Sustainability is all about common sense to use fewer resources. Gettysburg College makes it easy for students to do the right and mindful choices to preserve resources and to improve the local and global environment! Here are some general tips to make your day as a Bullet more sustainable.
1. Use that reusable water bottle.
Bring it to class, The Bullet Hole, and for the extremely eco-cautious, bring it out on Friday and Saturday nights (save someone from buying even more plastic cups).
It takes 700 YEARS (255,500 DAYS) for a plastic water bottle to decompose in a landfill. Unfortunately Belmont University (a water bottle-free campus) has estimated that 4/5, or 80% of single-use water bottles become litter or garbage, while only 1 out of 5 water bottles is being recycled. If you must use them, be positive that the bottles end up in the recyling bin.
Using reusable watter bottles allows you to take back the tap! Drinking tap water is one of the most patriotic things that you can do. According to Kalamazoo College, approximately 1.5 MILLION barrels of oil are used to produce plastic water bottles, not to mention the cost of transporting them! Improve national security, preserve oil reserves, and save bald eagles. America.
The real Abraham Lincoln drank tap water. He guided this country through a civil war and saved us all from vampires, you think more people would listen to him.
You can fill up your reusable bottle with water for free at the Bullet Hole and at the hydration station in the Servo lobby! What could be more American than free stuff?
You’ll look as hip as Joe Cool at the water fountain if you use this kind of water bottle.
I mean it, if you don’t, not only will your friends look at you like you just kicked a puppy. You will also be contributing to litter and one of the 3,000 landfills across the nation. It will be like you kicked three puppies. Cute ones.
It has never been easier to recycle at Gettysburg College! In 2009 the school adopted a single-stream recycling program. This type of recycling allows all types of recycling to be mixed together in the same container and also vastly expands the number of items which can be recycled.
Just about every type of metal, glass, plastic, and paper can be recycled in single stream recycling. If you are unsure about the recyclability of an item, recycle it anyway! Single stream recycling is mechanically sorted at the plant, which means that some non-recyclables can enter the recycle stream without causing issues.
Hilarious and relevant, all of the things that jokes and diverting waste should be.
Visit the Recycling Programming page to check out all of what you can recycle! http://www.gettysburg.edu/about/sustainability/initiatives/recycling/
3. Go Tray-less at Servo
Don’t want to go tray-less? We don’t always get what we want; especially when the only reasons against tray-less dining are laziness and gluttony. Things just got real.
Going tray-less reduced water waste as well as food waste. A study in Spring 2011 found that Gettysburg College students waste and average of 3.8 ounces of food per meal at Servo.
Can’t get rid of your dishes without a tray? Eat with your friends at Servo. Assign one or more people to use a tray while everyone else goes tray-less. At the end of the meal, pile everything onto fewer trays. Stacking plates solidifies friendship more than almost everything else.
Don’t have any friends? It’s a perfect time to make some! Or you could pile your plates onto a passing tray at the dish return area.
Want to do one better? Reduce your meat intake. Annually, beef production contributes 18% to carbon dioxide emissions. Eat chicken instead. Or tofu. Or best of all, vegetables. They just want to help you stay healthy. Consume them. Servo makes this easy by providing at least 3 vegan options per meal.
Really don’t want to go tray-less? Find a friend and take his or her tray. Now they are tray-less.
4. Whether you’re off to bed or leaving for class, make sure you turn off the lights and your computer.
A screensaver does not offer any energy savings. If it is not possible to turn off your computer, leave it on “sleep” or “hibernate” settings to conserve power.
When you’re not in need of a charge, make sure to unplug those laptop and cell phone chargers! Not only does it damage your battery, plugged in chargers continue to draw electricity even when your battery is full or when the phone or computer isn’t attached to the charger!
These energy suckers are called energy vampires. (Check out some more information about energy vampires here! http://gburgsustainability.posterous.com/protect-yourself-from-energy-vampires)
5. Reduce your water intake everywhere you go!
You don’t even want to mess with this. Red skinny jeans included.
You really don’t need to bathe every day unless you are just naturally smelly. (In which case, please bathe). Take 3-5 minute showers when possible. No more of that “thinking about your life” garbage. Figure out your life, the world, anything else at a time when you are wasting fewer natural resources.
If you cannot be separated from your daily shower, opt for two part showers. Turn the water off while you are scrubbing or shaving to cut down on water loss.
Be sure to turn the water OFF while brushing your teeth or washing your face. No jokes. Do it.
Have a leaky faucet, toilet, shower, or other water applicance? Report the problem ASAP to Facilities Services. According to the EPA, 10,000 gallons of water are wasted by leaks in homes every year. That’s enough to fill up a backyard swimming pool!
To use even less water, take advantage of the low-flow toilets in the Jaeger Athletic Center and at Farmhouse. Flush upwards for less water and downwards for a more heavy duty flush. In Farmhouse use the small button for small flushes and the big button for big flushes!
Those 98 other problems involve climate change, deforestation, and saving dolphins.
There are countless things you can do daily/weekly/annually/whenever to reduce campus’ carbon footprint! For more ideas visit the campus’ Sustainability Website at http://www.gettysburg.edu/about/sustainability/!