The average American uses nearly 100 gallons of water a day, for drinking, washing and more. Demand for water continues to grow with the population, and climate change means water sources are subject to droughts and other uncertainties. Each of us can take small steps which add up to big water savings over time.
You’re standing in front of three large bins (recycle, compost, and trash), trying to figure out where exactly to throw away a milk carton. You're pretty sure it shouldn't go in the compost, but you're not sure if it should be recycled. Should you throw it in the landfill bin just to be safe?
Deciding what to recycle can be tricky – we’ve all been there. Luckily, Sqwatch is here to help.
We're lucky in Seattle to have city-wide composting, which makes it easy to keep food scraps out of the landfill. Choosing compost instead of the landfill bin reduces methane emissions and allows for the material to be re-used to increase soil nutrients. However, the city still sends about 100,000 tons of waste to the landfill each year which could be composted.
You already know that cutting down on purchasing helps the environment, but sometimes you can't help it. In those cases, where you decide to shop can have a major impact on your local economy and the environment.
Buying locally helps reduce processing, packaging and transportation waste – all leading to less pollution. Plus, local businesses put more of that money back into the local economy.
The holiday break is just around the corner and many of us are looking forward to taking some well-deserved time off campus. But before you rush off to relax and recharge, remember to turn items off in your office to save energy while you're gone. Power down your office before you leave to power down yourself!
A few ways to save energy during holiday vacations:
Cars and trucks on the road lead to air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. When you can, instead of driving choose safer, cleaner, and more efficient transportation options.
Meetings and paper go hand in hand – whether it’s passing out printed agendas or meeting notes. But, what if there was a way to transform the way meetings are conducted and at the same time, reduce the constant use of paper?
The best way is by replacing paper handouts with e-documents. Technology is everywhere! Get out your laptops, iPads, iPhones, or Android devices. Share agendas and other documents electronically before the meeting instead of printing them out.
You can find more tips on the Green Office resources page.
Food for thought: up to 40% of all food produced in the U.S. is thrown away, according to the EPA. That not only wastes food, but it also wastes all the resources that were used for growing, manufacturing, and transporting the food. Keeping food waste to a minimum helps reduce pollution at every step in the chain.
Here are some simple tips to keep food out of the compost:
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 no trace and making sure his impact on the environment is minimal.
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.