So what can you do to reduce your energy use?
- Unplug appliances when not in use. Idle appliances and cell phone chargers still draw electricity even when they are not being used. Also, always be sure to turn off your computer when it is not in use.
- Swap out incandescent light bulbs for more efficient compact fluorescent bulbs.
- Don’t use a screen saver. Modern monitors do not need them and they consume energy unnecessarily.
- Avoid printing when possible, paper is easily wasted.
- Encourage others on your floor to do their part and participate in recycling challenges.
A good mantra to keep in mind when thinking about water quality is “all the water I use today will be reused tomorrow.” This simple sayings allow us to think more carefully about where our water comes from, where it is going, and what is in it.
What can you do to ensure our water is environmentally friendly?
- Never put aquarium plants or animals down drains or in to lakes/streams. Many species found at pet stores are highly invasive and can ruin water quality for both aquatic species and human uses.
- Properly maintain your vehicle. Automobiles can leak many types of fluids that can get washed directly into streams and affect water quality.
- Reduce the amount of water you use to meet your personal needs. The more water we demand at the tap, the less there is in the stream to support aquatic ecosystems.
Recycling is a key element in this sustainability effort, and it is the responsibility of every student to be aware of and participate in recycling programs across campus.
What are the ways you can help? Here are a few tips to start:
- Utilize reusable grocery bags rather than consuming wasteful paper or plastic bags.
- Practice double-sided printing, which can significantly reduce your paper consumption.
- Use refillable bottles
Here are just a few quick facts to put things into perspective:
- U.S. residents and businesses produce over 250 million tons of waste per year—that’s 4.6 pounds of waste per person per day.
- Recycling one ton of paper saves 17 trees, over 80 gallons of oil, 4,100 kilowatts of energy, 3.2 cubic yards of landfill space, & 60 pounds of air pollution.
Fresh water, like many other resources on this planet, is NOT infinite. Sustainability focuses on adopting habits that use water in renewable quantities and preserve water quality. One important way to do this is by avoiding bottled water--and drinking straight from the tap.
To put it into perspective, bottled water is:
- 1,000 to 8,000 times more expensive than tap water
- Tested less often, and so is less healthy, than tap water
- Comes in plastic bottles that are not eco-friendly
- Often just tap water that has been bottled. Why pay extra?
Most people don’t realize that shipping bottled water from around the world uses enormous amounts of energy. Tap water is as healthy as any other kind of water. Using filters and reusing already purchased bottles are the easiest and cheapest alternatives.
Other ways to save water include taking shorter showers, turning off the water when brushing teeth, washing only full loads of laundry and washing dishes with a sink full of water rather than a running faucet.