BLUE + GOLD = GREEN
Living GREEN in Augustana College Housing
The Office of Residential Life supports the college's efforts to become sustainable. Take a look at some of the easy ways you can join the effort as a residential student. For more information, visit the Sustainability at Augustana webpage.
What is Sustainability?
Sustainability can be defined as "meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs." As the world has become increasingly polluted and toxic, the charge to change this alarming trend must start now.
We CAN Make a Difference!
Several years ago, the first-year class reading selection was, "The Tipping Point," by Malcolm Gladwell. It speaks to that "magic moment, when an idea, trend, or social behavior crosses a threshold, tips, and then spreads like wildfire." Many can sense that the tipping point in regard to sustainable living is near. The more who understand and embrace the need for change the sooner we will begin to enjoy a healthier, less toxic environment for ourselves and future generations. Part of the residential living experience focuses on good citizenship; sustainability efforts definitely fall within this category!
So Maybe You Don't Want to Save the Planet; There's Still Good Reasons to Live Sustainably
- Saving energy saves money! This can result in lower costs (think lower heating/cooling bills, no shipping costs, even lower college housing rates to mention just a few).
- Saving energy results in reduced carbon dioxide emissions, pollution, and a reduction in our impact upon global climate change. It means cleaner air and water for us and future generations.
- Green living is easy and it just plain feels good to do the right thing!
Ways to Save Energy in Campus Housing and Beyond
- Avoid bottled water. Try using a "Brita" pitcher or utilizing the new campus gooseneck faucets installed on selected water fountains to fill your personal water bottles.
- Always purchase Energy-Star labeled appliances and products.
- Turn off your computer at night and use the stand-by or "sleep mode" features.
- Don't use a screen saver. Modern monitors don't need them.
- Avoid printing and when necessary, print on both sides of the page.
- Unplug cell-phone chargers and hair dryers when not in use.
- Plug appliances that have phantom loads (TVs, DVD/VHS players, computers, printers, stereos, CD players, and video game systems) into a power strip and switch it off when appliances aren't in use.
- Turn off the lights when you leave your room.
- Do your laundry during off-peak hours (generally these are mornings and evenings after 7:00 p.m.). Air-dry laundry when possible.
- Carpool or better yet, walk, bike or take MetroLink, the Quad Cities public bus system. When you run errands, consolidate trips.
- Keep your car well-maintained, which includes proper tire inflation. Avoid using air conditioning.
Water Conservation Tips
- Turn the water faucet off while brushing, shaving and washing dishes
- Always wash clothes in a full load and use about half the suggested amount of detergent. Use biodegradable laundry products.
- Keep showers short-can you take one in three minutes?
- Report "running" toilets and leaky faucets to Facilities Services. Don't assume that someone else has already reported the problem. You can report this online from our Work Requests page.
Green Cleaning Suggestions
Many commercial cleaning products contain toxic substances that can affect your health, the health of others, and ultimately the environment. Whenever possible, use ecologically friendly materials when cleaning. Look for the "green seal" certification for environmental responsibility.
Reduce and Reuse
It's always best to reduce or reuse waste when possible. Consider repairing rather than replacing broken or worn items and avoid disposable, single-use items. Buy in bulk, avoid excessive packaging (do you really need to put your fruit in a plastic bag at the grocery store?), and reuse paper and envelopes as scratch paper. Donate unwanted items, use reusable mugs and shopping bags, and buy recycled whenever possible.
Recycling Augustana Style
Augustana's recycling program is coordinated through Eagle enterprises; collection is handled by dedicated Augustana Facilities Services employees. Each resident is provided with a recycling waste bin that can be conveniently dumped into the clearly-marked recycling containers located in the lobby areas of each residence hall.
To keep our recycling program running smoothly, please keep the following guidelines in mind:
OK to Recycle
- Newspapers, newspaper inserts and magazines. Staples are OK, too.
- Books: hardcover and paperback
- Office paper, including computer paper, notebook pages, envelopes (even those with the plastic windows)
- Cardboard (plain, unwaxed). This must be clean with no food waste (i.e. pizza boxes). Flattened boxes can be placed near the recycling bins.
- Aluminum cans and clean aluminum foil
- Rinsed steel or tin cans (it's OK to leave the labels on)
- Light steel, which includes metal coat hangers
- Clean plastics #1 - #7.
- Plastic bags, including grocery/retail bags, stretch film, and bubble wrap
- Rinsed glass food and beverage containers
Not OK to Recycle
- Construction paper, wrapping paper tissue paper, paper towels or tissues
- Waxed-lined, cardboard containers like juice and milk cartons, disposable dishes and cups
- Soiled paper or cardboard (pizza boxes, etc.)
- Pyrex, ceramics, drinking glasses, mirrors, window glass, or broken glass
Annual May Donation Drive
At the end of the academic year, the Office of Residential Life sponsors a multi-faceted donation drive that benefits local charities. Furniture and appliances are donated to Bethany Home for Children. Clothing and miscellaneous items are earmarked for the Salvation Army and non-perishable food goes to our local food pantry, River Bend. Residents will receive a detailed email from the Office of Residential Life in early May about the program. For more information, you can contact the Office of Residential Life at any time.
Interesting Facts to Consider
- U.S. residents and businesses produce over 250 tons of waste per year-that's 4.6 pounds of waste per person per day.
- Recycling one ton of paper saves 17 trees, over 80 gallons of oil, 4100 kilowatts of energy, 3.2 cubic yards of landfill space, and 60 pounds of air pollution.
- Fresh water, like many other resources on this plant is NOT infinite. Sustainability focuses on adopting habits that use water in renewable quantities and the preservation of water quality. Bottled water is:
- 1000 - 8000 more expensive than tap water
- Tested less often, which actually makes it potentially less healthy than tap water
- Comes in plastic bottles that aren't eco-friendly
- Often are just tap water than has been bottled. Why pay extra?
- Shipping water from around the world takes an enormous amount of energy
Information for portions of this document was obtained from Indiana University and the University of California at Irvine.