Home Office Assessment Challenge

Since most people are encouraged to work from home, the Green Office Program is bringing our office assessment to you! Follow the guidelines below to complete a simplified version of the assessment we use to certify UCSC offices, then report your socres to our Google Form. Check the ranking site daily through June 5th to find out your ranking and see how your home office compares to others'! Everyone who participates prior to June 5th will be emailed a Green Home Office Certificate with their ranking to display in their home offices. The most important goal though? Have Fun!

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Energy Assessment:

  1. Divide your most recent energy bill amount by the number of people living in your house.
  2. If you do not have access to your home's energy bill, use this electricity calculator to estimate your monthly kilowatt hour useage. Multiply this number by 0.21 (21 cents/kilowatt hour - if you do not live in CA, usethis website to find the average cost per kWh in your state) and then divide by the number of people in your house. For example, if your house of 4 uses 700 kWh per month, your equation would be (700 x 0.21)/4 = $36.75.

Scoring: How much is your energy bill per person?

Energy Assessment scoring guidelines
Energy Energy Bill / by number of people in household Score
Under $30 (per person) 5/5
$30 - $50 (per person) 4/5
$50 - $60 (per person) 3/5
$60 - $70 (per person) 2/5
Above $70 (per person) 1/5

Water Assessment:

You will need one 32 oz (quart) container and a sharpie or tape. 

  1. Use a sharpie or piece of tape to divide your container into quarters (this is to assist with eyeballing).
  2. Turn your water on the highest force and fill up your quart container for 6 seconds.
  3. Multiply the number of quarts filled in 6 seconds by 10, then divide this number by 4 (60 seconds/minute, 4 quarts/gallon). For example, if your quart filled up 3/4 of the way, your equation would be (0.75 x 10)/4 = 1.9 gallons/minute.
  4. Record this number and repeat the process with all relevant faucets in your office/house - kitchen and bathroom sinks, showers, etc.  
  5. Remember that the water used for these flow test can be used to water plants, do dishes etc.! 

"Low Flow" for bathroom faucets and showers = 1.2 gallons/minute

"Low Flow" for kitchen faucets = 1.8 gallons/minute

"Low Flow" for Water filters/aerators = 0.78 gallons/minute

If any of your faucets leak, use this online leak calculator to see how much water is wasted per day. Round up to the nearest whole number.

Scoring: What percent of your faucets are low flow?

Water Assessment scoring guidelines
Water % of water faucets in home that are low-flow Score
0- 25% 1/4
25% - 50% 2/4
50% - 75% 3/4
75% - 100% 4/4
How much water do your leaks waste per day?
1 gallon wasted -0.5

Waste Assessment:

This step of the usual Green Office Certification Assessment involves dumping out an office's trash and recycling bins onto a tarp and using gloves to manually go through them to check for contamination. Please feel free to go all in on this step! If you do not feel comfortable, you can also visually scan your bins or estimate contamination levels based on your habits. 

  1. Look over the Santa Cruz Recycling Guide PDF to learn about what can and cannot be recycled in the City of Santa Cruz. If it can be recycled in the City of Santa Cruz, it can most likely be recycled in Santa Cruz County, but here is the Santa Cruz County Recycling Guide. If you live in another area, look up your recycling guidelines online. 
  2. If you are doing the full assessment, lay out a tarp (inside or outside) and dump out your trash can onto it.
  3. With gloves, go through your trash and count how many items could have been recycled.
  4. Once you have this number, divide it by the total number of items in your trash, then multiply this by 100. For example, if you have 6 pieces of contamination, and there are 30 items in your trash, your equation would be: (6/30) x 100 = 20% contamination. 
  5. Repeat this process with your recycling bin.
  6. If you do not wish to manually go through your trash and recycling, you can visually scan your bins, possibly over the course of a few days as both fill up. Use your observations to estimate a percent of contamination. 

Scoring: What percent contamination was present in your trash and recycling bins? (Calculate and give points for each seperately)

Waste Assessment scoring guidelines
Waste What percent of your trash should be in the recycling?
0-20% 5/5
20% - 40% 4/5
40% - 60% 3/5
60% - 80% 2/5
80% - 100% 1/5
What percent of your recycling should be in the trash?
0 - 20% 5/5
20% - 40% 4/5
40% - 60% 3/5
60% - 80% 2/5
80% - 100% 1/5
Doesn't have Recycling 0/5

Bonus Points:

Give yourself bonus points for every scenario that applies to you!

Bonus Points scoring guidelines
Is your diet majority vegetarian? +2 points if yes
Is your diet majority vegan? +3 points if yes
Each car ride replaced with a bike ride in the last week +1 points/ride
Every piece of litter picked up in the last week +0.5 points/litter
Do you divert food waste from the landfill in some way? +3 points if yes
Every piece of environmental media engaged with during quarantine (books, podcasts, movies, etc.) +1 point/media
Each point scored on the city of Santa Cruz's recycling quiz +0.5 points

Final Steps:

Once you have completed all of the assessments and know your score for each one, head over to our Google Form to report your scores! The Green Office Team will be checking these responses and updating our Ranking Site daily, so check back within 24 hours to see your official Green Home Office Certification Ranking and how you stack up compared to other remote offices. Additionally, all participants will be emailed an official Green Home Office Certificate as proof of completion (and as something to show off). Thanks so much for participating in our Home Office Assessment Challenge, we hope you had fun!