)… but I digress.

More recently I’ve become obsessed with carbon offsetting and other simple but effective ways that we continue to effectively reduce our footprint. I asked Ivan Storck, a Citizen Coworker who runs Sustainable Marketing, to write up what we’ve done so far and will be doing next:

Chris Messina has really lit a fire under my butt to get our shared “coworking” office CitizenSpace operating and certified as green. While Sustainable Marketing is already certified as a green business via the Co-Op America Green Business Network, it’s only recently that we’ve had a real office outside of my home. Now we can begin to participate in the Bay Area Green Business Program.

Some steps we’ve already taken:

  1. Ordered a full set of trash, recycling, and compost bins from our trash provider.
  2. Continuing our Renewable Energy Certificate program to offset our carbon emissions. See Sustainable Wesbsites Wind Power page for more details. We are going to extend this to the whole office in addition to Sustainable Websites.
  3. Our partner Ethotec has prototyped a green business basics class.
  4. Created a page on the Coworking Wiki to encourage other coworking spaces to be green. Feel free to add to it!
  5. When we moved into CitizenSpace Tara and Chris chose sustainable bamboo flooring and low-energy compact fluorescent light-bulbs (CFLs)
  6. Checked with our landlord on whether we had a low-flow toilet (we did!)
  7. Applied to the San Francisco Green Business Program.

And what’s next:

  1. Figuring out a strategy to deal with phantom power – all the various chargers (”do you have wall warts?!”) for our gadgets sucking up power even when they’re not charging.
  2. Encouraging other technology businesses to go green and devising innovative programs to accomplish this.

So, you can of course contribute on the wiki or leave your thoughts here on how we can bake green principles and practices into the coworking movement.