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Sustainable Living When Studying and Working From Home

Much of the college is operating remotely, which has resulted in a shift in lifestyles. The Student Government Association’s Sustainability Committee has put together the following to help students, faculty and staff, as well as their families practice more mindful living in these trying times.

Waste Reduction

  • Check your municipalities recycling guidelines; recycling varies by location.
  • Be conscious when purchasing – How was it made? What is it made of? How long will it last? How will it be reused, donated, recycled or disposed?
  • Donate, give away, gift, etc. unused items in your household instead of throwing them away; there is no away, items have to go somewhere…
  • Use public resources, such as the library, to get books and movies instead of buying them.
  • Avoid single-use items. Carry your own set of reusable utensils, reusable water bottle, cloth napkins, etc.
  • Don’t leave the water running when you are not actively using it.

Recycling Reminders and Tips

  • Look for special recycling programs (razors, plastic film, makeup, etc.) in your community.
  • Sign up for free special recycling programs through TerraCycle®.
  • Set up a recycling bin in your home so that you do not have to sort through your trash for recycled goods.

Saving Paper

  • Avoiding printing as whenever possible. When you must print, use functions such as double-sided printing, eco-mode, or print in black & white only.
  • Purchase recycled paper made from post-consumer waste.
  • Use scrap paper or old/leftover notebooks and journals for notes.
  • If possible, take notes on an electronic device.
  • For zero waste school supplies, we recommend Wisdom Supply Co.

Saving Energy

  • Weatherize your home. Use the subsidies and incentives available to you to improve the energy efficiency of your house.
  • Bundle up in the winter. Wear sweaters indoors, to use less heat.
  • Set your thermostat to an efficient temperature/cycle
  • Use fans instead of air conditioning. As much as you can, use less air conditioning.
  • Unplug all any appliance not in use. Simply turning appliances “off” does not stop power use; they should be unplugged.
  • Use natural light from a window instead of turning the lights on
  • Turn off any lights when you leave a room or office

Reducing Kitchen Waste & Food Miles

  • Eat Less Meat. Of all the foods, meat has the highest ecological footprint. The less meat you eat, the better off you leave the planet.
  • Eat Seasonal. Out-of-season foods usually come from far-away places and have larger food miles attached to them. Whenever you can, buy from Farmers Markets, or join a CSA (Community Support Agriculture) in your area. This is a good way to ensure you are eating both locally and seasonally.
  • Grow something. Try to grow at least some of your food—even if it’s just herbs.
  • Eliminate single-use utensils, paper towels, plastic bags and other commonly used items. Opt for reusable items instead.
  • Compost food scraps. Food waste which ends up in a landfill releases methane gas which is 23x more potent than carbon dioxide, contributing further to the warming of our planet. Learn how to compost at home.
  • Cook instead of ordering food. If ordering out, request your food to not come in Styrofoam.
  • Use leftover fruit and vegetable scraps in smoothies, sauces and soups.
  • Repurpose glass containers and jars.

Reducing Bathroom Waste

  • Purchase recycled toilet paper or invest in a bidet.
  • Use reusable cotton rounds.
  • DIY face masks or cleansers, or use a facial cleansing bar.
  • Use shampoo and conditioning bars.
  • Use a menstrual cup or reusable pads.
  • Take shorter showers.


  • Opt to walk or bike, instead of taking the car, to travel locally.
  • Use public transportation whenever possible.
  • Use stairs rather than elevators when physically able.
  • Do not use automatic entry/exit doors unless physically necessary.

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