In addition to the programs and classes that give you the opportunity to get involved on campus and in the community, there are also choices to be made by individuals that make a difference. As members of the UW Oshkosh and the global community, we each-student, faculty, and staff-have the choice to use resources mindfully. The Sustainability Office encourages the entire UW Oshkosh community to integrate sustainable actions into your daily lives. Here is what you can do on campus
In addition, we can all:
- Reduce energy consumption
- Start by not turning on lights, computers or projectors unless you really need them. Look how much energy your computer uses!
- If you do turn on appliances or lights, make sure to turn them off. Many lights on campus time out after a period of inactivity, but it can't hurt to switch them off a few minutes before that.
- Turn off or unplug power strips when not in use.
- Unplug charging devices when not in use.
- Use warm air hand dryers instead of paper towels. They still use energy, but much less than the process of harvesting, manufacturing, distributing, and recycling of paper.
- Take the stairs, not the elevator, if you are able.
- Reduce water consumption
- In buildings equipped with dual flush toilets, pull the level up to flush liquid wastes. It's a water-saving feature on new models that may take some getting used to, but is more than worth it!
- Rehydrate using water bubblers or if you must use a beverage container, use a quality refillable water bottle instead of packaged bottled water. This will save the water needed to produce the plastic bottles. [Note: it is not advisable to refill plastic water bottles for two reasons: 1) they are difficult to adequately sanitize, which may result in the introduction of bacteria to your beverages; 2) as plastic bottles are used and used again, hormone disrupting phthalates may leach into the liquids within the containers.]
- Use water sparingly while washing, showering, and and brushing your teeth. Turn on the water to get things wet, then turn it off to lather up or brush, then back on to rinse.
- If you notice a water leak, report it to Campus Maintenance at 920-424-3266 or submit a work request.
- Reduce transportation emissions. Click here to find discover all your on-campus options for reducing your transportation impact.
- Ride a bike
- Use public transportation
- If you feel you must drive, maintain your vehicle's maximum fuel efficiency by following the tips to the left<<!
- Eliminate unnecessary trips. Consolidating all your errands into one afternoon will save you time & money, and save fossil fuel resources,
Choose better alternatives when purchasing.
- Eat sustainably
- A vegetarian diet is more efficient, pound-for-pound, than a meat eater's diet in terms of the water, land, and fossil fuels needed to produce the products.
- Eat local
- Production techniques being equal, locally sourced foods are less energy intensive than those that must travel greater distances to your plate. Choose in-season foods whenever possible.
- Eating local is good for the local economy and especially the local food economy and community.
- Choose Fair Trade and direct trade products when you can. They tend to be better for the environment and better for the growers and producers than conventionally traded products. [Note: Did you know that UW Oshkosh was the first to declare itself a "Fair Trade campus" in the U.S. when it did so in 2008?]
- Compost your food and other organic wastes (like pizza boxes and paper napkins), if you can.
- Consider more eco-friendly purchasing options
- Get it secondhand to save money, reduce waste, and prevent unnecessary resource use in the production of more products!
- Buy or trade items on MyUWO portal, Oshkosh freecycle, or Craigslist.
- Rent textbooks. Rent outdoor equipment from the Student Rec and Wellness Center
- Trade or borrow from friends & family.
- Do without items whenever possible.
- Check out the Environmental Working Group's Guide to Healthy Cleaning.
- Avoid endocrine disrupting chemicals.
Recycle what's left!
- Learn more about the sustainability concept
- View campus maps (click "Find Locations" to select Sustainability Points of Interest) or request a tour