Tips for Sustainable Living

17 Tips for Going Green at Clark

How many Clarkies does it take to reduce the university's carbon footprint. Just one. Just one.

1) Recycle Batteries: Batteries of all types can be recycled by placing them in the battery recycle container, located on the ground floor of the UC under the stairs.  There is also a battery collection bin next to ITS in the AC.

2) Phantom Loads can be reduced with a power strip or by unplugging electronics when they are not in use: "Phantom loads" refers to electronics (such as cell phone chargers or computers) that draw energy even when they are turned off. Wasted energy can be reduced by turning the power strip off at night or when the items are not being used. 

3) Recycle plastics (#1-7) and paper (no tissues or paper towels).  Bins are located throughout campus. 
        Don't throw your old notes and tests away! As long as it's made of paper, it can be recycled! EXCEPTION: unfortunately paper towels, napkins, and soiled paper (with food/grease stains) are not recyclable - though they ARE compostable

4) Conserve Water! Collect compost in large yogurt containers and drop them off in the UC.  Eco-Reps is working towards having compost bins in all the residence halls by the end of the academic year!

5) Don't use paper towels: Keep a hand towel in your room so you don't have to use paper towels to dry your hands.  You can also use towels to clean up spills! 

6) Buy Local: Buy organic and local food.  Farmer's markets are the best place for produce!  For a list of Farmers' Markets in in the Worcester area and their dates and times, click here! During the winter or for items you can't find at Farmers' Markets we recommend you shop for groceries at The Living Earth.  Try to avoid buying goods with extra packaging as well.  

7) Too hot in your dorm? Closed windows coverings during the day can block additional heating from the sun (especially South facing windows). Also, an open window will only make the heater work harder, but a towel draped over the top of the radiator while you are in the room can keep it cooler. "More than 1,5000 of carbon dioxide is emitted each year by air-condition the average US home"

8) Too cold in your dorm? Dorm heaters function by convection, so a heater with boxes and objects stacked in front of it doesn't heat properly. Also, open window coverings to let the sunshine in during the day and close them at night to reduce heat loss.
If there are serious or continual problems, call physical plant x7566. Our heating system is controlled by an energy management system. But, in the words of Miley Cyrus, "Nobody's perfect"

9) Wash in Cold Water: Washing clothes in cold or warm water instead of hot saves 500 pounds of carbon dioxide a year, according to Drying your clothes on a clothesline six months out of the year would save another 700 pounds (Chicago Tribune). Sooo....

10)  Skip the dryer, reduce carbon emissions and help favorite items last longer at the same time: "The heat weakens and even breaks down fibers, especially synthetics and elastic fabrics..." ( Drying racks are available at the Clark Community Thrift Store and at Target! 

11) Try Alternative Transportation in the Woo! Using the Clark Bikeshare (, Escort service (ext. 7777), carpooling (, walking and taking the bus (WRTA schedules are available at the info desk in the U.C.) saves money, reduces pollution, and can be far more fun than driving alone.  For more on alternative transportation in Worcester visit

12) Turn off dorm and bathroom lights when you leave. This saves money and carbon emission from the electricity plants. Does it make a difference? Check the math:
A standard light bulb uses 60 watts of energy an hour or will chew through a kilowatt of energy over approximately 16 hours. A kilowatt hour of energy costs approximately 12 cents. So leaving that light on unnecessarily for 16 hours a day all year? 365 kilowatts of energy, worth $43.80. down the drain.

13) Regular light bulbs can be replaced with any CFL. 
If you have a regular light bulb for a lamp in your room, take the bulb to Gates House at 24 Charlotte Street to trade it for an energy saving CFL (compact fluorescent lamp) bulb.

14) "Paper or plastic?" "I brought my own!"
According to, "500 billion to 1 trillion plastic bags are used every year around the world which is about 1 million plastic bags used every minute... Americans recycle only 1 to 3 percent of them and toss the rest" Once discarded, plastic bags take hundreds of years to decompose, whether they are caught in animals stomachs, in waterways and sewers, or in landfill and lakes. Help reduce this by re-using plastic bags or using reusable bags at stores.  If you end up with plastic bags that you don’t use, take them to the Clark Community Thrift Store! They’ll use them.

15) Reusable water bottles: Americans buy 28 billion single-serving plastic water bottles every year, and 80% of those end up in landfills, according to the Container Recycling Institute. Meeting the nation's demand for bottle water requires more than 1.5 million barrels of oil annually, enough to fuel 100,000 cars a year, the Earth Policy Institute estimates (Chicago Trbune). You can buy these from the Clark Bookstore, the Clark Community Thrift Store, CVS, or Walgreens.

16) Compost Today! Collect compost in large yogurt containers and empty them in the compost bins in the UC and BIstro.  Email us if you need a container to collect compost in your room or apartment.  Eco-Reps is working towards having compost bins in all the residence halls by the end of the academic year!  

17) Stand up for OUR Planet! Encourage your friends to follow these tips and live an environmentally conscious lifestyle.  If someone else forgot to turn off the light, turn it off yourself! If you see a bottle lying around, recycle it!  Remember, sustainable living is the key to keeping our planet beautiful for the next generation!