Reduce Your Footprint

The College is actively working to reduce our footprint in a number of areas including: energy and climate change, waste reduction and recycling, green building, responsible land management, water conservation, and hazardous materials management.

What can you do?

Reduce Your Waste

Small room-sized recycling bins are available in the basement of every residence hall for students to take to their rooms. Larger, centrally-located recycling bins are located on each floor within the residence halls and in all academic and administrative buildings.

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Waste Reduction & Recycling

Learn the what, why and how of the Mount Holyoke recycling program.
Image of Paws on Move-in Day

Recycling FAQ for New Students

Wondering what to do with those move-in boxes? Find the answers to general questions about how recycling works at Mount Holyoke.
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Reduce Waste Where You Eat

Tips for reducing the amount of waste produced during and after meals.

Shrink Your Water Footprint

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Water Conservation Tips and Facts

Learn what you can do to conserve water while living and working on campus.

Save Energy

According to a 2003 study at Tulane University*, the top three energy users in a college residence hall are lights, computers, and refrigerators. Combined, these account for over 90% of the energy used in a typical room, and generate 2700 pounds of greenhouse gas in a year.

*Tulane University ENERGY STAR Showcase Dorm Room study by Maureen Devery, updated in Fall 2003 by Cassandra Pace.  See the Energy Star website.

Save energy in your residence hall

  1. MHC Residence Halls are "incandescent free areas". To get a free LED bulb for your desk or floor lamp email with your residence hall and room number.
  2. Turn off the lights and use natural lighting whenever possible.
  3. Practice Green Computing by setting your computer to go to sleep when not in use.
  4. Keep windows closed in cold weather to keep the warm air in, and learn how to control your heater.
  5. Turn off and unplug TVs, printers, stereos, chargers or other electronics when not in use and over breaks.
  6. Defrost and unplug your refrigerator over breaks.
  7. Learn how to control the heat in your room.
  8. Reduce your shower time to save water and energy.
  9. Wash full loads of laundry and use cold water. Use concentrated high efficiency environmentally friendly laundry detergent.
  10. Use a drying rack to dry your clothes.
  11. Learn the truth about some common Energy Myths.
  12. Find out how much power appliances use.

Save energy around campus

  1. Burn calories, not kilowatts: use the stairs, not the elevator.
  2. Turn off all lights if you are the last one out of a room.
  3. Turn off computers in computer labs and classrooms when you are done working.
  4. Don't use automatic door openers unless you need to.

Save energy in the laundry room

Changing some aspects of the way you do your laundry can help reduce your ecological footprint as well. Try some of these simple tips, compiled by the ECO-Reps:

  1. Wash full loads of laundry.
  2. Since 90% of the energy used for washing clothes is used to heat the water, use the cold water cycle by selecting "Bright Colors" or "Delicates".
  3. Use ultra-concentrated detergent to minimize the amount of chemicals entering the environment and the amount of plastic used for the containers.
  4. Recycle empty detergent bottles.
  5. Try switching to an eco-friendly detergent made with biodegradable ingredients.
  6. Use a drying rack or the laundry lines in your laundry room instead of the dryer.
  7. If you choose to use a dryer, clean the lint trap before starting the machine. This keeps air circulating efficiently and can cut down on drying time.

Save energy getting around

  1. Take the PVTA or bike instead of driving.
  2. Walk or bike across campus instead of taking your car.

Be Green With Your Purchases

  1. If you need a refrigerator, buy an EnergyStar™ model.
  2. Buy low-wattage electronic devices that are certified by EnergyStar™.
  3. Invest in a reusable wide-mouthed travel mug or water bottle.
  4. Look for products with post-consumer recycled content.
  5. Look for durable products with minimal packaging.
  6. Look for locally grown foods when at the store.