Recycling is great, and we want you to do it. But “reducing” and “reusing” is better!
Drop off up to 10 pairs of old athletic shoes at any Nike store to support Nike’s Reuse-A-Shoe program, in which they use the shoe’s outsole to make track surfaces, gym tiles, and playground surfacing; the inner foam to make cushioning for outdoor basketball and tennis courts; and the fabric upper to create cushioning pads for indoor synthetic courts. In Maryland, the Nike stores at Prime outlets in Hagerstown and Perryville accept old athletic shoes; in Virginia, Nike stores at Premium Outlets in Leesburg and Potomac Mills Mall in Prince William are drop-off locations.
Bring your own reusable cup or mug to the office or cafeteria. If you have to use a disposable cup, avoid Styrofoam. Styrofoam waste takes up 25-30% of America’s landfill space, and one cup takes 500 years to “dissolve.”
Use two-sided printing whenever possible. For drafts that you need in paper copy, print on the unused side of paper that you were going to throw away (second-use paper).
Faculty, post your syllabus on Canvas. Students, don’t print the syllabus (but please read it!).
Turn off the tap while brushing your teeth.
Take shorter showers.
Carry a cup with you and get water from the tap or a water fountain. In 2007 an estimated 17 million barrels of oil were used to produce the 8.8 billion gallons of bottled water that Americans drank. For each gallon of water that is bottled, two gallons of water are used in processing. (And less than 20% of plastic bottles are recycled).
Become a “locavore!” Buy and eat local and seasonal food (local is the new organic).
Eat less feedlot beef. If you eat meat, cut back a bit and buy it from a local, sustainable farm. Meat production from factory farms uses huge amounts of water, grain, and land and leads to soil, water, and air pollution.
Eat eco-friendly seafood. You can download a pocket guide from the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s “A Consumer’s Guide to Sustainable Seafood”.