Due to the rising cost of gas, many municipalities and public institutions are starting to look at alternatives to the traditional five-day work week. According to the "Oil Prices Prompt Four-Day Week" article, a county in Michigan and Suffolk County in New York are considering placing their public employees on a four-day work week. For a traditional 40-hour week, this would mean four, ten hour days.
I think this is a brilliant idea - both for employees and the public at large. If given the option, I know I would rather spend four days in the office than five. It would be nice to have an extra-day off during the week to run errands and just live life. Plus, if the municipalities need to make sure employees are putting in 10-hour days, perhaps public offices would be open longer than 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. or 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. I know I could benefit from visiting a town office or a state office after 5 p.m. (when most are closed). Not to mention - local traffic would be reduced during the rush hour.
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts - which already experiences congestion-clogged roads - should really start to have both state-offices and local municipal offices explore the viability of moving employees to a 4-day work week. And for the private sector . . . I'm really surprised more companies aren't exploring ways to let their employees tele-commute - even if it is for one day. The technology is in place to allow people to work remotely. Plus the ability to tele-commute or work a truncated workweek could be a perk in companies that can't or won't offer raises (on a totally different subject, I read the other day that a 2% raise is about the average that a lot of companies are offering - if you even get a raise).
In today's offline and online Journal, there was an article titled "Railroads Roll With a Greener Approach" about how train companies (such as CSX) have created a series of ads promoting freight trains as a green transportation source. I've heard the ads for CSX here in the greater-Boston area and I think I've even seen some billboards.
Why freight trains can be considered green:
Freight trains now use much cleaner and more fuel-efficient diesel engines, and railroad companies are testing new engines that the industry is touting as "ultralow-emission." Many environmentalists acknowledge that the railroads have a powerful argument, given that freight trains burn far less fuel than trucks and can help reduce highway congestion.