By UW Sustainability | Sep 30, 2015

The UW Sustainability mascot, Sqwatch, has a love of the environment so deep his heart is green (and he's clearly got a passion for purple and gold). As a sasquatch, Sqwatch is well versed in leaving now trace and making sure his impact on the environment is minimal. Even a bigfoot can have a small environmental footprint, and Sqwatch is here to help spread the knowledge to the UW community. We'll be letting you in on some of Sqwatch's Secrets every week, providing easy tips to reduce your impact and leave a lighter footprint.

Americans spend an average of $95 per day (excluding bills), according to a Gallup poll – that’s over $34,000 per year! There’s an environmental cost for almost anything you buy, so much so that 42 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions are associated with the energy used to produce, process, transport, and dispose of our food and goods.

Think twice before you buy:

  • Ask yourself if you really need it – or if a simple repair could make something old look good as new again.
  • If you don’t use something frequently, don’t buy it. Borrow, rent, or share items instead.

By reducing you role as consumer, you not only save money, but also reduce your environmental impact. Learn about greenhouse gas emissions over a product’s life cycle and ways to reduce your carbon footprint.

If you’re still not convinced, at least keep an eye out for product’s that are designed with the environment in mind. Companies can create products that have as little environmental impact as possible. Click here to learn ways of measuring how “Green” a product is.

Did you know? During WWI most clothing was repaired, mended, or tailored to fit other family members, or recycled within homes as rags or quilts. The government’s conservation campaign, “Make economy fashionable lest it become obligatory” became a way of life for most Americans, resulting in about 10 percent reduction in the production of trash. Unfortunately, the spirit of consumerism didn’t last long.  By the mid-1920s and throughout WWII, the production and consumption of many household goods grew by 10 to 15 percent, continuing to expand to this day.