- Dress for the weather. Dressing in layers allows for adjusting to various building temperatures.
- Control your climate. Set the temperature in rooms to 70 degrees during the fall, winter, and spring seasons and to 75 degrees during the summer season.
- Keep it closed. Rather than opening a window when a building seems too hot or cold for comfort, report the problem to OPP.
- Get approval. If your room is too cold, please contact your R.A. or your commons housing office.
- Use blinds to reduce uncomfortable office temperatures. Lower blinds during the day in the summer to block the sun. In the winter, lower blinds at night to keep heat inside.
- Flick the switch to save electricity and money. Incandescent bulbs give off heat, so they should be turned off whenever you leave a room. Compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs) should be turned off if you will be away for 15 minutes or longer.
- Spotlight the action. Use task lighting — such as desk lamps — rather than overhead lighting whenever possible.
- Let the sun shine in. If you can, sit near a window or open the shades and use natural light whenever possible.
- Share: Reduce the number of appliances through shared use, such as a group using one refrigerator rather than each having their own.
- Purchase Energy Star and EPEAT* rated computers and appliances.
- Give your computer a power nap by activating all power management settings and turning it off when not in use.
- Use power strips to shut appliances completely off when possible, such as turning your printer or gaming system off when you leave the room.
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Get exercise and save energy at once.
- Ride a bicycle to class or work.
- Take the Centre Area Transportation Authority (CATA) bus around the campus to get to class or work.
- Blue Loop, White Loop, Green Link, Red Link are free campus buses.
- CATA Schedule Information
- CATA buses use compressed natural gas that results in fewer emissions than gasoline.
- Take the bus off campus.
- Buying a bus pass for $69 a month is cheaper than having a car that includes purchasing gas, car insurance, and maintenance.
- CATA Schedule Information
- Participate in Rideshare. The free service matches students with car and van pools. It's a great way to take weekend trips. Take the campus shuttle service around campus weekdays from 7 a.m. – 6 p.m. The service is free.
- Walk around the campus for exercise
At University Park, the reusable containers operate much like the current carryout containers. In the all-you-care-to-eat dining locations on campus, students and staff pick up a container at the cashier. When they bring the container back, they give it to the cashier and receive a clean container if they want carryout. If not, they are given a carabiner to keep with their ID for their next carryout meal. Students and staff using the containers are charged a one-time fee at their first use and issued a refund at the end of the semester upon return of the container or carabiner.
- Reduces the size of the plates used in the dining halls
- Supports local vendor purchasing
- Donates leftover food to Meals on Wheels
Carbon Negative: Reducing Dining's Carbon Foodprint at Penn State
This research report was a project created as part of the 2020 Drawdown Scholars Program by Divya Jain, a Penn State student under the mentorship of Rachel Brennan during Summer 2020.
- Don’t buy. Before making a purchase, consider other ways to meet the same need. Can you borrow it? Share with someone? Reuse? In general, what other ways might you meet the same need?
- If you have to buy, buy eco-friendly. Use the following Buy Green checklist.
- Buy used & buy local
- Buy durable
- Check for energy efficiency (look for the Energy Star and EPEAT* labels for computers and appliances)
- Get the highest recycled content possible
- Is it made with natural, non-toxic, organic, renewable resources?
- Look for low to no packaging
- Reusable or recyclable (packaging and product)
- Fair treatment of employees and suppliers
- Use online resources such as the Good Guide, EnergyStar, EPEAT*
- Recycle It! These items can be recycled at University Park:
- Mixed office paper, enveloped, cardboard, newspapers, gift wrap, Post-it notes, books and magazine.
- Plastic containers, plastic bottles, plastic bags, bubble wrap and packing pillows.
- Glass, metal and aluminum cans, Motor Oil and Cooking Oil, Toner Cartridges.
- Computers, cell phones and MP3 players, light bulbs, batteries, CDs and DVDs
- Need a container for batteries or have items that require special pick-up? Contact email@example.com.
- For detailed information, visit the Recycling and Waste Management guidelines.
- Compost it! There are many items that can be composted at University Park:
- Food waste, fruit, diary products, meat and bones.
- Pizza boxes, compostable plates, cups and silverware, paper towels and tissues, filters, coffee grounds and tea bags.
- For specifics, please view the Composting guidelines.
- Paper Cut: 33% of American waste is paper.
- Cut paper use by printing double sided.
- Change the margin settings from the 1.25” default to 0.75” and save 5 percent of paper, according to the Mueller study and the Penn State Green Destiny Council.
- If you are flooded by catalogs, stop the overflow by contacting www.catalogchoice.org
- Buy Green: Get a reusable bottle and help to reduce plastic use.
- Only 25 percent of plastic beverage bottles are recycled nationwide.
- Purchase items that are minimally packaged and can be recycled.
- Take reusable bags with you when you shop.
- Close the resource loop by purchasing products made with recycled content, such as paper and carpets.
- Bathroom Actions:
- Take shorter showers.
- Close the tap while brushing teeth or shaving.
- Laundry Actions:
- Wash clothes in cold water.
- Wash full loads of clothes.
- Kitchen Actions:
- Run the dishwasher with a full load of dishes.
- Fill a dishpan with water for cleaning dishes instead of constantly letting water run.