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Conservation - Saving energy, water and paper

What is Sustainability?

The BC Sustainability Committee explains:

A sustainable campus, community or society is one where a balance between environmental concerns (planet), concern for individuals (social) and economic concerns (prosperity) is reached and maintained so that we meet our needs without jeopardizing the prospect of future generations. 

Sustainability Is An Ideal

To simply yearn for a future with healthy ecosystems, social justice and economic prosperity will not help us achieve a sustainable future. We must begin thinking in new ways and then aligning our actions with our values. Like most great movements, it must begin with education.

All over the world, from corporate boardrooms to small businesses, from large government agencies to small communities, thinking in terms of sustainability is emerging as a key strategy for achieving long-term visions and goals. But sustainability is not success-as-usual. Sustainability means long-term success. Whole-system success. Integrated success. We provide tools, processes, training and consulting services to support this new way of thinking about success—and for doing what needs to be done to make it happen. 

Changing the Way We Think | Thinking Sustainably

What's Your Ecological Footprint?

Overconsumption and excess waste are at the heart of our current ecological crisis. 

Go to to find out how much land and water is necessary to support what you use and discard. Discover if the earth’s resources could support all 6.4 billion human inhabitants if everyone shared your ecological footprint. And, check out this footprint calculator by the Global footprint network to gauge your impact on the planet. 

Green Transportation | Does Your Car Measure Up?

Use the carbon footprint calculator to find out how whether your car is doing the environment any favors based on its fuel consumption and the average distance you travel.

The Earth Day Network 

The Earth Day Network's mission is to broaden, diversify and activate the environmental movement worldwide, driving action year-round through a combination of education, public policy and consumer campaigns. Pledge Acts of Green or Measure your Eco-Footprint.

So have you heard about Earth Hour?

What is Earth Hour?  Earth Hour is held annually late in March. It is coordinated by World Wildlife Fund and other volunteer organizations to shine a light on the need for action on climate change. Around the globe, spanning over 7,000 cities and towns and 178 countries and territories, millions of people, businesses, and landmarks set aside an hour to host events, switch off their lights, and make noise for climate change action, promoting efforts to address climate change. 

Substainability | Initiatives at BC

  • Don’t litter
  • Limit idling in cars around campus

Saving Energy | Initiatives at BC

  • Turn Off Lights when leaving offices, classrooms or any area
  • Turn Off Lights when leaving a restroom
  • Turn Off Lights in the daylight 
  • Turn Off computers and monitors at the end of the day or the last class
  • Don’t prop open exterior doors - not only does it allow unconditioned air and humidity in, it damages equipment and is also a security issue
  • Don’t prop open classroom doors - it damages equipment and is also a security issue

Saving water | Initiatives at BC

  • Report any water leaks, dripping faucets or running toilets to reduce water wastage
  • Report Sprinkler systems that are running during the day, as this may mean the time clock needs adjusting

Saving paper | Initiatives at BC

  • If documents could be saved electronically instead of on paper, that is good 

Get Smart | About Paper 

  • 1 tree makes 16.67 reams of copy paper or 8,333 sheets.
  • 1 ream of paper (500 sheets) uses 6% of a tree.
  • The average employee prints 6 wasted pages per day - 1,410 wasted pages per year at a general cost of $84 per employee.
  • The average US worker prints 10,000 pages per year.
  • The US is the largest consumer of paper and uses over 100 million tons per year.
  • Production of one ton of paper uses 11.134 kWh- the same amount of energy an average household uses in 10 months.
  • Production of 1 ton of copy paper produces 19,075 gallons of waste water, 2278 pounds of solid waste & 5690 pounds of greenhouse gases (an equivalent of 6 months of car exhaust)
  • It takes 3 tons of wood to produce 1 ton of copy paper


5 Paper Taming Strategies 

Notes, magazine clippings, coupons, letters, mail, receipts, statements, newspapers, cards, warranties, manuals: is it any wonder that most people feel as if they're drowning in paper? 

Here are 5 simple tips to keep your paper under control and to help maintain your sanity. 

1. Do a Daily Attack: 

Rather than allowing papers to pile up for days, attack them throughout the day. This will ensure the piles never get overwhelming. Five minutes spent sorting through papers each day, will save hours later. 

2. Curtail the Mail: 

Handle mail every single day. Open it over the recycle bin, and immediately get rid of anything you don't need. Then, sort through the rest of the mail, being sure to put: 

  • bills into a bill paying system
  • papers that need to be referenced into labeled filing system
  • papers that need to be read in a "to read" basket or folder 
  • papers that should be given to family members in labeled folders

3. Free Up Your Filing System: 

When was the last time you weeded out your filing system? If it's been a while, you can probably reduce its contents by 50% or more. 

Set aside a few hours over the next week, and go through each folder one by one. Recycle anything that is outdated (e.g. an advertising flyer for an item that was on sale in 1972, a warranty for a toaster you tossed 3 years ago), or anything that no longer interests you (e.g. a recipe you no longer intend on making, an article you meant to read that no longer applies to you, etc.). 

4. Manage the Memories: 

It's hard to bring yourself to toss your old love letters, kids' artwork, a card from a friend, vacation post cards, programs from every family member's graduation etc. Of course, we don't recommend you toss all of these things. However, we do recommend you put a limit on your sentimentality. Figure out what you can part with and make the things you keep that much more important. 

5. Nix Newspapers 

First, if you're getting a regular subscription each day, week or month, be sure you actually have time to read it before the next issue comes. If you simply don't have time, reduce the paper build-up by cancelling your subscription. You can always get news, tips, recipes, etc. on TV, the radio or the Internet. If you do enjoy reading your subscription, set aside time to read it each day or week, and recycle that issue before the next issue arrives. This way, your newspapers won't turn into piles. 

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