Each and every member of the campus community whether student, faculty, or staff can make a difference through small adoptions of more sustainable practices. These changes not only benefit the university, but the individual and greater community as a whole.

Sustainable Practices Checklist

Here are some questions that will help kick start your participation in making a smart choice in your daily on-campus setting.

Do I use Blackboard to post my syllabus, and post assignments and study tools online?

Do I have students submit homework and essays electronically when possible?

Are recycling bins available in the room where events are happening? If you are interested in hosting an event as a Zero-Waste Event, please contact the Office of Sustainability.

Are we purchasing recycled and/or compostable dinnerware(?) and not purchasing Styrofoam?

Are we serving in recyclable containers?

Are we minimizing waste by buying and serving in bulk vs. individual containers (platter of sandwich vs. box lunch, one large container of creamer vs. individual packets, etc.)?

Are giveaways or promotional items something that people will actually use?

Do I turn off my computer and lights every night or when I am gone for a long period of time?

Have I talked with colleagues about turning off lights and computers?

If replacing personal light bulbs, do I use compact fluorescent light for task lighting?

Have I enabled energy-saving features on my computer and disabled the screen saver?

Do I turn it off? Computers, monitors, speakers, copiers and printers can be turned off at the end of the day, on weekends and during extended breaks. Other devices, such as lights, fans or radios should be switched off after each use.

Do I unplug coffeemakers, shredders, fans and chargers when not in use? Even when "off" these draw electricity.

Have I invested in a "smart" power strip that automatically turns off equipment when I am gone, reducing phantom power or vampire energy loss (energy used in stand-by mode)?

Have I inquired with my building coordinator about installing motion detectors in break areas or shared spaces that are often unoccupied?

Do I let the natural light in and turn off overhead lights whenever possible?

Do I have a plant or two for my office? The benefits to your mood and health are worth the time it takes to water the plant.

Are all the printers printing two-sided?

Am I avoid printing handouts for meetings, using PowerPoints and posting them online for future reference instead?

Are brochures, etc. printed on recycled-content paper?

Is my department buying recycled products?

Has my office formed a "green team" to take action to reduce waste and increase recycling?

Are we buying reusable materials as opposed to disposable materials?

Have we invested in a reusable instead of disposable coffee cups and/or water bottles?

Does everyone have their at-desk recycle containers?

Are there locations where recycling bins are needed? Please contact the Office of Sustainability/Recycling to inquire about bins.

Does everyone know where to find the do's and don'ts of recycling?

Are computers and laser/ink cartridges being recycled?

Do we recycle phone books and don't reorder, using electronic directories instead?

Do I reuse scrap paper for notes or second-side printing?

Do I turn off lab equipment when not in use? Including centrifuges, water baths, balances, ovens, etc.

Does the sash of the fume hood get closed completely whenever it is not in use?

Do I turn off lights in unoccupied rooms?

Do I activate sleep mode on my computer and data?

During off hours, when the lab in unoccupied do I lower the temperature during the winter and raise the temperature during the summer?

Do I use task lighting versus overhead lighten whenever possible?

Do I evaluate potential freezers on their longevity and their absolute energy use before purchasing them?

Is the storage space labeled clearly for easy access and retrieval to minimize the time doors are left open searching and gathering contents?

Do I check the freezer door seals regularly?

Is my freezer placed in a cooler location, away from warmer areas or sunlight?

Do I minimize frost buildup and clear defrosters regularly?

Does my lab clear out any unneeded materials to prevent the purchase of new unnecessary freezers?

Does my lab recycle?

Are there locations where recycling bins are needed? Please contact the Office of Sustainability/Recycling to inquire about bins.