With blue recycling bins in every office and classroom, as well as all public locations with a trash can, recycling at Houghton has never been easier. There are a few important things to know about recycling at Houghton:
- Blue bins = recycling; all others = trash: The only exceptions are the green and white hexagonal recycling bins located in some of the main hallways and high traffic areas.
- Everything recyclable can go in the blue bins: Casella (Houghton’s waste management company) uses “zero-sort recycling”, so everything gets collected together and is later separated at Casella’s industrial sorting facility (see here for a cool video of this process). A list of Casella-accepted recycling may be found below.
- Please empty and rinse it: Dirty bottles make a mess, and flat soda is not recyclable.
Recyclable items include:
- All rigid plastics, such as bottles, jugs, tubs, and lids
- Mixed paper (including mail, magazines, envelopes, and office paper)
- All cardboard (except wax-coated)
- Glass bottles and jars
- Aluminum and steel cans, bottles, and foil
The following items are NOT recyclable at Houghton:
- Plastic bags
- Scrap metal
- Electronic waste
- Plastic-lined paper items (e.g. waxed coffee cups)
The Highlander’s Shop recycles a variety of items through Cartridges for Kids, including cell phones, gps devices, ipods/ipads, DVD’s, inkjet and laser cartridges, video games and consoles, digital cameras, laptops, tablets, and e-readers.
The Paper-Less Commitment is a voluntary initiative sponsored by the Sustainability Office that provides employees with a fun and easy way to collectively reduce the amount of paper we use. The premise behind the Paper-Less Commitment is simple—we aim to reduce our overall paper usage by recognizing employees who intentionally act on specific paper reduction strategies and by making it easy for others to follow their example. Certified Paper-Less offices will benefit from cost savings, public recognition, a Paper-Less decal to proudly display on their door, and entry into a drawing for a JAVA gift card.
College entities may participate as offices, academic departments, or as individual faculty/staff members. To receive Paper-Less certification, fill out the commitment form below and return it electronically to email@example.com. All employees may complete sections B. or C. for individual certification. Office/Department managers should fill in section A. to certify their office/department, and may additionally choose to complete section B. or C. for personal certification.
In order to receive certification, individuals/offices must meet or commit to all listed criteria for their category unless that criteria does not apply or is impossible to meet (see FAQ below). The goals of the Paper-Less Commitment are to encourage positive, active participation in reducing our paper usage and to encourage employees to develop creative, personal strategies for achieving this goal. We are not interested in being sticklers for details, so feel free to use your own judgment with the guidelines. Our hope is that this commitment will promote long-term stewardship habits with regards to our use of paper.
Sample Goals (for ideas):
- We aim to reduce the number of pages printed on our department copier by 20% during spring 2014.
- We aim to reduce our use of white copy paper by 15% during calendar year 2014.
- We plan to switch X PROCESS over to an electronic version before the start of the fall 2014 semester.
- We plan to collect used, single-sided sheets of paper and reuse them for printing.
- When possible, I intend to condense handouts to ½ page size.
Frequently Asked Questions:
- What if a given criteria does not apply? If a criteria does not apply, please note this in your email when submitting the commitment.
- What if a given criteria is completely impossible? If a criteria is impossible to meet, please make an effort to offer an alternative commitment and note this in your email when submitting your commitment. One example could be a faculty member who does not assign papers and for whom electronic tests are not possible given the nature of the discipline. In such a case, please feel free to offer an alternative commitment, such as accepting homework on used paper, reducing handouts, or taking notes electronically during meetings.
- Who’s going to check up to make sure I’m fulfilling my commitment? No one. This is a voluntary commitment designed to enourage intentional efforts to reduce paper usage. The Sustainability Office may check in with you to assess the effectiveness of the program, but the certification is based on an honor system. If you find that you can’t meet your commitment, just let us know what you did accomplish and we’ll celebrate that! The goal is simply to reduce.
- What if I need help identifying a paper reduction goal? Just let us know–we’d be glad to help you identify a goal that is meaningful and achievable.
- How do I find out past paper usage for my office/department? The Sustainability Office has estimates for past paper usage for all offices/departments on campus. Just let us know and we’d be glad to give you that information.
Please free to contact the Sustainability Office with more questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sustainable Laundry Tips
Here are a few tips on how to conserve water and energy, while still getting clean clothes. Reducing our water and energy consumption is not only good stewardship, but also saves money and reduces our impact on God’s creation.
- Only wash dirty clothes–if it’s not dirty and doesn’t stink, try wearing it again
- Use cold water settings with the washing machines
- Always wash a full load–this not only saves energy & water, but also leads to cleaner clothes
- Use less detergent–most detergent bottles recommend using more than is necessary
- Clean the lint filter before drying
- Only dry as long as necessary
- Air dry your clothes on a drying rack