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What Can I Do?

Thursday, Sep. 8, 2011

This month's "What Can I Do?" examines ways to make those move-in purchases more sustainable.

REDUCE: The most sustainable action you can take is to reduce what you buy in the first place. Wait until you actually move in to coordinate what you need with roommates or housemates, and make sure you try to buy collectively so that nothing goes to waste.

REUSE: Once you've decided you do need to buy something, you can save money and have less of an impact on the environment by purchasing second-hand or reused products. To look for reused items, check out neighborhood yard sales or visit Craigslist, eBay, or Freecycle.

RECYCLE: Most move-ins end in a pile of packaging material no longer needed. Santa Clara allows you to recycle most plastics, glass, aluminum and cardboard, along with e-waste like batteries and ink cartridges. Each on-campus room is equipped with a recycling guide (on each recycling bin). For more information about what can and cannot be recycled or composted, and where on campus you can dispose of waste properly, visit SCU's Recycling and Waste Diversion web site.

RESPECT: Purchase those move-in essentials in a way that respects the factors that go into producing it. Respect the environment by buying organic cotton sheets, respect labor rights by buying from companies whose suppliers are affiliated with the Fair Labor Association or have their own fair labor policies, and respect your local economy by purchasing from local businesses rather than large national retailers.

By Hannah Slocum, '11, Sustainability Intern

Tags: Take Action, Waste



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