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 What Can I Do?

Posted on Wednesday, Mar. 2, 2011

One proactive SCU employee, frustrated that lights in a conference room were consistently left on, helped reduce the department's energy use by placing signs to remind coworkers to turn off the light when they left the room. She reported a noticeable improvement--the simple note helped prompt peers to flip the light switch. Do the same for common areas, conference rooms, and lounges to help conserve energy on campus. The note reads: "Do you really need that light? Please help us fulfill the University's sustainability mission by conserving energy whenever possible. Thank you!"

Recycling requires energy. Repurposing is an age-old tradition, where old items are used in new ways. Not only does repurposing save money, but it can also lead to great crafts and household ideas, some from unexpected items. Think about reusing items in different ways before chucking them in a recycling bin.

Recycle old light bulbs before upgrading to compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFL's). Double-check if the bulb's company will accept burnt-out bulbs. If not, carefully package the old light bulb to prevent breakage and find a nearby recycling center that will accept old light bulbs.

Respect yourself, your roommate, and the Earth by educating yourself on how to clean up broken CFLs. While CFLs are amazingly efficient, they contain a small amount of mercury and have specific clean up and disposal steps recommended by the EPA. For information on how to clean up a broken CFL, go to Earth 911's page on CFL clean up and then use their database to find a recycling center that accepts CFL bulbs.

By Molly Kagel, '11, Sustainability Intern.

Tags: Energy, Take Action, Waste Diversion