What You Can Do
Small but important actions on your part can add up to a major reduction in Hunter's carbon footprint.
Take advantage of mass transit. Hunter College is criss-crossed by bus and subway lines and streets. From almost anywhere you happen to live in the metropolitan area, you can get to our campuses and back without having to drive into New York City. By choosing this option, you help to curb petroleum consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.
Choose drinking fountains. New York City water is regarded as some of the purest, best-tasting water in the United States. Flowing from reservoirs in upstate New York, it is refreshing, clean and plentiful. Read what the NYC Department of Health has to say about it here. Best of all, it's freely available throughout our campuses. Bottled water is convenient for those on the go, but petroleum is consumed and greenhouse gases are produced to package, transport and refrigerate it. And a high percentage of empty plastic bottles end up in landfills instead of being recycled. If you find it difficult to pass up bottled water, you can at least slow the consumption/emission/pollution cycle by refilling your empty bottle from our water fountains instead of purchasing a fresh bottle each time you get thirsty.
Report leaking faucets. Did you know that one steadily-leaking faucet can account for 180 gallons of water lost down the drain each day? Imagine dozens, hundreds or thousands of leaky faucets--all that precious water, wasted. Click here to view a NYC Department of Environmental Protection fact sheet detailing the cost of leaks. If you notice a faucet on campus that is running, turn it off. If you are unable to turn off the water stream, call the Office of Facilities Management and Planning at (212) 772-4422 and report the leak. In addition to preventing unnecessary waste, you'll have helped lessen the burden on New York City's drainage infrastructure.
Take the stairs. If you only have to travel up or down three or fewer stories, why not take the stairs? Less electricity is consumed when fewer people are using campus elevators. And it's an easy way to fit a mini-workout into your day.
Recycle, recycle, recycle. You probably noticed that the letter 'G' in the Hunter Green logo is based on the universal symbol for recycling. Empty glass and plastic bottles, and paper you no longer need--put it all in the specially-designated metal and plastic bins (such as the one pictured here). There are hundreds of them distributed among all Hunter campuses. You'll help keep glass, plastic and paper--infinitely reusable materials--out of the waste stream. Hunter even recycles your spent batteries; click here to find out where to bring them.
Turn off the lights. The overhead lights in most rooms at Hunter campuses are connected to occupancy sensors; if no motion is detected in these rooms after a certain amount of time, lights automatically turn off, saving electricity. But there are some rooms on Hunter's campuses that are not yet equipped with sensors. If you notice a classroom or conference room with its lights on that does not appear to be in use, take the simple step of switching off the lights.
Turn off your computer. Although most computers on our campuses are installed with software that powers them down after a certain period of inactivity, some are not. Whether yours shuts down automatically or not, it's a good idea to get in the habit of turning off your computer when you leave campus for the day, or even if you think you'll be away from your workstation for more than half an hour. The cumulative energy savings can be substantial.
Turn off your A/C. Some buildings on our campuses are older than others and must be air-conditioned with window units. If you use a room equipped with a window unit and you are the last to leave the room, make sure the unit is turned off. Unlike the lights in the rooms, these units are not connected to sensors that will shut them off when rooms are unoccupied. In most cases, cooling a room overnight is a needless waste of electricity and money, and blows excess heat into the atmosphere unnecessarily.
Don't print if you don't have to. Reduce your personal paper consumption by leaving emails and website contents where you first viewed them--on the computer monitor. If you want to share an e-item with others, just email it to them as a forward or an attachment, and encourage the recipients to do the same.
If you must print: For rough drafts and items that are of relatively low importance, use paper that has already been printed on one side and was destined for the recycle bin. Some printers on campus can even be configured to print double-sided. You'll cut your paper consumption in half.