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Going "Green" means rethinking the way we currently live and how our actions affect the world around us. Every action has a consequence, either good or bad. Are your actions helping or harming the environment? Here are some tips to help you out in the right direction.

Energy

  • Pull the plug. Electronics continue to use power even when they are not turned on: 75% of energy usage from electronics is consumed when the products are turned off.
  • Use a power strip. Plug electronics into a power strip and turn it off when not in use.
  • Avoid energy vampires. Even when they're turned off, home electronics in "standby" mode use energy to power features like clock displays.
  • Switch 'em out. Changing regular light bulbs to compact fluorescent is a 75% reduction in energy usage and saves 100lbs of CO2 per bulb every year.
  • Flip the switch. Turn lights off whenever you leave a room.
  • Open the windows. During the day, let in natural light instead of using indoor lighting.
  • Turn on the "System Standby". Changing the energy setting can result in a 92% reduction in power usage (Click Control Panel, Display, Screen Saver, Power, and set the amount of idle time before the System Standby mode will initiate).

Waste

  • Fill it up. Use a reusable water bottle and coffee mug instead of disposable. Last year, 116,669 disposable water bottles were sold on campus.
  • Reusable shopping bags. Take cloth bags to fill up with groceries at the store.
  • Twice to-go. Reuse your to-go containers, glass jars, and water bottles to hold leftovers, drinks, or to pack a lunch in.
  • Reuse your produce bags. Save your used produce bags and take them to the grocery store next time you go. Why get new ones when you have great old ones?
  • In with the old. When you can, buy used instead of new. Check out the bookstore or Amazon for used textbook choices.
  • Donate old items. Use Salvation Army bins on campus to donate small items.
  • Find your creative side. Make items, such as cleaning products or toothpaste, instead of buying them. You'll reduce packaging and price and have a lot of fun doing it.
  • Use the library. Why buy books when you can borrow them for free? Get your books at the library or buy them used. When you're finished, share with someone else!
  • Swap 'em out. Exchange paper towels for a reusable cloth and sponge.
  • Repair instead of replace. Pull out the toolbox, the sewing kit, or find the repairman when you have a problem. Why spend more money and produce more waste when a fix is easy?
  • Use rechargeable batteries in electronics, such as your wireless mouse and keyboard. (these can be purchased at Office Depot).
  • Double-up: set your computer to double-sided printing. An average worker uses 10,000 sheets of paper a year, go into your default printer settings to change that.
  • E-Waste. Electronic waste, such as laptops, televisions, computer screens, and cell phones comprise 70% of toxic waste in our landfills. Only 12.5% of e-waste is currently recycled. Bring your e-waste to our on-campus drives or contact Information Technology to have it recycled.
  • Be frugal. Don't buy what you don't need. The average American produces 4 lbs. of waste a day, double the amount in 1960 and 50% more than the average Western European. The best way to curb your waste is to curb your purchasing.
  • The Incredible Bulk. Buy items you use often in bulk. It helps reduce waste from packaging and energy from travel.
  • Go high on recycled content. Buy paper products with high percentage of post-consumer recycled content.
  • Avoid packaging. Choose items with little or no packaging to curb waste, and save production materials and cost.

Transportation

  • Share the load. Utilize the Rideshare Program and carpool, vanpool, or take the bus to work and reduce your carbon footprint by 1,590lbs CO2 per year. Besides, who wants to pay $5 a gallon for gas?
  • Take the shuttle. The Pepperdine shuttle circumnavigates campus in both directions every 15 minutes. See the schedule here.
  • Cheap transportation and free parking? Take the LA metro bus from campus to Santa Monica and beyond. Bus 534 leaves several times an hour, drops you off in the heart of Santa Monica, and costs only $1.50. Find the schedule here.
  • Go zero. Walk, bike, or ride a horse around campus. Going completely car-less not only eliminates your transportation footprint, it gives you a new outlook on life.

Water

  • Pack it in. Wash full loads of laundry: 1 load of laundry uses an average of 32 gallons of water.
  • Shower Savings.
    • Time your shower to keep it under 5 minutes, you'll save up to 1,000 gallons per month.
      • Fun tip: Pick your favorite 5-minute song and finish by the time it ends. You can practice your singing and sustainability in the shower.
    • Turn off the shower when lathering up.
  • Plug while you brush. Turn off water while brushing teeth: saves an average of 200 gallons a month.
  • Put a cork in it. Plug the sink instead of running water to rinse your razor. Saves up to 300 gallons a month.
  • Catch the running water. Don't use running water to defrost food. For water efficiency and food safety, thaw in the refrigerator.
  • Stay cool. Keep a pitcher of water in the refrigerator instead of running the tap. You won't have to wait for the tap to become cold.

Food

  • Eat your veggies. Eating no meat or dairy for one day is equal to a reduction of 1,160 driving miles. Your body will also love you.
  • Spread the seeds. Plant your own fruits and vegetables in our on-campus organic garden. Contact the GreenTeam for more information: Greenteam@pepperdine.edu.
  • Organic Vs. Natural. Know your labels when shopping. "Organic" labels are regulated by the USDA. "Natural" labeling, however, is not regulated. Companies can put the label "natural" on their products without any oversight or requirement.
  • Help the farmers. Buy produce and awesome products from the Malibu Farmers market! The Market is every Sunday from 10 am – 3 pm at the Malibu Civic Center (down the road from Chipotle).

Buy Organic:

While buying organic can get expensive, you can stretch your health-conscious dollar by focusing on the fruits and vegetables that tend to hold higher levels of pesticides and toxins. Here are the 'dirty dozen' the Environmental Working Group lists as the most contaminated fruits and vegetables and which should be bought organic:

  • Peach, Apple, Bell Pepper, Celery, Nectarine, Strawberries, Cherries, Kale, Lettuce, Grapes (imported), Carrot, and Pear

It is worth buying these organic if you are looking to reduce the amount of toxins and pesticides you ingest. Here are a list of the least contaminated fruits and vegetables that you do not have to necessarily buy organic:

  • Onion, Avocado, Sweet corn, Pineapple, Mango, Asparagus, Sweet Peas, Kiwi, Cabbage, Eggplant, Papaya, and Watermelon