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I hereby pledge to:
Turn off the lights when I leave the room Invalid Input
Install Compact Fluorescent Light (CFL) or Light Emitting Diode (LED) light bulbs Invalid Input
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 smart strip and turn off all electronics when not in use Invalid Input
Electronics can draw electricity even when they’re turned off. This
is estimated at almost $10 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, and other reusable materials 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, and 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 great places to start.
Properly recycle my CFLs, batteries, ink cartridges, and electronic waste Invalid Input
Only print when necessary Invalid Input
If you must print, print double-sided, in black & white, and reduce your margins. Please distribute meeting materials electronically and ask your professors if you can email your assignments.
Consume no meat for one meal each week Invalid Input
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 second in their contribution to solid waste in the U.S.,
accounting for 14.5 percent 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 during every meal Invalid Input
Drink tap water instead of purchasing bottled water Invalid Input
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) Invalid Input
Use public transit - such as the CTA, Metra, and Campus Shuttles Invalid Input
Use a bicycle (or walk) to and around campus Invalid Input
Cycling or walking are better for you and the environment!
has over 7,200 spots for bicycle parking.
are both rapidly adding protected cycling lanes.
Consider carpooling or carsharing with Zipcar or Enterprise CarShare Invalid Input
These alternatives can save you money. Find people to carpool with or use
Zipcar or Enterprise
when you need wheels for errands or a group outing.
Get involved in environmentally-focused organizations and events Invalid Input
Did you know NU purchases renewable energy certificates equal to half of its electricity use, which represents a reduction of 85,000 metric tons of green house gases? Learn how NU is working to become a leader in sustainability and more by getting involved! Check out
to help support our environmental initiatives.
Get involved with my Eco Rep or 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 their efforts. Office Green Teams are created through the
Green Office Certification
program. Don’t have an Eco Rep or Green Team? Contact the
Office of Sustainability
to learn about filling this role!
Consider the impact of your purchases, choose the greenest option Invalid Input
Consider how sustainability could be part of your classes or everyday work Invalid Input
When working on school or work projects, consider how to integrate sustainability into the process and the product.
Find less toxic chemical alternatives for your research Invalid Input
Close fume hood sashes Invalid Input
Share information on resource efficient lab supplies with your lab manager or supply purchaser Invalid Input
There are several new innovative technologies ands organizations dedicated to improving the environmental performance of laboratories, including
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
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 $1,000 and $1,500 per year.
Almost Done - Thank you for pledging to make a more sustainable Northwestern University!
If you're interested in learning more, please visit the Northwestern University Office of Sustainability
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