What is Sustain Champlain?

Sustain Champlain is a campus-wide initiative strives to infuse sustainability concepts and practices across Champlain College by coordinating and promoting best practices within four areas: our institution, academics, operations, and culture.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Top Ten Eco-Tips for Graduating Seniors

Hey Seniors! Getting ready to depart from Camp Champ? Here are some suggestions on how to make your transition from college life to life-after-college a totally eco-savvy one.

10. Sign on to the Graduation Pledge. While not an official effort here at Champlain, this is something you could do as an individual. The Graduation Pledge of Social & Environmental Responsibility states:
“I pledge to explore and take into account the social and environmental consequences of any job I consider and will try to improve these aspects of any organizations for which I work.”

9. Move out Mindfully. Make your trash someone’s treasure by bringing unwanted clothing, furniture, unopened food, books, and more to not one, but two locations for the annual Spring Move Out Project (SMOP) on Wednesday, May 25th from 11am-3pm. Loomis St. and Bradley St. More info on the Chittenden Solid Waste District's website.

8. Find Greener Pastures to Perch. Looking for a new place to live? Be sure to ask your landlord (even if it’s your parents) about the efficiency of the building. Any upgrades to insulation coming up? It’ll keep your heat or AC bill a lot lower.

7. Speaking of bills, keep yours lower by flipping the switch. Power down, use a smart strip, unplug, and the like. Need to make a purchase? Look for Energy Star ratings or the lowest kilowatt usage (kwh) on the yellow energy usage tags. You’ll see the savings add up quick.

6. What kind of wheels? Two is best, four is ok (if they are skateboard wheels). Come on… ditch the car if possible and grab a bike, a long board, your roller skates, and just your pretty flip flops. Gas at $4 a gallon? No thanks! If you are moving to an urban area, acquaint yourself with the local mass transit or car sharing options. You might also base your housing location based on how you can get around town. Check out the Walkscore website to find your best non-polluting commuting options.

5. That’s some good grub! You can’t get much better than fresh, local ingredients. You can make it affordable to by buying in bulk, buying straight from the source, or even lending some muscles to a farm in exchange for some veggies. Use the Local Harvest website to find nearby farmers’ markets, CSAs, community gardens (where you can grow your own) and more, all over the country.

4. B-Y-O. Just because you’re graduating doesn’t mean that you can’t still hang your mug or water bottle from your backpack. Most cafes give you a discount on coffee and tea when you bring your own mug and bottled water is just so past tense. We’re over it. While you’re at it, bring a grocery bag with you too. The trees/dolphins/babies will thank you.

3. Talk trash. Or rather, how to cut the trash. Find out the local recycling rules for your new home and follow ‘em! Save those food scraps for compost or even let some wriggly critters into your life.

2. Still on the search for the ideal job? Check out some of these sweet sites that offer jobs that can be good for your conscious, the planet, and your pocket: Idealist.org, Environmental Career Opportunities, and Sustainable Businesses.

1. Do Something. Transitions times can be busy and hectic, but there’s always the opportunity to get out there and make your family, your neighborhood, your community better in some way or another. Whether it’s through your work or while you plan life’s next steps, get out and do something, and let us know about it. Make us proud.

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