Use China and Flatware for Catered Events - Catered events in the Student Center and the Casey Building are served on china, free of charge. So choose one of these buildings to hold your event. All other locations on campus are given disposable ware, unless china is ordered at the additional cost of $3.50 per person ($1.50 per person at Campion Ballroom). These charges pay for transportation and washing.
Print and Copy on Both Sides - Make double-sided printing a habit and reduce your paper use and waste by 50%. If you do not have a duplex printer you can manually print on both sides by printing all the odd numbered pages then putting these sheets back into the printer and printing the even numbered pages. For help, contact the Help Desk x5571. Reuse the blank side of already printed paper (that is not confidential). You can print draft and internal documents on the blank side. Or use the blank side as scratch paper. The Life of Paper
Reduce Lunch Waste -
When bringing your own lunch, bring each food item in a reusable container. Reusablebags.com sells a Wrap-N-Mat for sandwiches, bamboo utensil set in an attractive fabric pouch, a lightweight steel food carrier and aluminum boxes with snap-on lids.
When eating out, either chose a restaurant where your meal is served on a reusable plate/bowl with reusable utensils or, if getting food to go, bring your own reusable container. For example, when eating at the Cherry St. market, choose a ceramic plate and metal utensils. Or when getting food from Cherry St. to go, transfer the food you purchase to your own food storage container.
Reduce Paper Towel Waste - Use one paper towel to dry hands at a public restroom. Even better is to wipe your hands on your pants or run your hands through your hair. At home, use a rag or sponge in your kitchen for cleaning instead of paper towels, both are washable and reusable.
Carry Your Own Beverage Container – Water drinkers can carry their filtered water from the home or office in attractive, lightweight steel and aluminum bottles instead of plastic.
- Bon Appetit is giving a generous 20 cent discount on all hot drinks and fountain soda of any size when you bring your own reusable mug. Hot drinks include espresso drinks, tea and chai, in addition to the traditional drip coffee and fountain soda.
- Use the coffee waste calculator to learn how many pounds of cups you send to the landfill annually.
- Learn the truth about bottled water.
Choose to Reuse - When you need to buy something, look for it used first and new second. Buying used supports local non-profits and reduces the demand on natural resources to manufacture goods. Guide to Seattle's thrift stores. Guide to Seattle's clothing and furniture consignment stores. BarterBee is a website where you can turn in your old games, movies and music for points and use those points to buy other games, movies and music that other people no longer want.
Bring Cloth Bags to the Store - Using your own cloth bag instead of plastic or paper bags reduces carbon dioxide emissions, energy consumption, litter and pollution. Learn more: Paper vs Plastic, Environmental Effects of Plastic Bags. Buy a sturdy, reusable bag from a thrift store, a cloth bag from your grocery store or buy a fashionable and functional bag online. Bringing your own bags to the grocery store will reduce your carbon-dioxide emissions by about 17 pounds of a year.
Buy Goods with Minimal, Reusable or Recyclable Packaging - Less packaging could reduce your garbage by about 10% and your carbon dioxide output by up to 1,200 pounds per year. About 9% of the cost of a box of cereal is for the cereal - the other 91% of the cost is for the package and advertising. Look for single layers and materials in packaging, for example, choose a plain paperboard box instead of molded plastic. Buy the largest size that is practical, if you'll use the product and have storage space as the economy size uses less packaging than multiples of the small size.
Pass on the Paper - Americans send about 43 million tons of paper products to landfills every year. Try some simple switches, such as using cloth napkins at home, cleaning with a rag or sponge instead of paper towels, and using a ceramic plate instead of paper plate. Kick the one-time disposable habit and replace it with a many-times reusable habit.
Email a Birthday or Holiday Card - Instead of mailing a card made from virgin paper for birthdays and holidays, email an interactive card with music. Some of the most popular free electronic card web sites are 123, Hallmark and Regards.
Donate Unwanted Stuff - If you have unwanted items in your department, complete a work order so that the Facilities crew can pick them up. Donate clothing, household items and furniture in good condition to a thrift store when you are ready to upgrade. Guide to Seattle's thrift stores.
Swap Your Paperback Books - PaperBackSwap is a national paperback book exchange club
Buy Rechargeable Batteries - Not only do you end up spend less buying rechargeable batteries, you also reduce waste.
Wrapping Gifts - Make the gift, not the packaging, the most important thing. Use unique and reusable wrapping that will be remembered like the photos from last year's calendar or an old poster. Click here for other ideas.
Reduce Junk Mail Waste - Go to the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse to learn how to have your work and home address removed from mailing lists. To have former employees removed from mailing lists, sign up for the EcoLogical Mail Coalition's FREE service. The EcoLogical Mail Coalition will provide this information to direct mailers, so those names can be removed from their mailing lists.
Buy a Water Filter Instead of Bottled Water- Scientific studies show that bottled water is no safer than tap water, and is often less safe, sometimes containing high concentrations of toxins like arsenic and mercury. 1.5 million barrels of oil in the US alone are used to make water bottles, 86% of which are land filled or incinerated. Bottled water is transported long distances burning massive quantities of gasoline and green house gases.
Recycle Cans, Bottles and Paper -
- About 50% of the aluminum cans are recycled each year. The other 50% of cans not recycled waste about 13 billion gallons of oil. Recycling one aluminum can saves enough energy to operate a TV for 3 hours.
- For every ton of paper recycled, 60 pounds of pollution is not emitted into the air and 17 trees are not cut. Reach for the recycling bin instead of the garbage when getting rid of waste.
- Every day 40 million plastic bottles are thrown away or became litter; this is unfortunate because American plastic recyclers need these bottles.
Learn how to recycle more materials on campus here.