Spring on the York College campus

Back to List

Living Sustainably: Tips from YCP Experts

April 16, 2021
A graphic of the world and animated ways to be more sustainable

With Earth Day and Arbor Day both happening at the tail end of April, York College is focusing on how our community can interact responsibly with the environment this spring. Sustainability is a big topic, encompassing issues like climate change, pollution, greenhouse gases, energy sources, and more — but did you know that there are some easy, inexpensive ways to help the environment in your own day-to-day life? 

We chatted with some of York’s most sustainability-minded students and faculty to help you make simple changes with a big impact. Here are their top tips for sustainable living. 

Coffee drinker? 

Did you know that most coffee shops either sell or will fill your drink order in a reusable or travel mug? You can bring your own or purchase one in store instead of using a paper cup. If you must use a paper cup, be sure to recycle it when you’re done! *Bonus tip: Jennifer Pomeroy, PhD (Assistant Professor of Geography and chair of the President’s Task Force for Campus Sustainability), recommends drinking “only fair-trade, organic, locally-roasted coffee,” and supporting local businesses in the process!

Can that be recycled? 

Spencer Smith ’21 (Civil Engineering) reminds Spartans to “check the number on all the plastic you recycle to make sure Penn Waste will accept it.” The numbers you want to look out for are 1, 2, and 5. “Keep caps and lids on every bottle to help the facility recognize the type of plastic.”

Don’t forget to wash! 

“Try to wash and dry everything that’s not a paper product,” says Smith. This can help speed up the recycling process!

Not sure? Throw it out! 

“If you are ever unsure what to do, throw it out,” says Smith. “Anything thrown into recycling that is not recyclable will ruin the entire load.”

Stop buying single-use! 

Limit or eliminate buying a single-use bottled water and other disposable products such as plates and utensils. Instead, choose a reusable water bottle that you can fill at public drinking fountains or fill up at home to take with you. Choose dishes and utensils that you can wash and reuse.

Watch your water use! 

Pomeroy suggests being mindful of your water usage. “Use a trickle of water for handwashing and brushing teeth and limit showers to five minutes,” she said.

Go eco-friendly! 

There are so many ways that you, as an individual, can become more eco-friendly. Pomeroy suggests switching these common household and everyday items: eco-friendly toothbrush, biodegradable shampoo and conditioner and natural body wash, natural paraben-free lip balm, eco-friendly shaving cream, recycled/recyclable razors, natural (pumice or felt) lint removers rather than tape, natural laundry detergent, and eco-friendly dish detergent.

 

Celebrate Sustainability with these Campus Events:

EcoChallenge from April 1-21, 2021, with Dr. Kenneth Slaysman

Research Showcase|Sustainability (virtual) April 17-23, 2021

  • Join Dr. Sauder Keynote Address on April 19, 2021, at 6:00 PM via Zoom

Speaking Green Panel Session (virtual) April 19, 20, 22, and 23 from 6-7 PM. Sponsored by the Student Senate Sustainability Committee

Spartan Rock Talk (virtual) April 21, 2021 at 7:30 PM sponsored by the Student Senate Sustainability Committee. You will learn what sustainable things can be done at individual, an organization, and a college level. Click here to join! Meeting ID: 938 5898 6533

YCP’s First Campus Sustainability Awareness Campaign: April 18-30, 2021(Keynote Speaker - Vanessa Farquharson on April 20, 2021, at 7:00 Register to join! Vanessa is an award-wining author, public speaker, and journalist.

Residence Life - Terracycle