Sustainability at Work
Integrate Sustainability Into Your Classes
Sustainability is about finding new ways for our society to operate to reach the goals or environmental, economic and social justice for the health and security of our generation and generations to come. Because of the breadth of these issues, every academic discipline must be engaged in reshaping many aspects of our communities. Take the opportunity to show your students how your discipline relates to sustainability. Consider how your lessons relate to the challenges associated with having a growing population on a planet with finite resources.
Develop Sustainability Guidelines
Many people need to learn about sustainability and need guidance to be more sustainable. Develop guidelines for your department that describe specific sustainability practices that should be followed. Think of all of the activities your department is involved in when developing the guidelines.
When selecting equipment and products, select those that minimize water and energy use and generate the minimum amount of waste products, including wastewater. When contracting services, select vendors who have incorporated sustainability into the services they provide, including the products they use and the means by which they manage waste products resulting from their services.
Think About Your Influence
You may have many opportunities at your workplace to reduce consumption of materials. For example, if your work in a retail store and a customer is buying a pair of socks, ask them if they need a bag instead of automatically giving them one. If you work in an office and want to send a memo or newsletter, do it electronically instead of using paper. Thank of all the wasteful practices in your workplace and act to correct them.
Be a Role Model
Students learn from the content of lectures, from your behaviors and from their surroundings. Demonstrate sustainable behavior in class by accepting electronic assignments, encouraging recycling, using less paper, etc. Help make the University of Northern Colorado a sustainable campus by doing your part and encouraging others to do theirs.
Use Post Consumer Content Paper
Purchase at least 30% post consumer content paper for all of your office needs. 100% post consumer paper is readily available and is of high quality. Ensure all department brochures, posters, and other printing projects are on 100% post consumer paper.
Use the Recycling Bins
Recycling bins should be in every building on campus but they might not be in the best locations. You know the habits and patterns of your coworkers best. If you see that a recycling bin would be more effective in another location, please work with the recycling crew to have it relocated.
Purchase Recycled Materials
For any materials you purchase, check for products that contain recycled material. Also consider if the product can be recycled at the end of its life.
Reduce Paper Usage
Instead of making paper handouts, post electronic documents. . Send documents and memos electronically If you must print something, print double sided.
Reduce Chemical Usage and Hazardous Waste
Purchase chemical products that are environmentally friendly, that is, non-hazardous whenever possible. Only buy the quantity needed. Unused chemicals make up the majority of the hazardous waste requiring disposal.
Do Eco-Friendly Office Parties
Instead of using disposable cups (especially polystyrene), ask everyone in the office to bring their own cup to keep in the office.
Report Maintenance Issues
If you see a leaky faucet, running toilet, lights that are constantly on, or anything else that is wasting water or energy, please report the issue.
Request Student Help
Many students seek opportunities to be involved in sustainability projects on campus. Use the campus sustainability website to identify your project and recruit student volunteers.
Submit Your Green Ideas
Many people have ideas to make the campus more sustainable. Some of the ideas may be new. Submit your ideas to any member of the Sustainability Council.