Being a consumer comes with responsibilities. Everything you buy affects the world you live in. Buying locally grown food or locally made items will cause that money you spent to stay in your community and multiply. Every dollar you spend is showing your support for that item and where it was made. In some cases your purchase may support child and slave labor in other countries. Learn about where it was made and how it was made before you buy something. Every purchase matters.
Easy Everyday Practices for the Environment
1. Shut Off & Unplug It
When you leave the room, turn off the light – even if you’ll only be gone for a minute. Brushing your teeth or conditioning your hair in the shower? Turn off the water unless needed to rinse, and you’ll help save gallons of water! When taking your phone off the charger, also unplug the charger from the wall because it still uses the same amount of electricity whether being used or not, which is called using “phantom electricity.”
2. Have a Light Bulb Moment
If it is daylight, consider opening your blinds before flipping your switch on. The type of bulbs in your sockets matter – buy LED or CFL lights. Though more expensive, the payback comes quickly.
3. Drive Less, Walk or Bike More
You’ll save gas and be healthier for it. If you must drive, minimize your trips and ask friends to ride along. If you drive and have a cell phone, charge it in the car because it doesn’t require any extra energy whereas at home it does. You can check out an orange bike at the Vogel Library to use around Waverly!
4. Consume Wisely
Buy from socially and environmentally responsible companies, purchase Energy Star-certified appliances, search for items with the least amount of packaging, and try to buy from locally-owned businesses.
5. Seek More Information
Stay involved and aware of both contemporary issues surrounding sustainability as well as progressions in technology development. This will make you better equip to participate in our democratic process.
Students in the 2009 IS 101: Sustainability came up with the project of starting a vegetable garden that would be located on the corner of Fifth Ave. NW and Seventh St. NW. On Earth Day, garden planners and volunteers got to work constructing a fence around the garden plot, measuring and marking rows, and planting the first seeds of the garden.
Today, the garden has moved locations to the corner of Seventh St. NW and Third Ave. NW (just east of Lohe Hall). Produce from the garden can be used by Dining Services to be incorporated into meals. The garden is sustained with volunteer support, and we need YOU to volunteer! Watch for an opportunity in the spring to adopt a plot or help prepare the raised beds for planting. Knowing how to grow your own food can be a valuable skill when you are on a tight budget or learning to live more sustainably. If you are interested, email firstname.lastname@example.org with “Garden” in the subject line.
Buy Fresh, Buy Local
Buying locally produced food helps farmers in your region. In turn these farmers are more likely to reinvest their money into their own community. This cycle will help strengthen your community. Buying local will also help the environment. Locally produced food travels on average 1,500 miles fewer than most items found in a supermarket. This means less resources involved in packaging, distribution and transportation.
Buying local can also help your health. Since the food doesn’t have as far to travel it isn’t long after the food is picked that you buy it. This allows the produce to retain a higher nutritional value.
Reduce & Reuse
Water Bottle Fillers
Wartburg has bottle fillers in the Science Center, Luther Hall, Saemann Student Center, Vogel Library and The W. Please choose these over bottled water to reduce waste.
Wartburg’s Dining Services has made great strides toward becoming more sustainable. A couple of the major achievements have been going tray-less in the Mensa and purchasing front-loading washers. Going tray-less has led to savings in water, the energy needed to heat the water, the number of dishes that need to be washed, and the amount of food and water waste generated. The front-loading washers, over the period of 48 days, saved 14,976 gallons of water and have decreased the number of loads that need to be done each day.
– Eat in the Mensa as opposed to other dining locations to use their reusable plateware instead of disposable ones.
– Don’t be afraid to ask for smaller portions when eating in the Mensa.
– Bring your own reusable water bottle or mug instead of wasteful disposable ones.
– Use a cone instead of a dish for ice cream.
The 2011 US Department of Labor’s guide to products made of slave and child labor is a great guide for making social justice guided purchasing decisions. The Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA) of 2005 requires the Department of Labor’s Bureau of International Affairs (ILAB) to “develop and make available to the public a list of goods from countries that ILAB has reason to believe are produced by forced labor or child labor in violation of international standards.” ILAB published its initial List on September 10, 2009, which included 122 goods from 58 countries. ILAB published its first update to the List on December 15, 2012, adding 6 goods and 12 countries. The 2011 update adds 2 good and 1 country to the List, a relatively small number compared to the 2009 initial List and the 2010 update. The List includes only those goods for which we are able to document the use of child or forced labor in their production. Given the pervasive nature of these global problems, it is likely that many more goods are produced through these egregious forms of labor use.
Trinkets & Togs
114 10th Street SW, Waverly (next to Sasquatch Jack’s)
Store Hours: M 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; T-F 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sa 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
400 Technology Place SW, Waverly, IA
Store Hours: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. every day