Meet Michael (Mike) Colgrove, Director of Multifamily Programs in NYSERDA’s New York City office.

  1. Share your favorite energy factoid.
    Enough sunlight reaches the earth’s surface each minute to satisfy the world’s energy demands – for an entire year
  2. What energy conservation campaign would you start in your office or want to share with other offices?
    It would definitely be banning formal business attire in an effort to allow people to dress more comfortably and maintain higher AC set points.  I first heard about this strategy five years ago when Japan mandated this work policy. I was able to experience it when I lived in Hawaii. I think this policy was successful in both places because there’s a great work culture that makes it easier to carry out. You wouldn’t even expect a CEO to have a tie on. Also, ACs in offices shouldn’t be blasted at 72°. There’s a myth that a colder office space keeps employees more awake and alert, but that’s not true at all. The average temperature should really be around 74° – 78°.
  3. What are you reading right now?
    I’m reading Don’t Even Think About It: Why Our Brains are Wired to Ignore Climate Change by George Marshall. I am really enjoying this book because he breaks down how this topic can be understood by different groups of people – notably those who say they don’t believe in climate change. Especially in politics, climate change is a highly polarized topic. This dramatic polarization of opinions isn’t seen in past environmental issues, such as chlorofluorocarbons in our appliances. Marshall is a communications expert and explains that it’s all about translating what climate change means to a certain group of people.
  4. What are some ways you reduce your carbon footprint at home?
    Plastic bags are a huge pet peeve of mine. My partner and I have a stack of canvas bags at home, that we use when grocery shopping. It was hard in the beginning to “train” him to use them, but now he’s the one who reminds me to bring them out! I also keep a reusable bag in my backpack at all times in case I need to stop by the store after work. There’s a perception that you need a bag for small items, like a box of cereal that you can easily carry in your arms. It almost seems like people are embarrassed to carry something that is not in a bag.
  5. What is your personal superpower?
    Mine is the ability to make order out of chaos. It would be cool, however, to have the ability to teleport. No commuting, no driving, no taking airplanes. Think about all the carbon emissions that could be reduced! The person who invents this is sitting on a gold mine.

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