The Salt Lake Scene

Utah going to 4-10 to be Green

Being Green. It's cache to some, over the top to others and to many it's becoming a way of life. Washington Post writer Mike Stark reported about the decision, or rather the executive order that Governor Jon Huntsman issued stating that state government employees will now be working 10-hour days four days a week with Friday's off.

Most state employees interviewed, the bulk of which are based in Salt Lake, were excited about the move stating that they'll have more time for golf, hiking and camping in the adjacent Wasatch Mountains, visiting the Zoo, checking out local restaurants or generally spending more time with their families.

The article stated that the decision

...will affect about 17,000 out of 24,000 executive-branch employees. It will not cover state police officers, prison guards or employees of the courts or Utah's public universities. Also, state-run liquor stores will stay open on Fridays.

The green aspects of this decision seem to make sense.


Turning off the lights, the heat and the air conditioning on Fridays in 1,000 of 3,000 government buildings will save about $3 million a year out of a state budget of $11 billion, according to the governor's spokeswoman, Lisa Roskelley. The state will also save on gasoline used by official vehicles, but authorities have not figured out how much.

The Department of Environmental Quality estimated employees in six buildings alone will save themselves more than $300,000 spent on gas to commute to work.

The four-day workweek could also be good for the environment.

"We feel like we can reduce the CO2 or the ozone by around over 3,000 metric tons, as well as have an impact on our air pollution," said Kim Hood, executive director of the Department of Administrative Services.

So what would you do in Salt Lake if you had Friday's off work?Is there something you've not seen, done or a place you've wanted to visit but haven't had the time to do so.