By the Numbers: MHC's "Green" Challenge

Wednesday, April 9, 2008 - 12:00pm

Mount Holyoke College began the spring semester by joining more than 1,000 colleges and organizations in participating in the country's largest-ever teach-in, Focus the Nation. The event also kicked off the Focus the Campus campaign, challenging MHC departments and organizations to reduce their environmental footprints. Now the President's Office and Dining Services are collaborating to make the Community Breakfast "green," the Office of Religious Life is composting food waste for Passover, and Facilities Management is providing compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) to students in every residence hall.

These are just a few of the many ways the MHC community is adopting environmentally friendly habits. If your department hasn't already done so, please join in and Take the Pledge (see link below) now! Here are some facts and figures that will help you get started:

Percentage of electricity used in buildings by artificial light. Use natural light when you can, and turn off lights when leaving a room.

Number of years compact fluorescent bulbs last--while using 75 percent less energy than traditional bulbs.

Percent of the energy needed to make aluminum from raw materials that is saved each time you recycle an aluminum can.

Tons of trash diverted from the landfill annually if every one of approximately 3,100 students, faculty, and staff at MHC recycles just one additional sheet of paper per day.

Percentage of energy reduction realized by purchasing a flat-screen computer monitor.

Dollars saved on electric bills annually by setting all 2,800 campus computer monitors to go into "sleep" mode after ten minutes.

Percentage of energy savings realized by turning a computer off at night and limiting its use to just eight hours daily.

Gallons of gasoline saved, the equivalent to the reduction in greenhouse gas emissions realized by switching just one case of copy paper from a nonrecycled paper to a 30 percent postconsumer recycled paper.

Tons of plastic waste eliminated if every MHC student, faculty, and staff member uses one less plastic water bottle per day--equivalent to taking 14 cars off the road.

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