For my video, I decided to interview my friend Courtney to talk about her sustainability efforts on campus. Courtney, an avid runner, described an easy task she does to save energy. She runs outside instead of running on the treadmill. This saves electricity, while at the same time gives her the ability to appreciate the beauty of the Union College campus! As mentioned in the video, a normal treadmill uses about 2HP (horsepower), with the average person using it for approximately 30 minutes a day, this means they are using 0.75 kilowatts per hour everyday. To save energy, run outside!
The use of a $20 reusable water bottle can save the average American $6,180 after five years of use, which is the bare minimum life expectancy of a reusable water bottle. If one person switches to a reusable water bottle, 217 plastic water bottles will be saved from going to a landfill that year, not only do they save you a lot of money and help the environment, but they are also a healthier option as opposed to plastic water bottles. Reusable water bottles are lead and BPA free, which is beneficial to you and your families’ well-being. By switching to a reusable water bottle, Americans can save themselves thousands of dollars, help the environment by lowering the amount of plastic waste in the United States, and keep their families safer.
Within the past decade at Union College, students and faculty have been working extremely hard to decrease the fossil fuel and carbon footprint of the school. This has been a beneficial contributes to the school because now we have more recycle bins around the school and distributed toilets where we can choose the “type of flush” that we want. For this proposal, I propose that every incoming freshmen will get a free aluminum – swell type water bottle. Every year, 17 billion barrels are used to create at least 50 billion disposable water bottles in America alone. Also, reusable bottles such as the well can save an American about 200$ per year. Plastic bottles have also been linked to contain BPA (which is a plastic linked to cancer). So why not, where we can decrease our own risks and the rest of our student body’s risk? Furthermore, this being said, investing in the metal water bottles is very costly, but as a school that has a student body dominated by athletes, this would be a great investment to decrease out plastics purchase and increase our reusable bottle community. Although we are a small population, if all colleges and universities take part in this, the rate of oil required for plastics can decrease significantly.
For the green grant, I would like to see the school further initiate their solution that helps reduce the amount of water waste from toilets and sinks. There are already more sustainable flushing systems and motion-sensored sinks in some of the bathrooms on campus, but I think it should be a universal theme in every building, in all facilities. These sustainable practices are highly beneficial in saving water.
In terms of the dual flushing toilets, they “take water-efficiency one step further: using 1.6 gallons for solid waste and only .8 gallons for liquid waste.” As opposed to using 1 1/2 gallons of water per flush, everywhere that has implemented this system gets to dave almost an entire gallon per flush.
Additionally, “millions of gallons of water are wasted every year through faucets that are left running for too long or not closed properly after use…It is believed that installing motion sensor faucets can save as much as 30% to 50% on overall water use.”
It would be nice to see Union implement these ideas further into campus, as a lot can be achieved by sticking to these sustainable practices.