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April, 2012:

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.