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Tips for Sustainable Living

Energy:

  • Replace standard incandescent light bulbs with CFLs: compact fluorescent light bulbs. (They use 75% less energy, last 10-13 times longer, and reduce the output of CO2)*
  • Set your computer into sleep mode after it has been idle for 10-15 minutes. (Electronics use 70% less electricity when you put them into sleep mode instead of using just a screen saver).
  • TURN OFF THE LIGHT! Make sure to turn off all lights when you leave a room for more than 10 minutes.
  • Purchase a solar charger for your electronic devices. (Search Green Your Home Through Low Impact Living – www.lowimpactliving.com for more info).
  • Use rechargeable batteries. (They last up to 4 times as longer as traditional alkaline, save you $ as well as help the environment from further pollution).
  • Close doors to rooms that are not being used; keep the heat or AC off in them while not in use.
  • Hang dry your laundry in the summertime, or use an Energy Star efficient washer/dryer. (Search www.energystar.gov for more info).
  • Wash and dry your dishes by hand, or make sure your dishwasher is filled to capacity when used. (You can also save as much as 20 gallons of water per load by skipping the pre-rinse cycle).
  • Keep the fridge closed!
  • Do your part to further the renewable energy movement. (Invest in clean technologies such as wind farms or solar panels, join the Energy Action Coalition: www.energyactioncoalition.org ).
  • Use a power strip and unplug electronic devices when not in use.
  • Check out TCNJ Energy Conservation: The College of New Jersey

*Ask your supplier where you can recycle your CFLs once they burn out; take proper precautions if one happens to break in your home. More information on CFLs: Spills, Site Cleanup and Disposal | Mercury | US EPA and Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs : ENERGY STAR


Commuting:

  • Use TCNJ’s rideshare app, available here: https://climate.pages.tcnj.edu/climate-initatives/rideshare/
  • Use public transit or start a carpool to common interest points (workplace, gym, supermarket, beach, etc.).
  • Wash your car only at designated areas and facilities with water treatment capabilities.
  • Turn off the engine of your car when your might otherwise idle the vehicle (example: waiting for a friend).
  • Put your car in park at long red lights (reduce idling).
  • Replace two solo car trips a week with a carpool or public transit, if possible.
  • Purchase your next vehicle responsibly and consider a hybrid vehicle or smart car.
  • Park your car at least one full day a month.
  • Check your tire pressure once a month (Properly inflated tires = better gas mileage = big savings!)

Kitchen/Bathroom:

  • Use a biodegradable dishwasher detergent or dish soap to cut down on water pollutants.
  • Buy biodegradable and natural cleaning products.
  • Turn off the water while brushing your teeth/while shaving (you can save up to 10 gallons a day).
  • Take shorter or “staggered” showers to conserve water.
  • Install low-flow shower heads and energy-efficient water fixtures.

Food:

  • Skip bagging at the supermarket for items you can carry.
  • Bring your own reusable bags to the supermarket (most locations you receive a discount per bag) to reduce plastic usage.
  • Recycle your plastics bags from the supermarket (most locations have a recycling container for plastic bags).
  • Or, use left-over plastic bags as trash bags in the home/residence halls.
  • Buy in bulk to reduce trips to the grocery store.
  • Replace one meat-based meal with a non-meat alternative/vegetable based meal once a week.
  • Check the label before you purchase a fished product; purchase sustainable seafood. (75% of the world’s fisheries are over-fished).
  • Support your local farmers market and local produce/goods.

Lifestyle at home and on campus:

  • ALWAYS recycle #1 and #2 plastics (such as soda bottles), aluminum cans, paper, cardboard, batteries, cell phones, and anything else your local recycling program will accept. (Recycling Program :: The College of New Jersey).
  • Participate in the on-campus Bonner-sponsored Reduce for Good Use program at the end of the academic year.
  • Use a refillable water bottle instead of constantly purchasing plastic water bottles.
  • Carry your own to-go coffee mug instead of using multiple disposable cups throughout the day.
  • Support the use of recycled products and purchase outdoor furniture made from them.
  • Compost! Buy a composter or start to compost in your backyard; food scraps can become great fertilizer for a garden. (For more information visit How to Compost.org).
  • Walk to your destination if it is less than one mile away.
  • Purchase pre-owned clothing (there are 10+ thrift stores within 12 miles of Trenton, NJ).
  • Research the companies that you buy from, not just the product.
  • Use non-toxic nail polish and nail polish remover.
  • Ride your bike or look into purchasing a bike to ride once a week instead of driving.
  • Replace one hour of gym-time with exercise outdoors.
  • Convert paper bills to electronic bill pay.
  • Reduce unnecessary purchases.
  • Vote in every election!

This page is not all-inclusive and more suggestions are welcome. Please email us at climate@tcnj.edu or visit our Involvement page if you would like to contribute ideas: Get Involved!