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Tip of the Week

Sustainability Tip of the Week March 26th

Hello Campus Community,

Here is your March 26th Sustainability Tip of the Week. This week’s tip on the upcoming “Earth Hour” is brought to you by Adrienne! Thank you Adrienne!!


Hundreds of millions of people, businesses and governments around the world unite each year to support the largest environmental event in history – Earth Hour. Earth Hour is coming up on Saturday, March 31st at 8:30pm local time. All you have to do is turn off all lights, electronics, anything that gets plugged into an outlet for 1 hour. If you’d like to go above and beyond, try turning off all electronics overnight on Saturday.


More than 5,200 cities and towns in 135 countries worldwide switched off their lights for Earth Hour 2011 alone, sending a powerful message for action on climate change. It also ushered in a new era with members going Beyond the Hour to commit to lasting action for the planet. Without a doubt, it’s shown how great things can be achieved when people come together for a common cause.

Find out more about Earth Hour, how we’ve grown, and why you should get involved:

Sustainability Tip of the Week March 19th

Hello Campus Community, Here is your March 19th Sustainability Tip of the Week. This week’s tip on “water usage” is brought to you by Claire Bruncke. Thank you Claire! 

Many people are surprised at home much water they use each week. Sometimes people don’t even know where their water usage is coming from.  My advice to you is keep a chart! Record every time, and how much water you use for a week. (how many gallons per toilet flush, per shower, for drinking, watering plants, laundry, dishes, washing hands, etc) Then try to cut back in a certain area the next week!  Only 3% of the Earth’s water is fresh, and there are a whole lot of people relying on that. Take into consideration where you use your water! The gallon usage for most shower heads can be found on google, and your toilet will say how many gallons the tank is using normally.  If you’re looking to make a big change- invest in low flow faucets and toilets! They make a big difference! Don’t forget to count your morning latte in your usage! Good luck and happy water saving!

Sustainability Tip of the Week March 12th

Hello Campus Community,

Here is your March 12th Sustainability Tip of the Week. This week’s tip on “10 Ways to Go Green and Save Greent” is brought to you by Sustainability Committee member and student Gary Hay. Thank you Gary!

10 Ways to Go Green and Save Green
1.     Save energy to save money.
·         Set your thermostat<> a few degrees lower in the winter and a few degrees higher in the summer to save on heating and cooling costs.
·         Install compact fluorescent light bulbs<> (CFLs) when your older incandescent bulbs burn out.
·         Unplug appliances when you’re not using them. Or, use a “smart” power strip<> that senses when appliances are off and cuts “phantom” or “vampire” energy use.
·         Wash clothes in cold water whenever possible. As much as 85 percent of the energy used to machine-wash clothes goes to heating the water.
·         Use a drying rack or clothesline to save the energy otherwise used during machine drying.
2.     Save water to save money.
·         Take shorter showers to reduce water use. This will lower your water and heating bills too.
·         Install a low-flow showerhead<>. They don’t cost much, and the water and energy savings can quickly pay back your investment.
·         Make sure you have a faucet aerator<> on each faucet. These inexpensive appliances conserve heat and water, while keeping water pressure high.
·         Plant drought-tolerant native plants<> in your garden. Many plants need minimal watering. Find out which occur naturally in your area.
3.     Less gas = more money (and better health!).
·         Walk or bike<> to work. This saves on gas<> and parking costs while improving your cardiovascular health and reducing your risk of obesity.
·         Consider telecommuting if you live far from your work. Or move closer. Even if this means paying more rent, it could save you money in the long term.
·         Lobby your local government<> to increase spending on sidewalks and bike lanes. With little cost, these improvements can pay huge dividends in bettering your health and reducing traffic.
4.     Eat smart.
·         If you eat meat, add one meatless meal a week. Meat costs a lot at the store-and it’s even more expensive when you consider the related environmental and health costs.
·         Buy locally raised<>, humane, and organic meat, eggs, and dairy whenever you can. Purchasing from local farmers keeps money in the local economy<>.
·         Watch videos about why local food<> and sustainable seafood<> are so great.
·         Whatever your diet, eat low on the food chain<> [pdf]. This is especially true for seafood<>.
5.     Skip the bottled water.
·         Use a water filter to purify tap water instead of buying bottled water<>. Not only is bottled water expensive, but it generates large amounts of container waste<>.
·         Bring a reusable water bottle, preferably aluminum rather than plastic, with you when traveling or at work.
·         Check out this short article for the latest on bottled water trends<>.
6.     Think before you buy.
       ·         Go online to find new or gently used secondhand products. Whether you’ve just moved or are looking to redecorate, consider a service like craigslist<> or FreeSharing<> to track down furniture, appliances, and other items cheaply or for free.
·         Check out garage sales, thrift stores, and consignment shops for clothing and other everyday items.
·         When making purchases, make sure you know what’s “Good Stuff<>” and what isn’t.
·         Watch a video about what happens when you buy things<>. Your purchases have a real impact, for better or worse.
7.     Borrow instead of buying.
·         Borrow from libraries<> instead of buying personal books and movies. This saves money, not to mention the ink and paper that goes into printing new books.
·         Share power tools and other appliances. Get to know your neighbors while cutting down on the number of things cluttering your closet or garage.
8.     Buy smart.
·         Buy in bulk. Purchasing food from bulk bins can save money and packaging.
·         Wear clothes that don’t need to be dry-cleaned. This saves money and cuts down on toxic chemical use.
·         Invest in high-quality, long-lasting products<>. You might pay more now, but you’ll be happy when you don’t have to replace items as frequently (and this means less waste!).
9.     Keep electronics out of the trash.
·         Keep your cell phones, computers<>, and other electronics as long as possible.
·         Donate or recycle them responsibly when the time comes. E-waste contains mercury<> and other toxics and is a growing environmental problem.
·         Recycle your cell phone<>. Ask your local government to set up an electronics recycling<> and hazardous waste collection event.
10.   Make your own cleaning supplies.
The big secret: you can make very effective, non-toxic cleaning products<> whenever you need them. All you need are a few simple ingredients like baking soda, vinegar, lemon, and soap.
Making your own cleaning products saves money, time, and packaging-not to mention your indoor air quality.

GHC Sustainability Tip of the Week March 5th

Hello Campus Community,
Here is your March 5th Sustainability Tip of the Week. This week’s tip on the Three R’s is brought to you by Claire Bruncke. Thank you Claire!!
Three R’s:
The three R’s are Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle.
They are listed in that order for good reason. Being green starts with Reducing your consumption! Then move onto reusing what you have, and as a final step you should recycle.
So how do we reduce?
Here are some simple ways to cut back on your consumption!
1. Buy less packaging – buy a 2 liter bottle of pop and pour it into a glass instead of buying small bottles or cans – individually wrapped anything isn’t eco friendly!
2. Buy products that package in an environmentally friendly way – look for the port-comsumer materials label
3. Buy only what you need – save money and the earth by skipping that extra pair of shoes you’ll probably only wear once
4. Don’t use a plastic produce bag unless you NEED one – two apples don’t need their own bag!
5. Try to buy used goods before new – if you really need to buy something.
If you need inspiration on how to Reduce – take a look at No Impact Man – his blog is helpful and his documentary will convince you to make one simple change in your life to be more sustainable.
We can’t all make No Impact to the extreme that he did – but we can all reduce and make a difference!

GHC Sustainability Tip of the Week February 27th

Hello Campus Community,
Here is your February 27th Sustainability Tip of the Week. This week’s tip on one way to reuse/recycle plastic bags is brought to you by Jen Gillies. Thank you Jen!

February 20th Sustainability Tip of the Week!

Hello Campus Community,


Here is your February 20th Sustainability Tip of the Week. This week’s tip on “reducing printing” is brought to you by sustainability committee member Erik Sandgren. Thank you Erik!


Read this- don’t print this – or anything else today!!!!! Ease up on paper.


February 6th Tip of the Week

Hello Campus Community,


Here is your February 6th Sustainability Tip of the Week. This week’s tip on how college students can be sustainable in the classroom is brought to you by sustainability committee member Lynn Siedenstrang. Thank you Lynn!


Sustainability Tips for College Students


In the classroom


  • ·         Use refillable binders instead of notebooks or use a laptop.
  • ·         Use recycled paper.
  • ·         Take notes on both sides of paper.
  • ·         If it’s OK with your professor, hand in assignments by printing on both sides of the page. 
  • ·         Unless you’re handicapped, don’t use automatic handicap doors


Thanks to Goucher College, students can be sustainable by applying these helpful tips. (December 11, 2009)

January 16th Tip of the Week

Hello Campus Community,

Here is your January 16th Sustainability Tip of the Week, a few days late!
This week’s tip about using paper bags vs plastic bags (if cloth/reusable bags aren’t your preference) is brought to you by Todd Bates. Thank you Todd!!

By Jonathan Croswell (
The well-worn debate between paper and plastic bags has persisted since plastic bags were introduced in 1977, according to “The New York Times.” Plastic bags were introduced years ago as an alternative to bulky paper bags that can be heavy, difficult to carry and more costly to businesses. But plastic bags don’t biodegrade and are made with harmful chemicals. And while reusable cloth shopping bags are growing in popularity, they are more costly to consumers and aren’t always the easiest solution. Because of this, many consumers find papers bags a good alternative if they don’t have reusable bags.
Paper bags are made of natural products, which allows them to be broken down by the elements–albeit over a long time. Plastic bags aren’t as lucky–most aren’t biodegradable and can fill up landfills, costing cities as much as 17 cents per disposal of each bag, according to Money Central. Recycling plastic bags is an option, but the costs can be impractical. As of 2010, it can cost $4,000 to recycle one ton of plastic bags, which is resold to stores for $32, according to Squawk Fox. On the other hand, paper bags are easily tossed into the paper recycling bin and reused.
Renewable Resource
Paper bags are made from felled trees, which some proponents of plastic bags suggest creates more of an imprint on the environment than plastic bags. But trees are also a renewable resource that can be replaced over time. Many paper and lumber mills practice tree replacement so that their supply of trees doesn’t diminish over time.
Less Litter
One paper bag can do the same work it can take several plastic bags to accomplish. The downside to this is that plastic bags are often overused–some businesses use a plastic bag to hold one single item. The practice of overusing plastic bags can add to the country’s littering problem. Plastic bags are frequently found blowing in the wind alongside roads and elsewhere in the outdoors. Paper bags are much larger and less abundant, and they aren’t as easily lost to the wind

January 9th Tip of the Week

Hello Campus Community,

Here is your January 9th Sustainability Tip of the Week. This week’s tip on reducing and even eliminating your use of bottled water is brought to you by me, Janel.

A chart of a few differences between tap water and bottled water:

Tap Water Bottled Water
Cost Less than $.01 for the same quantity in a typical bottle $1-$3/bottle
Environmental Effects No plastic ending up in landfills and areas of the environment Unless the bottle is recycled it will end up in landfills and our environment
Government Agency Responsible for Water U.S. EPA-cities and other water purveyors required to report issues immediately to the public U.S. FDA-companies do not have to report contamination issues to the public
Source of water You can easily find out from your city the source of your tap water Bottled water companies do not always disclose their source, as it could actually be from a city drinking water source
Safety of water Your tap water is treated by the city in which you live. They are required to meet healthy drinking water standards set by the EPA While the FDA oversees the safety of bottled water, not all companies report issues; Not to mention the safety of the plastic bottle itself, which could contain chemicals.

There is a time and place for bottled water, such as during an emergency or disaster, but in general tap water is just as good and even more cost effective than bottled water. I encourage you to start bringing a reusable water bottle and filling it up with our drinking fountains or filling it up at home before you come to work. If you are not satisfied with the taste of your drinking water at home there are filters you can by such as Brita, and others that help remove some of the different tastes in water. On a more fun note, at the annual Chehalis Watershed Festival held each September in Aberdeen we have a drinking water taste test where a few cities from around the Chehalis Watershed bring in a jug of their tap water. People get to vote for their best tasting water (not knowing which water sample is from which city) and this year we threw in bottled water to the mix. Believe it or not, participants preferred municipal tap water over the bottled water…all 3 cities received more votes than tap water! This just goes to show you that our cities are doing a good job of providing us with clean, safe, and good tasting drinking water so I encourage you to enjoy it too!

P.S. Check out the bookstore to see what they have available for reusable water bottles if you don’t have one at home.

December 5th Sustainability tip of the Week!

Hello Campus Community,


Here is your December 5th Sustainability Tip of the Week. This week’s tip on reusing the plastic bottle caps is brought to you by Carabeth Stevenson. Thank you Carabeth!! (P.S. Carabeth is not an official member of the sustainability committee but she offered up a great tip this week, so with that in mind if you all have other tips to share please feel free to forward them to me). Click the link below to see how to reuse those plastic bottle caps.




Enjoy a wonderful holiday.