How You Can Help Promote Sustainability
at Home and at School…
- Ask for reusable dinnerware, including silverware, cups, and plates instead of disposable dinnerware.
- Use your own beverage containers and utensils whenever possible. You may receive a discount on beverages when you bring your own cup or mug.
- Take only what you need, including food, condiment packets, paper napkins, straws, plastic drink tops, and other disposable items.
- Take only silverware that you will use. Whether you have used a utensil or not, it must be washed — using energy, water, and cleaning agents.
- Save your leftovers.
- Only copy materials that you really need.
- Make double-sided copies whenever possible and request double-sided printing at copy centers.
- Print single-spaced drafts of documents and double-spaced copies for final versions only.
- Use the "Print Preview" function to view documents before printing.
- If you print it, pick it up from the printer.
- Reuse paper that has been printed on 1 side for scratch or note paper.
- Edit documents on screen rather than printing copies.
- Save files and e-mail messages electronically. Don't print hard copies of everything.
- Post information on the Web or use e-mail instead of printing fliers and memos.
- Use alternative transportation, including public transportation, carpools or vanpools, bicycling, and walking.
- Avoid driving in circles to find the closest parking spot.
- Keep your tires properly inflated for better gas mileage.
- Avoid sudden starts and stops.
- Turn off your vehicle instead of idling.
- Drive a more fuel-efficient vehicle, including hybrid and electric vehicles.
- Office equipment:
- Purchase energy-efficient equipment
- Turn off office equipment that is not being used, such as printers and copiers (unless such machines are Energy Star certified units that reduce energy consumption during periods of inactivity).
- Turn off computers in the evening. During the day, use your computer’s stand-by and hibernate modes instead of screen savers.
- Use laptop computers if possible. They consume 90% less energy than standard desktop computers.
- If possible, use ink-jet printers. They consume 90% less energy than laser printers.
- Select the right-sized copier. A mid-volume copier in a low-volume office can use up to 70% more energy per page than a low-volume machine.
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator whenever possible.
- Avoid leaving an "away" message up all day on your instant messaging program.
- Be patient in the event of lighting, ventilation, and curtailments as facilities staff attempt to manage JALC’s electric load.
- Turn off the lights when no one is using the room.
- Use natural light instead of electrical lighting whenever possible.
- Use CFLs (compact fluorescent lamps) instead of incandescent light bulbs.
- Install lighting motion sensors in common areas.
- Indoor climate:
- Set thermostats to 78 degrees on hot days and 68 degrees on cold days.
- Dress comfortably for the weather, and adjust your layers before adjusting the thermostat.
- Keep rooms cool by closing shades, especially in empty conference rooms, offices, and common areas.
- Turn off electric space heaters. (If you are uncomfortably cool, put on a sweater.)
- Avoid opening refrigerators and freezers more often than necessary.
- Postpone using washers, dryers, and dishwashers until after 7 p.m. (or later).
- Avoid using high-wattage appliances, machines, and illumination.
- Dress in layers to avoid using fans or portable heaters.
- Purchase Energy Star appliances such as refrigerators, washers, and dryers.
- Unplug phantom loads: Unplug appliances with phantom loads, plug them into a surge protector, and switch it off when appliances are not in use. A phantom load is wasted energy that plugged-in appliances use when they're turned off. For example:
- DVD and VHS players
- Computers and printers
- Stereos and CD players
- Video game systems
- iPod and cell phone chargers
- Turn off the faucet when brushing your teeth, shaving, and soaping your hands.
- Run full loads of laundry and dishes.
- Take shorter, cooler showers.
- Install ultra-low flow shower heads and faucets.
- Install low flush toilets, or put a brick in your toilet tank. (The brick takes up space in the tank, so you use less water).
- Run sprinklers during early morning or late afternoon.
- Plant native species that are adapted to our climate.
Reuse and recycle:
Find out ways to preserve precious resources by reusing everyday items, buying earth-friendly products, and learning about recycling.
Use wisely and reuse whenever possible:
- Use canvas shopping bags instead of paper or plastic.
- Use old newspaper to wrap gifts.
- Use rechargeable batteries.
- Use only what you need of cleaning products; half the recommended amount is usually sufficient.
- Refill soap and detergent bottles from bulk containers.
- Borrow or rent books instead of buying them.
- Donate old items to charity instead of throwing them out.
- Flatten and save boxes for future use.
- Re-address envelopes for interdepartmental mail.
Buy with the planet in mind:
- Buy recycled and organic products.
- Buy products from ecologically responsible companies.
- Buy environmentally friendly cleaning products.
- Recycle – it’s good for everyone.
Energy recommendations for campus faculty and staff:
- Get a power strip and use it
- Computers and peripherals use energy, even on standby
- If you leave your computer and monitor on 24/7, it’s costing the college about $85 for the computer and $105 for the monitor over the course of a year.
- If you use the standby/sleep function for that same system when you’re not using it, the two together only cost the college $47 in electricity.
- If you turn them both off completely during nights/weekends, the total energy cost for the year is only $15.
- Computers and monitors also often use a trickle of energy even when turned off. Using a power strip and turning it kills all the power to your devices, making sure you’re not using any energy.
- If you also have a printer or other device plugged into the power strip, you’ll be saving another $5-15 just by having that completely turned off too!
- Minimize lighting use
- Computers are only second to lighting in terms of total office electricity use
- If you have natural lighting in your office area, use it!
- Each two-lamp fluorescent fixture on campus uses about 70-80 watts when turned on. If they’re never turned off, each one costs the college about $55 a year.
- If your average office has two of these banks, and you turn off the lights when you’re not around, you’re saving JALC over $30 a year. If you can make do with natural light most of the time, you can save almost the rest of the $25.
- If you have a desklamp, consider using compact fluorescent bulbs to cut your energy use by two-thirds.
- Minimize use of space heaters and dress for winter time indoor conditions for your building
- Space heaters use 1500 watts in high mode, 750 in low mode, with the average well above 1000 watts. This much electricity adds up to $35 for each space heater on average during each winter of use on campus.
- If you can wear warmer clothing instead of using a space heater without too much trouble, this level of savings can really mean a lot when everyone does it.
- Turn off projectors and visual presenters when not in use (leaving classroom)
- Turn off all lights and equipment when leaving for the day
As we implement college greening initiatives, we expect to save a lot more on our college energy bills. We need your help in your office and classroom settings to add to the savings we will see from better facilities management in the coming months and years. Join us in making a difference financially, and environmentally, as we work to become better and wiser energy users. Communicate your ideas for reducing electric load anywhere on campus. Contact the Sustainability Center – (618) 985-2828 x 8148.