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I hereby pledge to:
Turn off the lights when I leave the room Invalid Input
The simplest way to save energy is to turn off your lights – learn about the
lbs/year of carbon dioxide emissions
emitted by certain light bulbs.
Install Compact Fluorescent Light (CFL) or Light Emitting Diodes (LED) bulbs in my room Invalid Input
The lighting fixtures Northwestern provides are already energy efficient, but if you brought a personal lamp with you, are living off campus, or working in a department, use a CFL or LED in your fixture. On average, they use
75% less energy than their incandescent equivalent, and last 6 times as long
. Just make sure to
recycle it properly
when it finally does burn out.
Update power management settings on my computer Invalid Input
Set your computer to “Power Saver” so it will go into standby or sleep mode after a few minutes of inactivity. Computers use 80% less energy while in this mode & will ‘wake’ up in seconds with the click of your mouse. Learn about
NUIT's energy savings policy
Plug my electronics and chargers into a powerstrip, and turn it off when I'm not using them Invalid Input
Electronics can draw electricity even when they’re turned off. This
is estimated at almost $3 billion of electricity per year in the U.S.
Wash my clothes in cold water Invalid Input
Choose "cold" or "bright colors" on the washer when you're doing your laundry. 90% of the energy used in washing clothes comes from heating the water. According to the
U.S. Department of Energy
, washing clothes on cold or warm is sufficient, and simply using warm instead of hot can cut energy use in half.
Use reusable water bottles, shopping bags, mugs, utensils and plates whenever possible Invalid Input
Bring your own utensils, mugs, etc. to any event or location where disposables are offered. Use a reusable mug when buying coffee on the run – most places offer a discount when using your own.
Donate unwanted items Invalid Input
One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Host a clothing swap or donate items to charity resale shops. The annual
“take it or leave it” move-out program
offers collection sites for clothing, household items & food at the end of the school year in the residence halls/colleges. This site also offers donation options throughout the year.
Stop my junk mail Invalid Input
Reduce, reuse, recycle is our mantra and reducing junk mail is an easy first step. Online services such as,
, are a great way to start.
Properly recycle my CFLs, batteries, ink cartridges and electronic waste Invalid Input
There are regulations for handling hazardous materials, learn more on the
NU Recycling page
Office of Supplies and Equipment
Consume no meat for one meal each week Invalid Input
How you choose to fill your plate has an impact on the environment. The difference in energy and water needed to produce a vegetarian diet versus the average meat-based diet is significant. Reducing meat consumption has a positive impact on the
. nuCuisine practices
in the dining halls, learn more about
nuCusine sustainability initiatives.
Take only what I'll eat Invalid Input
Only take what you know you want to eat, you can always go back for seconds if necessary. Food scraps
rank third in their contribution to solid waste in the U.S., accounting for 13.9% of our garbage.
By consciously choosing food, you can take control of a large portion of the waste you produce.
Consider local and organic food options with each meal Invalid Input
locally have a lower transportation impact and arrive fresher
. Food grown organically is safer for us, our
wildlife. Learn about
nuCuisine’s local food initiatives
. Also download the
"Eat Local" app
to find out the produce in season and find your local farmers markets!
Drink tap water instead of purchasing bottled water Invalid Input
Evanston tap water
is some of the safest and best in the world and is monitored closely.
Bottled water is not monitored or regulated as astringently and costs significantly more
. Carry your reusable water bottle with you and fill it at one of 40 filling stations on campus.
Do not leave shower or tap running while not in use Invalid Input
You can save up to
8 gallons of water
each day by simply turning off the tap while you brush your teeth and shave.
Shorten my showers by one minute or more Invalid Input
How low can you go? Can you make your shower two minutes shorter, three?
Report leaking faucets (or any other maintenance issue) to my building manager or to operations Invalid Input
A leaking faucet can waste as much as
1500 gallons of water per year
(on-campus residences only).
Use public transit - CTA, Metra and Campus Shuttles Invalid Input
Evanston and Chicago have fantastic
system can get you almost anywhere!
Use a bicycle (or walk) to and around campus Invalid Input
Cycling or walking are better for you and the environment! Northwestern has over 7200 spots for bicycle parking in
both cities are rapidly adding protected cycling lanes.
Consider car-pooling or car sharing with Igo or Zipcar Invalid Input
These alternatives can save you money. Find
people to carpool with
IGo or Zipcar
when you need wheels for errands or a group outing.
Get involved in an environmentally focused student group or volunteer opportunities Invalid Input
working in support of our environmental initiatives.
Get involved with my Eco Rep or an office Green Team Invalid Input
Find out who the
is in your office or residence hall/college/greek house and see what you can do to support efforts in your hall/department/college/house. Don’t have an Eco Rep? Contact the
Office of Sustainability
to learn about filling this role!
Consider the impact of your purchases, choose the greener option Invalid Input
Consider how sustainability could be part of your coursework and classroom activities Invalid Input
When working on school projects, consider how to integrate sustainability into the process and the product.
Find less toxic chemical alternatives for your research Invalid Input
Green Alternatives Wizard
to bone up on less toxic lab techniques.
Close fume hood sashes Invalid Input
Fume hoods use significant energy -
A single fume hood running 24 hours uses as much energy as a single-family home
. Whenever you walk away, don't forget to shut the sash.
Learn how to calculate
how much energy your sash uses and its cost.
Share information on resource efficient lab supplies with your lab manager or supply purchaser Invalid Input
There are several new innovative technologies,
is "dedicated to improving the environmental performance of U.S. laboratories."
Turn off non-essential lab equipment when not in use (confirm with lab manager if necessary) Invalid Input
It’s a no brainer. Turning off the non-essentials will reduce energy use, energy costs, environmental impacts and in some cases increase the life of the equipment.
Recycle plastic pipette tip boxes Invalid Input
As long as things are not contaminated, it's safe to recycle them in the a lab plastics recycling bin. If you have any questions about whether something is safe to recycle, please review the
Office of Research Safety's website
Donate unwanted but functioning lab equipment to Seeding Labs Invalid Input
is a 501c3 non-profit organization that organizes a
Lab Equipment Transfer Program
for other universities in low- and middle-income countries.
Confirm temperature settings on lab freezers and refrigeration units and defrost freezers periodically to reduce ice buildup Invalid Input
The use of -80F freezers is a significant source of greenhouse gas emissions on campus. According to data compiled on the
EPA/DOE Labs 21 Program Energy Efficient Equipment wiki
, the direct cost of electricity use for an
individual -80F freezer
could be between $1000 and $1500 per year.
Almost Done - Thank you for pledging to make a more sustainable Northwestern University!
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