The Panel on the Nonprofit Sector has released Principles for Good Governance and Ethical Practice: A Guide for Charities and Foundations. The Guide represents the first time that charities and foundations reflecting a broad cross-section of the American nonprofit community have come together to develop principles of ethical conduct, accountability, and transparency that they aspire to and encourage all organizations to follow. http://www.nonprofitpanel.org/
To download a copy of Principles for Good Governance and Ethical Practice: A Guide for Charities and Foundations go to: http://www.nonprofitpanel.org/report/principles/Principles_Guide.pdf
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The Silver Star Families of America
The SSFOA yearly assesses the organizations perfomance. If you wish to comment please go to CONTACT US
SSFOA is registered and in good standing with the Missouri Secretary of State and the Missouri State Attorney General.
SSFOA is exempt from Missouri Sales Tax
SSFOA is a 501 (c) (3) non profit public charity. Tax ID # 20-3940415
Your donation is tax deductible under the limits of the law. Please check with your tax advisor.
The Silver Star families of America has no paid employees and all the Board of Directors are volunteers.
We can tell you we are a 50% limit organization (the highest charitable limit for a charity).
SILVER STAR FLAG ® Serial Number 3399948
SILVER STAR BANNER TM
SSFOA is a supporter of the Panel on the Non Profit Sector
For more information contact: Steve Newton firstname.lastname@example.org
PARTNERING WITH PERSE ORGANIZATIONS
In an effort to extend our reach to underserved populations, we have made an effort to partner with, and link with, other organizations.
These organizations assist us in reaching our homeless veterans, our sick and dying veterans and minority veterans so we may extend whatever assistance we can.
The mission of the Silver Star Families of America is to; Remember, honor and assist the wounded, ill and dying of our armed forces from all wars. We present Silver Star Service Banners to the wounded and ill. We also sponsor Silver Star Service Banner Day every May 1st.
It is our honor to assist veterans that so many others leave behind: The homeless; those wounded with Post Traumatic Stress; Those that have been injured or incurred a life changing illness in a war zone; and finally those who need comfort at the end of their lives.
We will leave no Soldier or veteran behind that has sacrificed so much for us while serving in a war zone.
Every time that a Silver Star Banner is seen in a window or a Silver Star Flag is seen blowing in a gentle breeze, we pray that it is a reminder of the cost of freedom.
The SSFOA was organized in 2004 and from a small group of 8 people, has grown to thousands of members and thousands of Silver Star Service Banner Alumni.
In distributing clothing, etc, to our homeless veteran population, among our other programs, it places us in the social services group.
The SSFOA has be nominated for the National Multicultural Institutes Leading Lights persity Award
WHERE YOUR MONEY GOES
The Silver Star Families of America is one of the most open organizations in the country. Our financial, Board, and all other pertinent information is on our site for all to see.
FINANCIAL INFORMATION read details
Funds donated to the SSFOA go almost exclusively to purchase Silver Star Banners for our wounded. We also purchase Silver Star Flags for V.A.’s and military hospitals.
We DO send care packages but it is not our prime mission.
To increase the reach of our organization we partner with other organizations. In cooperation with the Stan the Man Foundation we were able to adopt ten wounded Soldiers and their families for Christmas.
By teaming with the Soldier Angels we provide hand held Games to help rehabilitate our wounded.
SSFOA "Honoring Hungry Heroes" program sends Food Cards to wounded and famailies during their hospital stay.
Our Admin cost is running at 2.40 percent and we are working on bringing this down even further.
No one in our organization is paid including the Board of Directors. We pay no travel costs.
The SSFOA does not use phone calls, USPS letters, or publications to solicit funds.
ACCOMPLISHMENTS OF THE SILVER STAR FAMILIES OF AMERICA
The SSFOA was founded in 2005 with one mission: To remember, honor and assist the wounded of our Armed Forces from all wars.
Membership in 2005 8
Membership in 2012 Approx. 5000
Over two thousand Silver Star Banners and Certificates have been provided free of charge to our wounded and ill valued at approx, $40,000.
The SSFOA has become a Veterans Administration Volunteer Services Advisory Board Member and we have donated hundreds of care packages and cards and letters to our wounded, ill and homeless valued at approx. $30,000 dollars of donated material being given to Veterans Facilities in all 50 states and Puerto Rico.
Volunteers with the SSFOA have donated 47,131 hours valued at $919,528.00.
The SSFOA is a certifying organization with the Presidential Volunteer awards program and have issued 21 awards.
The SSFOA has become one of the leading advocates for those wounded with Post Traumatic Stress with testimony given before Congress.
Testifying organization with the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee.
The SSFOA is a member of Guide star and 97.6% of every dollar donated goes to program services.
The SSFOA is the sponsor of Silver Star Banner Day on May 1st of every year. In 2008, 46 states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands and over 180 cities signed proclamations for our wounded.
We have started a wide variety of programs geared to our wounded and ill:
SILVER STAR PROGRAMS FOR WOUNDED AND FAMILIES
Silver Star Families assists our wounded and families thru programs geared to help the healing process. It is our wish to help you find avenues to meet your need. We also extend an invitation to join our online community. JOIN SSFOA Visit www.silverstarfamilies.org to see programs details.
SILVER STAR BANNER
SSFOA wishes to honor all service members injured in the combat zone and/or those with related illnesses including PTSD, Gulf War Syndrome, Agent Orange, and injured by friendly fire. We also honor Purple Heart recipients. To Request a Banner go to HOME page and to REQUEST BANNER
HONORING MILITARY MEDICS with certificates of appreciation
HEAR 4 YOU
is our Instant Messaging hotline manned by the SSFOA H4Y support team.. The program is a safe and supportive tool to benefit those who are struggling after a deployment.
GAMES FOR WOUNDED
Silver Star Families joins with Soldiers' Angels in their Lend a Hand Program. "Poly Trauma patients enjoy the games, and increase their hand eye coordination," said Steve Newton, Co-founder of The Silver Star Families of America. An article on The Washington Post site quotes the folks at Walter Reed hospital in DC, who report that videogames make excellent therapy sessions for soldiers wounded in the Iraq conflict. In addition to the obvious medical benefits of refining motor control via controllers, the entertainment allows soldiers to reconnect to experiences they may have had prior to their combat experiences. Therapists see the games benefiting patients with nearly any kind of injury, including patients with traumatic brain injuries. Click on GAMES FOR WOUNDED on HOME page to request games for wounded during their hospital stay.
HONORING HUNGRY HEROES WITH FOOD CARDS
National SSFOA has launched a new program "Honoring Hungry Heroes." McDonald's and Taco Bell gift cards treat our Wounded Heroes to a meal or two at these restaurants and possibly their family too. Wounded or family member may request Food Cards during your hospital stay by clicking on HONORING HUNGRY HEROES. Use the same link if you wish to donate to this worthy cause.
SILVER STAR LETTER WRITING TEAM
SSFOA members join together in supporting our wounded overseas, statewide and in Veterans hospitals and homes with letters and cards. The team plans to reach a goal of 10,000 letters during the National Salute to Hospitalized Veterans. Please fill out the form at
JOIN SSFOA to become a Silver Star volunteer and indicate that you wish to join the Writing Team.
PTSD and TBI RESOURCES
GIVE AN HOUR SSFOA teamed up with Give an Hour an organization dedicated to developing and maintaining a national network of volunteers capable of responding to both acute and chronic conditions that arise within our society. Their first target is the Soldiers and their families who are being affected by the current conflicts. Click on GIVE AN HOUR for details.
WHAT IS PTSD Symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can be terrifying. They may disrupt your life and make it hard to continue with your daily activities. It may be hard just to get through the day. PTSD symptoms usually start soon after the traumatic event, but they may not happen until months or years later. They also may come and go over many years. If the symptoms last longer than 4 weeks, cause you great distress, or interfere with your work or home life, you probably have PTSD. More details on www.silverstarfamilies.org
FIND HELP IN YOUR AREA I am an American Veteran. Who do I contact for help with PTSD? See Area Map Contact your local VA Hospital or Veterans Center located in your telephone book, or call the VA Health Benefits Service Center toll free at 1-877-222-VETS. In addition to its medical centers, VA also has many CBOCs (Community Based Outpatient Clinics) around each state so you can look for one in your community. You can also use any of the information on treatment for the general public.
PTSD RESOURCES for list of resources go to www.silverstarfamilies.org
PTSD NEWS DoD Receives Mental Health Task Force Results. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates received the Department of Defense Task Force on Mental Health results and forwarded them to the Congress on June 14.The department will have six months to develop and implement a corrective action plan.
REMEMBRANCE OF SERVICE
Dedicated to John A. Courant the "Destroyerman"
The Silver Star Families of America and the Thank You Foundation wish to say THANK YOU to our many Patriots who have been wounded while actively serving the United States of America by presenting them with a Certificate. Click on REMEMBRANCE OF SERVICE found in the links on www.silverstarfamilies.org
HOMELESS VETERANS: To see a list of of stand downs planned for 2008 and other homeleses Vets resources.
INCARCERATED VETERANS The Silver Stars will never forget any wounded Veteran be they homeless or incarcerated. We are there.
WOMEN VETERANS See a list of resources to benefit women veterans.
VA COMPLAINTS Process for complaints and VA Hotline
National Headquarters Silver Star Families of America
525 Cave Hollow Road, Clever, MO 65631-6313 417-743-2508
The Silver Star Families of America
Policy to comply with HIPAA
In pursuit of its mission to honor the wounded and ill of the Armed Forces the SSFOA may/or may not, come into possession of medical records or data.
The policy of the SSFOA in regard to this information shall be:
No inpidual information about our wounded or ill will be disseminated unless it is required by local, state or federal law.
The President of the organization is the point of contact on all security matters regarding HIPAA.
The Board of Directors will oversea the President and make sure all laws are complied with.
The Board of Directors and the President will make sure that no information, records, pictures or other data is used to exploit our wounded and ill in any way.
This does not apply if an inpidual gives permission for his/her information to be shared. This also does not apply when information collected is required by law to be reported, as in the case of child abuse.
Procedures to release information fall to the inpidual or next of kin.
It shall be the policy of the SSFOA to abide by HIPAA to the fullest extent possible.
The Sarbanes-Oxley Act
It is the policy of the Silver Star Families of America to voluntarily comply with the provisions of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act that applies to non-profit organizations.
As such the SSFOA has implemented or is already doing the following:
Created an audit committee, a policy on whistle blowers, begun rotating auditors, have a conflict of interest policy, financial statements are available to the public, standards for keeping documents, and filing 990 information on line.
Policy on whistle-blowers
No punishment—including firing, demotion, suspension, harassment, failure to consider the employee for promotion, or any other kind of discrimination—is allowed. Even if the claims are unfounded, the SSFOA will not reprimand the employee. The law does not force the employee to demonstrate misconduct; a reasonable belief or suspicion that a fraud exists is enough to create a protected status for the employee.
The Sarbanes-Oxley Act addresses destruction of litigation-related documents. The law makes it a crime to alter, cover up, falsify, or destroy any document (or persuade someone else to do it) to prevent its use in an official proceeding (e.g., federal investigation or bankruptcy proceedings). The Act turns automatic document destruction into a process that must be monitored, justified, and carefully administered. The SSFOA will abide by this policy.
The SSFOA will rotate auditors every 5 years.
Conflict of Interest
The SSFOA will abide by its conflict of interest policy
The SSFOA will continue to support the efforts of its audit committee separate from our actual audits.
990 Tax Forms
The SSFOA has always and will continue to make available our financial records on line and/or by mail or in person upon request.
The SSFOA will file our 990 IRS forms on line.
The Silver Star Families of America will continue to be open and transparent in our operations and financial transactions.
- We do NOT sell trade or share our supporter information.
- Without the supporter's consent, we do NOT provide their information to organizations or inpiduals outside the SSFOA.
- We will hold strictly confidential all information concerning donors and prospects, including names, addresses, names of beneficiaries, nature and value of estates, amounts of provisions or gifts, etc., unless a donor or prospect grants permission to use selective information for purposes of referral, testimonial, example, recognition, or publicity.
- We have procedures in place to limit access to information to those volunteers who need to know such information in order to fulfill our mission.
- We educate our volunteers on the importance of protecting the privacy and security of confidential personal and organizational information.
- We will use our best efforts to comply with the expressed wishes of any supporter who does not want their name used in any promotional material, wishes their name removed from solicitation lists, or wishes to have their gifts or services be anonymous.
- We will collect, use and share information about our supporters among volunteers only on a needs-to-know basis and for the sole purpose of carrying out the SSFOA mission.
Donor Bill of Rights
The Silver Star Families of America subscribes to the Donor Bill of Rights.
Philanthropy is based on voluntary action for the common good. It is a tradition of giving and sharing that is primary to the quality of life. To ensure that philanthropy merits the respect and trust of the general public, and that donors and prospective donors can have full confidence in the nonprofit organizations and causes they are asked to support, we declare that all donors have these rights:
- The right to be informed of the organization's mission, of the way the organization intends to use donated resources, and of its capacity to use donations effectively for their intended purposes.
- The right to be informed of the identity of those serving on the organization's governing board, and to expect the board to exercise prudent judgment in its stewardship responsibilities.
- The right to have access to the organization's most recent financial statements.
- The right to be assured their gifts will be used for the purposes for which they were given.
- The right to receive appropriate acknowledgement and recognition or to remain anonymous if desired.
- The right to be assured that information about their donations is handled with respect and with confidentiality to the extent provided by law.
- The right to expect that all relationships with inpiduals representing organizations of interest to the donor will be professional in nature.
- The right to be informed whether those seeking donations are volunteers or hired solicitors.
- The right to feel free to ask questions when making a donation and to receive prompt, truthful and forthright answers.
Fundraising costs for the Silver Star Families of America are minimal. The reason for this is because our fundraisers are conducted by volunteers and they donate their own time and funds to hold events.
The SSFOA does not and will not employee professional fundraisers that take most of the funds donated.
The SSFOA will not use unsolicited mail, phone calls, etc to raise funds.
It shall be the policy of the SSFOA to hold our admin costs below 5%. Current admin costs are 2.6%
The SSFOA will hold funds in reserve to survive any economic down turn for 6 months to 1 year.
All proceeds go toward the purchase of Silver Star Banners and wounded, ill and dying assistance programs.
We certify that the SSFOA is in compliance with all statutes, Executive orders, and regulations restricting or prohibiting U.S. persons from engaging in transactions and dealings with countries, entities, or inpiduals subject to economic sanctions administered by the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control. The SSFOA is aware that a list of countries subject to such sanctions, a list of Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons subject to such sanctions, and overviews and guidelines for each such sanctions program can be found at http://www.treas.gov/ofac.
SSFOA GOES GREEN
As a nonprofit, we try to not only react to the problems of our wounded, ill, injured and dying veterans but to anticipate needs and meet them before they become obstacles. As members of the world community, we take the same anticipatory view, working to ensure that our environmental impact is responsible, thoughtful and minimal.
(Thanks to the PKIDs for permission to emulate their environmental policy and actions into a policy that the SSFOA can call their own.)
WHAT WE’VE DONE SO FAR
Reduce Fuel Consumption
Since the inception of the SSFOA we have held our board meetings on line with only one face to face meeting per year. We hold no conventions, and keep travel to a minimum, thus saving thousands of gallons of gasoline a year.
Reduce Paper Consumption
In 2008 we stopped our paper newsletter and went 100% digital. While we still must use the occasional hard copy for information distribution, we encourage our services and programs be downloaded off our site.
This conversion saves literally tons of paper, hundreds of work hours, miles of driving and much added expense to our annual budget.
Reduce Landfill Waste and Recycling
Now that the first, big steps have been taken, we’re interested in further reducing our negative impact on the environment. This is what we’ve found:
Recycling saves energy, natural resources, and money. Since curbside recycling now serves half of the U.S. population, it’s never been easier to recycle. If curbside recycling is not available to you at your office or home, take your recyclables to a local recycling center. Earth 911 can help you find out more about recycling in your area.
- Recycled aluminum saves 95 percent energy vs. virgin aluminum; recycling of one aluminum can saves enough energy to run a TV for 3 hours (Reynolds Metal Company)
- Recycled glass saves 50 percent energy vs. virgin glass (Center for Ecological Technology); recycling of one glass container saves enough energy to light a 100-watt bulb for 4 hours (EPA)
- If we recycled every plastic bottle we used, we would keep 2 billion tons of plastic out of landfills (Penn State)
- Recycling of each ton of paper saves 17 trees and 7000 gallons of water (EPA)
- Production of recycled paper uses 80 percent less water, 65 percent less energy and produces 95 percent less air pollution than virgin paper production.
The following is a list of items commonly accepted for curbside recycling, but check first. Your curbside pickup might accept fewer items, or more items than these:
- Steel and aluminum cans- beverage cans, food cans, aerosol cans
- Clean aluminum food packaging- pie plates, dinner trays, foil
- Paper-- newspaper, magazines, catalogs, phone books, bulk mail, office paper, computer paper, envelopes, gift wrapping paper, cardboard, clean food boxes, shoeboxes, paper towel and toilet paper tubes, paper egg cartons
- Plastic imprinted with the symbol or
- Glass bottles and jars
The California Integrated Waste Management Board (CIWMB) has created an outline of information to help your business be more efficient and environmentally conscious. It provides information on how to reduce, reuse, and recycle office waste, as well as how to start a recycling program at your office.
It also includes methods to reduce packaging, practical tips for businesses wishing to reduce the amount of junk mail they receive, a directory for purchasing recycled content products and it even shows the benefits of keeping worms in your office!
If you’re ready to start a recycling program at your office, but aren’t sure what to do with the recyclables once they’re collected, Earth 911 can help you locate a business recycling company near you.
Properly Dispose of or Recycle Hazardous Waste
Hazardous waste is harmful to our environment if disposed of improperly. For a more complete list of hazardous waste items and information about local disposal sites or hazardous waste recycling programs, visit Earth 911.
- CFLs and incandescent bulbs
- Automotive parts and fluids
- Smoke detectors
- Old medications
- Household cleaners
- Cell phones
- Office machines
- Ink and toner cartridges
- Game consoles
- Video tapes
- Older thermometers containing mercury
Cell phones, electronics and batteries contain many toxic materials such as arsenic, mercury, lead, cadmium, nickel, copper, zinc and brominated flame retardants which would be released into the air and groundwater supply if disposed of improperly, creating threats to human and animal health as well as the environment. Contact your cell phone company to find out where to recycle your old phone.
Many public schools cooperate with recycling businesses that pay cash for used printer cartridges, cell phones, PDAs, and other small electronics, helping our schools and our environment. Check to see if any of your local schools participate in a program like this. If you have children in a school that doesn’t have such a program, consider contacting your PTA/PTO to see if they would be interested starting one. For one program option check out: www.cartridgesforkids.com
Over 86 percent of all inkjet cartridges sold in this country are thrown away. This translates into 350 million cartridges that end up in landfills or approximately 875 million pounds of environmental waste. Stacked end to end, these discarded printer cartridges would cover a distance of over 24,000 miles—enough to circle the earth!
Half a gallon of oil is conserved for every laser cartridge returned.
Reduce Resource Consumption
Reducing consumption not only eases the strain on natural resources, it decreases the production of solid waste. Solid waste reduction is critical. Most of America’s solid waste winds up in a landfill or dump. Today’s landfills are designed to be air- and watertight to protect the groundwater from being contaminated. Because almost no air or water reaches the garbage, almost nothing, be it paper, synthetic, or organic, decomposes. According to the majority of experts, the only items which are decomposing are some food and yard wastes. The rest of the waste retains its original weight, volume and form.
Help shrink the stream of solid waste by following these tips to reduce your resource consumption:
Print on both sides of paper by setting your printer to do this by default, or keep a box beside your printer for pages that can be run through the printer a second time. You can cut your paper consumption up to 50 percent!
Save documents on your computer or on a disk instead of a hard copy in your filing cabinet. You’ll save on paper and free up some space.
Pay your bills online. It saves paper, time, and postage.
Email documents and information instead of printing and mailing them.
Stop junkmail for so many reasons! There are several businesses and organizations that can help you reduce the amount of junkmail you receive by up to 98 percent. Two organizations that can help you get started are New American Dream and Green Dimes.
More than 100 million trees’ worth of bulk mail arrives in American mailboxes each year. That’s the equivalent of deforesting the entire Rocky Mountain National Park every four months. (New American Dream calculation from Conservatree and U.S. Forest Service statistics)
In 2005, 5.8 million tons of catalogs and other direct mailings ended up in the U.S. municipal solid waste stream—enough to fill over 450,000 garbage trucks. Parked bumper to bumper, these garbage trucks would extend from Atlanta to Albuquerque. Less than 36 percent of this ad mail was recycled. (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency)
Reduce the amount of packaging you buy:
- Look for products without packaging
- Buy in bulk. Sometimes you can take your own glass or other containers to the store to be filled directly with bulk goods.
- Buy frozen foods in plastic bags rather than boxes. A 28-oz. bag of frozen corn is 59 percent less expensive and results in 98 percent less waste than buying the equivalent weight in single-serving 4.5 oz. boxes.
- When purchasing just one or two items, tell the clerk you don’t need a bag.
- Take your own mug or thermos to the coffee shop. Some shops will offer a discounted price when you provide your own container.
- Avoid pump toothpaste—it is over-packaged and includes excess plastic.
- Use your own reusable canvas or string bags when shopping.
- If you do opt for paper or plastic grocery bags, take them back to the store to be recycled. (packaging reductions tips from MyClearwater.com )
Donate clothing and reusable office and household items. Thousands of organizations worldwide accept donations of used clothing and office or household items. Donate them instead of sending them to the landfill. One person’s trash is another’s treasure.
Use Rechargeable BatteriesOver its useful life, each rechargeable battery may substitute for hundreds of single-use batteries.
Purchasing recycled content products helps ensure a continuing demand for raw recycled materials. Most office supply stores offer a selection of environmentally friendly papers, but paper is just the tip of the iceberg. You can find recycled content products in everything from toner cartridges and binders to office furniture and construction materials. Both the EPA and the (CIWMB) have created comprehensive directories which include information on wholesale and retail suppliers.
Use rechargeable batteries to reduce the number of batteries wasted. Over its useful life, each rechargeable battery may substitute for hundreds of single-use batteries. All batteries contain heavy metals such as mercury, lead, cadmium, and nickel, which can contaminate the environment when they are disposed of improperly. Be sure to keep batteries, single use and rechargeable, out of the garbage can. Visit Earth 911 for information on the proper disposal of batteries and to find a recycling collection site near you.
When replacing electronics such as desktop computers, notebooks, and monitors, think of going green. The EPEAT (Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool) www.epeat.net , evaluates computer desktops, laptops, and monitors based on 51 environmental criteria.
All EPEAT registered products must meet 23 mandatory environmental criteria. An additional 28 optional criteria are used to determine whether products earn EPEAT Bronze, Silver, or Gold recognition. EPEAT registered products are high-performance business class computers that cost no more than conventional products. Compared to traditional computer equipment, however, all EPEAT-registered computers have reduced levels of cadmium, lead, and mercury to better protect human health and the environment. They are more energy efficient, which reduces emissions of global warming greenhouse gases, and they are also easier to upgrade and recycle.
When purchasing appliances, look for the ENERGY STAR symbol. Compare water and energy usage to ensure you get the best product and environmental savings to suit your needs.
Cut Power Consumption
Energy conservation is everyone’s opportunity to participate in the greening of America. Phantom power can be a frighteningly high portion of your office power bill. All those electronic devices, like computers, monitors, printers, phone chargers, coffee makers, and televisions, continue to burn energy, even when they’re turned off. That’s phantom power and it’s responsible for 15 percent of your power bill.
What’s the solution? Simple: power strips. Just plug all your electronic devices into power strips instead of an outlet. At the end of the day, flip the power strip’s switch off. It’s as easy as that.
Temperature control and lighting are two areas that make up a big portion of every business’s power bill.
Lighting typically amounts to 30 percent of energy costs, so replacing old bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs ( CFLs ) would produce significant energy and cost savings. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, CFLs use 2/3 less energy as traditional incandescent light bulbs and last 10 times as long! Replacing 3 frequently used light bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs saves 300 lbs. of carbon dioxide from being released into the atmosphere and $60 per year.
Some incandescent light bulbs may contain lead solder and CFLs contain mercury, so remember to dispose of both properly at your local hazardous waste facility. To find out where, visit Earth911 .
Open the blinds and let the sunshine in when possible, and always remember to turn off the lights when you leave a room.
Heating and cooling systems that run 24/7 are another source of wasted energy. Save money and resources by programming thermostats to trigger warming and cooling as needed during the workday and hibernate at night.
Moving your thermostat down two degrees in winter and up two degrees in the summer will save 2000 lbs of carbon dioxide from being released into the atmosphere and $98 per year.
Green power is here. According to the U.S. Dept. of Energy (DOE), at least 50 percent of customers have the option to purchase renewable electricity directly from their power supplier, and all customers have the option of purchasing renewable energy credits (RECs) . Such power is sometimes referred to as "green power" or "clean power."
Reducing household energy waste is an area that can’t be overlooked. A U.S.DOE report estimates that a whopping 75 percent of the energy used for typical home electronics devices is wasted. Many appliances can be used more efficiently as well. The U.S.DOE website outlines some easy ways to reduce this wastage, including:
- Air dry dishes instead of using your dishwasher's drying cycle
- Wash your clothes in cold water using cold water detergents whenever possible
- Turn off your personal computer when you're away from your PC for 20 minutes or more, and both the CPU and the monitor if you will be away for two hours or more.
Check out the U.S. DOE website for more information on how to use energy in your workplace more efficiently , how to buy “clean electricity,” and how to incorporate the use of renewable energy at work for cost savings.
Rethink the Workday and Work Environment
Flexibility goes a long way toward productivity. Consider new options for employees including telecommuting, compressed work weeks, public transportation discounts, organized carpools, and benefit programs for biking or walking to work.
Corporate Voices for Working Families examined data from 29 large American businesses in their report, “Business Impacts of Flexibility: An Imperative for Expansion”. The data indicates that flexible workplaces have a positive impact on financial performance, human capital management and talent management. This report also illustrates the significant potential present for workplace flexibility to reduce a business’s negative impact on the environment.
Telecommuting saves money, time and the environment. In the U.S., the average commuter spends more time commuting each year than on vacation. Using an average commuting distance of 18 miles each way and an average highway mileage of 23.4 mpg, the daily fuel consumption due to commuting is at least 1.5 gallons for a round trip. A five-day commuting workweek releases at minimum 5,154 lbs of CO2 into the atmosphere each year, per employee.
Having one employee telecommute for only one day per week would save an average of 78 gallons of gas and 1,030lbs of carbon dioxide from being released into the atmosphere each year.
According to the International Telework Association, the number of employed Americans who worked from home at least one day each week grew from 41.3 million in 2003 to 44.4 million in 2004, a 7.5 percent growth rate. Technology advances such as high-speed internet, VoIP, and collaboration tools such as e-mail, Instant messenger, and Web and video conferencing make it possible for an employee to stay connected without physically being in an office. 
In addition to the environmental benefits, telecommuting increases employee productivity and quality of work. "Productivity increases reported from various studies average around 10 percent to 20 percent, although some reports are as high as 40 percent. The literature reports productivity gains ranging from 15-25 percent found in a wide variety of telecommuting situations, even where researchers (or workers or managers) had not expected them, and higher quality work was also reported throughout.”
A compressed work schedule, such as working four ten-hour days per week, also reduces gas consumption and CO2 emissions. A compressed work week has also been shown to boost employee morale.
During a six-month pilot program in Thurston County Washington, 205 employees worked a compressed workweek schedule, which eliminated 238 commute roundtrips each two-week period. Eighty-three percent of the participants reported an increase in morale, and 94 percent of their supervisors said they would like to continue the programs after the pilot."
Support public transit and try implementing a commuter benefits program. The IRS allows employers to subsidize employees' cost of commuting to work by public transit, and employees can use pre-tax dollars to pay for any kind of publicly or privately owned transit services, including bus, trains, subways, ferries, etc.
To measure your carbon footprint, defined as a “ measure of the impact human activities have on the environment in terms of the amount of green house gases produced, measured in units of carbon dioxide,” go to EPA .
Digital Millennium Copyright Act
1. If you are a copyright owner or an agent thereof and believe that any Content infringes upon your copyrights, you may submit a notification pursuant to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act ("DMCA") by providing our Copyright Agent with the following information in writing (see 17 U.S.C 512(c)(3) for further detail):
- A physical or electronic signature of a person authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed;
- Identification of the copyrighted work claimed to have been infringed, or, if multiple copyrighted works at a single online site are covered by a single notification, a representative list of such works at that site;
- Identification of the material that is claimed to be infringing or to be the subject of infringing activity and that is to be removed or access to which is to be disabled and information reasonably sufficient to permit the service provider to locate the material;
- Information reasonably sufficient to permit the service provider to contact you, such as an address, telephone number, and, if available, an electronic mail;
- A statement that you have a good faith belief that use of the material in the manner complained of is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent, or the law; and
- A statement that the information in the notification is accurate, and under penalty of perjury, that you are authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed.
The SSFOA Inc.’s designated Copyright Agents to receive notifications of claimed infringement is:
You acknowledge that if you fail to comply with all of the requirements of this Section 5(D), your DMCA notice may not be valid.
2. Counter-Notice. If you believe that your Content that was removed (or to which access was disabled) is not infringing, or that you have the authorization from the copyright owner, the copyright owner's agent, or pursuant to the law, to post and use the material in your Content, you may send a counter-notice containing the following information to the Copyright Agent:
- Your physical or electronic signature;
- Identification of the Content that has been removed or to which access has been disabled and the location at which the Content appeared before it was removed or disabled;
- A statement that you have a good faith belief that the Content was removed or disabled as a result of mistake or a misidentification of the Content; and
- Your name, address, telephone number, and e-mail address, a statement that you consent to the jurisdiction of the federal court in Springfield, MO and a statement that you will accept service of process from the person who provided notification of the alleged infringement.
If a counter-notice is received by the Copyright Agent, The SSFOA Inc. may send a copy of the counter-notice to the original complaining party informing that person that it may replace the removed Content or cease disabling it in 10 business days. Unless the copyright owner files an action seeking a court order against the Content provider, member or user, the removed Content may be replaced, or access to it restored, in 10 to 14 business days or more after receipt of the counter-notice, at the SSFOA Inc.’s sole discretion.