Green Cert

Get Certified (Click here)!


What is Green Certification?

It may seem that individual living habits such as teeth brushing or purchasing food have a small impact on the overall environment, yet the combined choices of each individual in society can quickly add up. That is why Barnard EcoReps have joined with Residential Life staff to implement the “Green Lifestyles” Certification Program in all residence halls this year. By providing you with some helpful ideas on how to reduce your own daily consumption in areas like energy, food, waste, laundry, and bathroom use, it is our hope that you will be inspired to adopt certain lifestyle changes and help us to raise environmental awareness in the Barnard community.

How does it work?

Getting certified is easy. Just fill out the online form and submit! We ask that you choose at least five items that you as an individual pledge to do this year to live more sustainably. Check out the printable materials here to remind yourself of your pledge!

Each choice you make- no matter how small- has an impact on the environment, the city you live in, and yourself. Being mindful of your consumption truly makes a difference! Your choice, our impact.


Below is our checklist – click the headings for more info!

ENERGY

  • Use Compact Fluorescent lightbulbs
  • Use a bike and/or public transportation
  • Unplug unused chargers and shut off unused appliances
  • Turn off lights in your room and common areas
  • Report too-warm temperatures to facilities instead of opening windows
  • Close your shades during the day to keep room cool
  • Use a drying rack instead of a dryer and the bright colors or cold water setting on the washer
  • Let hair air dry

FOOD

  • Buy local and seasonal produce
  • Buy organic
  • Buy in bulk
  • Use reusable water bottles and coffee mugs
  • Sort food waste in Hewitt for the BioX Machine
  • Compost
  • Only take as much food as you will eat

WASTE

  • Use scrap paper and/or recycled products
  • Use reusable shopping bags
  • Practice good recycling habits (Barnard recycles plastics with ALL numbers 1-7!)
  • Donate items to Give and Go Green during move-out
  • Use cloth hand towels
  • Avoid buying or using excessive plastic and packaging
  • Recycle your textiles

WATER

  • Abide by “If it’s yellow, let it mellow.  If it’s brown flush it down!”
  • Take shorter showers
  • Turn off the water when brushing teeth and washing face
  • Report leaks and running toilets to facilities
  • Use eco-friendly toiletries and cleaning products
  • Wash when necessary–do the sniff check and only do full loads

GET INVOLVED

  • Take an Environmental Studies Class
  • Join a green group: Social Justice or Environmental Groups (SEEJ, Earth Co, Green Umbrella, etc.)
  • Garden in the CUFSP community garden on Pupin Plaza
  • Participate in Barnard’s composting program
  • Attend an Earth Institute Practicum


Energy

  • Use Compact Fluorescent light bulbs
    CFL light bulbs use about 60% – 80% less energy than incandescent lightbulbs, provide the same amount of light, and can last up to 10 times as long.  Check out what a huge difference switching to CFLs makes: http://green.yahoo.com/18seconds/.
    Here
    is more info on the basics of CFLs.
  • Use a bike and/or public transportation
    There are bikes racks all over campus and the subway and M104 stop right at 116th and Broadway!  The city also has beautiful paths to walk or bike in Riverside Park and Central Park.  Transportation Alternatives provides maps, tips, discounts and other awesome resources for bikers and pedestrians in the city: www.transalt.org
  • Unplug unused chargers and shut off unused appliances
    Even when chargers are not connected to a device, or the device is done charging, they are still using electricity.  Shutting off computers instead of putting them to sleep and only leaving devices and chargers plugged in while they are in use can save a lot of energy. Click here for some tips!
  • Turn off lights in room and common areas
    Every time you leave any room, make sure you turn off the lights! This means your room, common rooms, bathrooms, kitchens, laundry rooms – every room! Energy costs are Barnard’s fastest growing expense – last year Barnard spent 5.3 million dollars on energy costs.
  • Report too-warm temperatures to facilities instead of opening windows
    Instead of letting warm air escape to the street, wasting precious heating fuel, submit a work order, and facilities can come to turn down your heat.How to submit a work order:
    1)  Log into eBear
    2)  Make sure that your screen is displaying the “Community” tab
    3)  Click on “Online Form” in the links header
    4)  Click on “Facilities Work Order” in the left column links menu
    5)  Use the “Click here” link at the top of the page
  • Close your shades during the day to keep room cool
    It’s great to use natural light in your room, but keeping your shades open while you’re out and about allows the sun to warm your empty room. Before you leave, be sure to close the blinds, so your room will be cooler when you return.  In New York City, almost 9% of total energy use is attributed to cooling, and in apartment buildings with included utilities, the phenomenon of over-cooling is surprisingly grave. In dorms with air conditioning, you can submit a work order (see above) to increase the temperature of your air conditioner. Better yet, use a fan instead: It will reduce energy use by at least 60%.
  • Use a drying rack instead of a dryer and the bright colors or cold water setting on the washer
    After refrigerators, dryers are generally the second biggest energy consumer in the home. Depending on the cost of electricity in your area, running a dryer can cost up to $85 annually. Instead, try to air dry some or all of your laundry.  Laundry racks are available for purchase at Clinton Supply Co. at 122nd and Amsterdam Ave, at Bed Bath & Beyond at 65th and Broadway, and at most other home-goods stores.  Using the cold water setting on your washing machine is another small change that has a large impact: Approximately 90% of energy used to wash clothes is put toward heating water.  In fact, doing laundry with hot/warm water throughout one year is the equivalent of burning 182 gallons of gas in a car versus an equivalent 8 gallons when the cold water setting is employed. More info here.
  • Let hair air dry
    A typical hair dryer uses between 1200 and 1875 watts. These are big numbers, but your total energy consumption depends on both the wattage of the device as well as how long you use it.  To cut back on consumption, cut down the time of your blow dry or let your hair air dry!

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Food

  • Buy local and seasonal produce
  • Buy organic
  • Buy in bulk
  • Use reusable water bottles and coffee mugs (and get 10% off at Liz’s Place!)
  • Sort food waste in Hewitt for the BioX Machine
  • Only take as much food as you will eat

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Waste

  • Use scrap paper and/or recycled products
    The average American uses seven trees a year in paper, wood, and other products made from trees. This amounts to 2,000,000,000 trees per year! There are many high-quality products, from journals to paper plates, being manufactured today from recycled materials.Need a new notebook? Make one out of paper from the recycling bin.
    Need a drinking glass? Use that jam jar you just finished.
    There are lots of creative ways to reuse stuff instead of throwing it away: save take-out containers for tupperware, carry around your own fork and spoon, use old socks as rags, make art or decorations! Think of all the space we can save in landfills!
    If you need to buy new paper products (paper towels, toilet paper, notebooks, etc.) – try to buy post-consumer recycled paper products.
  • Use reusable shopping bags
    Plastic bags are made from natural gas or oil and consume an energy equivalent of thousands of barrels of oil a day. Purchase a tote bag with your favorite logo or design: Book Culture, Whole Foods, or perhaps buy a plain canvas bag and paint your own? They come in so many shapes and sizes. The Barnard Store also carries reusable bags for purchase. Just keep a couple by your door to grab before you go shopping – it’s that easy!
  • Practice good recycling habits (Barnard recycles plastics with ALL numbers 1-7!)
    Barnard contracts with a private waste management company, Action Carting Environmental Services. Our partnership with them enables us to recycle plastics with all numbers 1-7, regardless the shape or size, on the Barnard campus. Products should be placed into their correct bin by category: paper, plastic, and waste. For a more comprehensive guide to Barnardʼs recycling system, click here.
  • Donate items to Give and Go Green during move-out
    Each spring, Barnard EcoReps organize a campus-wide initiative for students to donate any items from their dorms/suites that they no longer need.

    At the end of the year life is crazy. Finals and moving all your stuff into storage? What a hassle. But wait… you don’t need to throw anything away. Barnard EcoReps and ResLife makes it easy for you to donate food, toiletries, furniture, clothes – anything really. Just look for donation hubs in every dorm. Last year, over four truckloads of donations were donated to the Salvation Army, items which may have otherwise ended up in the landfill.
  • Use cloth hand towels
    Paper towels produce substantial, unnecessary paper waste. Many people refrain from using cloth towels because they believe paper towels to be the quickest, most sanitary option. Not so! Cheap, multi-pack hand rags like these can be easily thrown in with your next load of laundry and provide a reusable, green way to clean up messes and wipe hands.
  • Avoid buying or using excessive plastic and packaging
    This is a big one. So much of our every day waste comes from unnecessary packaging.
    Our Earth is a limited space, which means landfills are also limited spaces. Approximately 70% of primary packaging is used for food and drink which is often discarded in a dirty state and contaminated. Avoid buying small containers whenever possible or prepackaged fruits and vegetables that can be bought fresh. Think to yourself – how can I avoid all this packaging? And even bigger – do I really need to buy this item new?

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Water

  • Abide by “If it’s yellow, let it mellow.  If it’s brown flush it down!”
    A lot of water is used when you flush the toilet.  1.6 gallons of water are used per flush for newer more efficient toilets, while up to 4 or more gallons per flush are used for older toilets. That is a lot of fresh, clean water to waste every time you use the bathroom.  By “letting it mellow” you can save tens of gallons of water every day! You can also save water by not flushing tissues or other trash unnecessarily.

    Take a look at the overall U.S. water use
    It’s amazing that toilets are the highest domestic use of water!You may not want to try this in your residence hall but…
  • Take shorter showers
    Federal regulations mandate new showerheads flow less than 2.5 gallons per minute, while older showerheads typically flow over 4 gallons per minute.  This means that, for a water-conserving showerhead, a 10-minute shower would use at least 25 gallons of water.
  • Turn off the water when brushing teeth and washing face
    What is your household water consumption?
    By cutting down on water use in daily activities like brushing your teeth, you can save a lot of water! You may even be able to save water (and time!) by brushing your teeth or washing your face in the shower, while you’re conditioning your hair.

  • Report leaks and running toilets to facilities
    A leak in a sink or shower may appear to only waste a small about of water, but the amount of water quickly adds up.  A faucet dripping at the rate of one drop per second may waste 2,700 gallons per year. The exercise below illustrates the massive effect a small leak can have over time.
    How much water does your leaky faucet waste?
  • Use eco-friendly toiletries and cleaning products
    We use cleaning products everywhere, on dishes, counter-tops, furniture, clothes, floors, and windows.  Most conventional cleaning products are petroleum-based and could have serious health and environmental implications. Luckily, there are many natural products and methods that keep a house clean without toxic side effects.Some green toiletries and cleaning products include:
    - 7th Generation: disinfectants, laundry detergent, dishwashing detergent, hand wash, and household cleaners
    - Simple Green: Household cleaners
    - Eco Concepts: Household cleanersThe Why and How of natural cleaning products: click here
    For more natural home cleaning recipes: click here and here

  • Wash when necessary–do the sniff check and only do full loads
    The typical American household does nearly 400 loads of laundry per year, using about 40 gallons of water per full load with a  conventional washer. By washing only when necessary and washing only full loads, you save water—and money!

More Water Saving Tips

-Don’t put water down the drain when there might be another use for it, like watering plants or cleaning
-Try to save water by washing dishes only when necessary. For instance, use only one cup per day to drink out of (or use a reusable water bottle!)
-Defrost food in the fridge or microwave instead of under running water
-Drop an ice cube? Use it to water plants instead of tossing it in the sink
-Store cold drinking water in the fridge instead of waiting for the running water in your sink to get cold
-When adjusting water temperatures, instead of turning water flow up, try turning it down. For Example, if the water is too hot, turn it down rather than turning up the cold water
-Support businesses and organizations that promote water conservation
-Be aware of saving water even if you are living in a dorm and don’t have to pay the water bill
-Remind your friends and family to follow good water-conservation practices!

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Get Involved

  • Join a green group: Social Justice or Environmental Groups (SEEJ, Earth Co, Green Umbrella, etc.)
  • Garden in the CUFSP community garden on Pupin Plaza
    Check out the Columbia Food Sustainability Project’s BLOG for events and information.
  • Participate in Barnard’s composting program
    Email us at ecoreps@barnard.edu to join!
  • Attend an Earth Institute Practicum

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