SUMMER 2010 is witnessing the drastic effects of harsh environmental conditions like the El Niño phenomenon and global warming offshoots. It is for this reason that people are becoming doubly conscious with regards to environmental issues.

Same reason also why the University of Baguio’s Community Outreach and Development Extension Center (Codec) is geared towards the full implementation of its Green Project.

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The Green Project aims to imbibe environmental awareness among the different groups that are involved. This project is also directed towards incorporating environmental values that should be observed and practiced in work areas. This is in response also to the goal of making offices not only conducive workplaces but also aesthetically pleasing.

The Search for The Cleanest and Greenest College or Department is part of the ongoing Green Project of Codec. This was held to encourage offices and colleges to be more proactive in their workplace with regards to the upkeep of their logistics and be participative in environmental awareness as well.

For this year’s search, the College of Teacher Education bagged the first place. Following suit are the College of Criminal Justice Education, College of Business Administration, College of Hotel and Restaurant Management, and the College of Liberal Arts. Judges for this competition included representatives from offices like the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR-CAR).

It is said that a good physical work atmosphere can contribute to the efficiency and effectiveness of whatever we do. Combining the right amount of cleanliness and greenness can help bring about the feeling of well-being inside a workplace. This in turn can boost up the positivity of people in the workplace, and thus enable us to be more productive.

Let’s take for example the 5S system that the Japanese people have efficiently utilized in their workplaces.

The 5S is a workplace organization methodology that describes how things are stored and how order and cleanliness are maintained. The 5S are: sorting (seiri), straightening or setting in order (seiton), systematic cleaning (seiso), standardizing (seiketsu), and sustaining the discipline (shitsuke). Safety is often added as the 6th S.

If we are to go through these phases of the 5S system, we will find out that it is quite easy to adapt this in our work areas. The only challenge here is to have that discipline to be able to stick to this system as a part of our daily routine. It can prove to be tedious as this suggests labeling of all items and have posters and signs everywhere as a means of maintaining standards.

But then again, we don’t need to have an elaborate management system to follow in order to have a positive and aesthetic workplace. Policies need not be implemented as to maintain a clean and green office. We can have our individual “one-minute-clean-up policies” where we allot a minute or two to clean and put things back in order before leaving the desk or work area.

It boils down to having that discipline and putting even more than just a little effort in cleaning up and beautifying the workplace. No doubt, it would always be nice to work in a place that exhibits a clean and green environment.