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Be green during Earth Week - and beyond

April 16, 2014

Recycling programs. Public transit. On-campus bike rentals. Colorado State University makes it easy for students, staff and faculty to go "green."

It’s why CSU achieves top scores in the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Reporting System – or STARS – a national survey that measures sustainability efforts at universities and colleges.
But we can always do more - especially during CSU Earth Week.

Here are some things you can do at home and on campus to live greener:

  1. Ditch the disposable coffee cups and water bottles
    The average American consumes 167 plastic bottles of water each year but we recycle less than half of them. Making those bottles requires the use the millions of barrels of crude oil. Invest in resuable mugs and bottles instead.
     
  2. Beware of energy vampires.
    Even when you aren’t watching TV, toasting bread or brewing coffee, these everyday appliances consume electricity.  They are often called “energy vampires” because they still suck power even when they are not in use (and are left plugged in.) The average American household spends $100 a year to power devices while they are in standby mode, according to the Energy Star program.
     
  3. Paper or plastic?
    Neither. Use canvas or reusable bags.
    The world uses millions of plastic grocery bags each year. Some groups even claim billions.  Either way, it’s a lot and not many – less than 20 percent - are recycled. These bags can take up to 1,000 year to decompose in a landfill.  Paper bags can be recycled but most are thrown away.
    Rather than create more waste why not BYOB – bring your own bags?
     
  4. Attend the CSU Earth Day Festival.
    This is a good place to connect with campus and local sustainability organizations and learn more about how CSU and your community can help you live greener (and save green). The event runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Tuesday, April 22 at The Trees (corner of Plum and Meridian.)
     
  5. Turn off the lights – at home and on campus.
    Empty rooms love the dark so turn off the lights when you leave a room. This might seem more applicable to your home but turning off lights in unoccupied campus classrooms, conference rooms, bathrooms and offices helps conserve energy and save money.

To learn more about sustainability at CSU, go to http://www.green.colostate.edu and http://www.fm.colostate.edu/sustain .