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Take Action: Energy and Climate

Monday, Feb. 3, 2014

Reduce the amount of time you spend indoors. Not only will you be using less electricity, you will be harnessing natural light to read a book, breathe in fresh air for walking meetings, and utilizing social energy with friends. Lights, air conditioning/ heat, computers and other appliances will be turned off, unplugged, and not in use; thus, avoiding carbon emissions from your day. Faculty and staff: Record your “workout” minutes for the USF vs SCU Fitness & Wellness Challenge!

Whether it’s repurposing your shirts into a skirt, swapping clothes with friends, or going thrift shopping, reuse fabrics and apparel that already exist. To make one t-shirt, according to a video from World Wildlife Fund and National Geographic, takes approximately 713.26 gallons of water. The textile industry as a whole uses one trillion kilowatt hours, which is equal to producing the amount of carbon dioxide from 135 million passenger vehicles in one year.* Get some inspiration from this year’s Eco-Fashion Show! There are a lot of garments in circulation; we do not need to create a demand for more.

We should also keep our phones for an extended amount of time and not worry too much about keeping up with the latest model. This marketing strategy, known as perceived obsolescence, entices customers to buy a newer version of a product, in spite of the fact that the current one is sufficiently working. The average lifespan of a phone is 1.5 to 2.5 years….Challenge yourself to keep your phone one month longer, or 6 months, or how about a year?

In addition to the energy and monetary cost of extracting materials to make cell phones, the disposal of mobile devices can have a detrimental impact to our natural environment, especially if the destination is a landfill. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that recycling about a million cell phones reduces the amount of greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to taking 33 cars off the road for a year.** Phone carriers like Verizon Wireless and AT&T have recycle programs where you can trade in your old-to-you cell phone or device into retail stores or mail it with a pre-paid label.

Respect the facts about climate change. Discover what else you can do to curb climate change and learn more about the sources of greenhouse gas emissions and local renewable energy sources.


*Changing Your Clothes: Apparel End of Life
**Look at more statistics about the environmental costs and benefits of cell phones.

Tags: Climate Neutrality, Energy, Take Action



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