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What You Can Do to Promote Sustainability?

Sustainability Pledge

I pledge my support to the University's effort to become more sustainable. I pledge also to incorporate the ideals of environmental sustainability in my own, daily life; to live out the practices that strive for energy efficiency, water conservation, pollution and litter prevention, global warming prevention, and social justice. I make this pledge with the hope that the needs of our generation may be met without compromising the abilility of future generations to meet their needs.

The Little Things That Add Up

  • Turn off lights, computers, TVs, radios and appliances
  • Lower your thermostat in winter, raise it in the summer
  • Set the refrigerator between 38°F and 42°F, the freezer between O°F and 5°F.
  • Take shorter showers, shut off water during brushing, add a brick to your toilet tank
  • Use cold water for washing clothes, wash only full loads and use a minimum amount of detergent
  • Avoid pesticide and fertilizer use
  • Avoid watering the lawn
  • Compost plant material
  • Use natural landscaping and native plants
  • Reduce, Reuse & Recycle in that order
  • Consider buying in bulk sizes and refillable containers
  • Buy local products such as food
  • Limit the amount of meat that you consume
  • Consolidate your vehicle trips
  • Carpool
  • Take public transportation, walk or ride a bike
  • Drive and accelerate slower
  • Turn off you engine when idling more than 10 seconds (http://oee.rncan.gc.ca/idling/tool_kit/idling_quiz.cfm)
  • Keep your tires inflated to the correct pressure
  • Bring a canvas bag to the grocery store
  • Object to overpackaged items
  • Use washable utensils, plates, glasses and cups
  • Use cloth not paper napkins
  • Do double-sided copying
  • Use scrap paper
  • Stop junk mail (http://www.obviously.com/junkmail/)
  • Use electronic communication rather than hard copies
  • When you go to make that next purchase ask the question: do I really need this?

The Bigger Picture

  • In Pennsylvania select your electric utility based on renewable energy (http://www.puc.state.pa.us/utilitychoice/)
  • Select you vehicle with gas mileage in mind (http://www.fueleconomy.gov/); avoid accessories that create drag or add significant weight; avoid 4-wheel drive vehicles if possible
  • Insulate your home
  • Buy energy efficient appliances (look for the Energy Star guide; http://www.energystar.gov/)
  • Ask the purchasing department at work or school about their policies regarding sustainability
  • Ask your local school district about efforts to infuse sustainability across the curriculum and throughout their practices
  • Consider a composting toilet
  • Purchase a higher efficiency furnace, hot water heater

Write to Your Elected Representatives for their Support for:

  • Renewable energy (solar, wind, hydro etc.)
  • Raising the CAFÉ (fuel) standards on vehicles
  • Tax incentives for environmentally sensible practices
  • Reducing greenhouse gas emissions
  • Reducing packaging
  • Cradle to cradle laws
  • Education for sustainability

Calculate your Ecological Footprint (http://www.myfootprint.org/) and take steps to reduce it.