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Crafted by Katy Dondzila

Energy Usage in 2019

The Hot and Cold of the Situation

As we begin another year, we here at Rule29 are aware that being mindful of the impact we have is more important now than ever. We take our sustainability seriously. So much so in fact, that we actually keep track of our recycling and energy usage in the office. In order to be transparent, we have a section of our website dedicated to these numbers in the form of beautiful infographics (we are a design agency after all!). 

We’ve all been guilty of turning up the thermostat on those extra cold days, but last year we wanted to make a special effort to keep our temperature set so we could be as energy-efficient as possible. Using a Nest Thermostat® has been instrumental in helping us keep track of our heating and cooling output. Nest® sends helpful reports once a month about how your energy output changed in comparison to the previous month. These reports also give helpful insights as to why your energy usage may have shifted like weather increase/decrease, having fewer calendar days in the month, or a change in schedule. Looking back at 2019, we made some great progress on our overall energy usage! Here are some small steps that we took that made a big impact

In the Winter
Our office is located in a historic building that was originally a farmhouse built over 120 years ago! We love our charming house and have worked to keep it as original as possible, however, that means usually our space can get a bit chilly in the winter season. Here’s what we do to warm up!

  • Working in Layers
    By wearing multiple layers, each of us was able to tailor our temperature to what we specifically needed to work at our best! Some of us found that we actually enjoyed working when it’s a bit cooler in the office because it keeps us on our toes!
  • Blanket Burrito
    For the extra chilly, we keep a steady supply of blankets in the office to burrito ourselves up at our desk. It really makes for a comfy working experience that makes you feel all warm and cozy inside!
  • Using Plastic (in this case it’s fantastic)
    Our little old farmhouse has beautiful windows, but they aren’t the best at keeping the cold out. Buying plastic for your windows might sound a little silly, but it actually can keep your space much much warmer! As someone who sits next to one of these windows, it’s pretty amazing what the difference is!

In the Summer
When it’s getting hot hot hot we try our best to stay cool. Heat rises, and with  most of us working on the second floor, we are no stranger to how warm it can get upstairs. Rather than crank the AC, we turn to these techniques to keep us nice and cool in the summertime:

  • Hydrate or Dydrate
    Being a 60% water-compose human, staying hydrated is vital all year round. Even more so in the summer when we are sweating it all out! We all do a pretty good job at keeping water at our desk and putting a bit of ice in there goes a long way. We make sure to check-in with each other and encourage each other to drink more water! We use a refillable water cooler, and we all have reusable water bottles to make sure we are minimizing our use of plastics.
  • Keeping it Fresh
    Being located in an area without major congestion from traffic and other air pollutants allows us to open up our windows on days with a nice breeze. By opening up the windows across the office we get a great cross breeze that energizes our space while providing a reprieve from the heat.
  • Blinded by the Light
    We are lucky to have a large tree next to our office that not only looks beautiful but also shades our building, keeping it a bit cooler. However, certain parts of the day, the sun can’t be avoided which can really heat up our space. About mid-day, we lower the blinds in our office in order to keep our temperatures a bit cooler.  

These are just a few small behavior tweaks that can make a big difference. In the coming year, we aim to be even more energy-efficient and thoughtful about our ecological footprint. Keep up to date on all that’s happening by signing up for our newsletter!