The New School Sustainability Pledge

 

Pledge

A commitment to a sustainable future

 

As a member of the New School community, you can become a part of the university-wide effort to create a more sustainable, less wasteful campus. Only through individual effort is a sweeping change possible. To date, over 1,000 members of this community have taken the pledge, helping The New School to become a more sustainable university. Make a statement about your dedication to environmental stewardship by taking the pledge.

I pledge to help The New School reduce its carbon footprint and achieve its sustainability goals by taking the following actions: (check as many as you can commit to) 

Energy and Greenhouse Gases

  1. Learn More

    Why: A computer in sleep mode uses 87 percent less energy than a computer in screen-saver mode. It's a myth that powering on and off your computer is harmful or requires more energy than simply leaving it on all the time.

  2. Learn More

    Why: If we all turned off the lights when leaving a room or when there's plenty of sunlight, we could collectively save a lot of electricity—the major source of The New School's carbon emissions.

  3. Learn More

    Why: Appliances that are turned off but left plugged in continue to draw a small amount of "phantom power."

  4. Learn More

    Why: CFLs, or spiral-shaped bulbs, last longer and use 75 percent less energy than incandescent bulbs.

  5. Learn More

    Why: Water heating consumes about 90 percent of the energy it takes to operate a clothes washer. Using warm instead of hot water will cut energy use in half.

  6. Learn More

    Why: A few degrees can decrease the heating and cooling load of your home or dorm room 2-to-3 percent.

  7. Learn More

    Why: The New School couldn't be better located to rely on one of the world's greatest bus, subway, and commuter rail systems. There are also a number of bike lanes around campus. If you leave the car at home and think twice about hailing a cab, you will help to reduce the university's carbon footprint.

  8. Learn More

    Why: Taking stairs instead of elevators saves a small amount of energy, but it will also burn calories.

  9. Learn More

    Why: Air conditioning requires a lot of electricity. Often a fan is enough to keep you comfortable. Closing shades during hot days and opening them during cool nights can reduce the need to turn on the AC at all.

     

 Waste/Pollution

 
  1. Learn More

    Why: Paper cups are rarely made from recycled materials and typically contain polyethylene, which prevents them from being recycled. Most coffee bars, including The New School's, will give you a discount for bringing your own mug.

  2. Learn More

    Why: Delivering paper to the university and carting it off for recycling uses fuel. Use less paper with double-sided printing and copying. New School computer lab printers are defaulted to print double-sided. Make sure you use this default as well.

  3. Learn More

    Why: It's easy to buy furniture and an entire wardrobe at one of New York City's many thrift stores. You can also set up clothing swaps with friends or for your dormitory—and donate unwanted clothing to a thrift store. All of these efforts prevent clothing from ending up in landfills.

  4. Learn More

    Why: Take something disposable and transform it into something new: a yogurt container or a metal can do double-duty in dozens of ways. Your creativity will decrease the waste you send to landfills.

  5. Learn More

    Why: Consider alternatives to products with wasteful packaging before you buy them. Practice the principle of "buying what you can eat and eating what you buy." The United States throws away 25 percent of all food that is produced. This results in the release of methane, a greenhouse gas 23 times as powerful as CO2, in landfills. More food for thought: Recovery of just 10 percent of one day's food waste can feed 8 million people.

  6. Learn More

    Why: Plastic bags are made from crude oil and other fossil fuels. And less than 1 percent of plastic bags are recycled. Paper bags are equally wasteful because they require energy to manufacture, and then take up space in landfills. A reusable tote bag can last for years, is easier to carry, and makes a strong statement.

  7. Press 'No' for ATM receipts.
  8. Learn More

    Why: If all the ATM users in this country stopped getting receipts for one year, we would save more than two-billion feet worth of paper—enough to wrap around the equator 15 times.

  9. Learn More

    Why: Tossed-out gadgets and batteries leach harmful chemicals such as lead, mercury, and cadmium into soil and water via landfills. All batteries and hand-held devices can be deposited in the blue tubes in most lobbies on campus. To dispose of your laptop, desktop or printer, the university will be hosting events at the end of each semester to collect these items. Stay tuned for more details. For these events and for e-waste generated by offices and computer labs, the university uses a vendor that meets the highest global standards for responsible recycling.

  10. Learn More

    Why:Many of us don't recycle properly. It's critical to follow the signs and labels posted around campus to keep waste out of landfills. Teaching others to recycle can make a difference, too. If you see someone throwing away a plastic bottle or aluminum can, politely suggest that they recycle it instead.

  11. Learn More

    Why:Compost is collected anywhere food is sold on campus. Composting improves our waste diversion rate, reducing the amount of waste that needs to be shipped to an out-of-state landfill or incinerated. And the finished compost, or humus, is used by East Coast landscapers and farmers. Follow signs by compost bins to learn what can be composted -- more than you might think.

     

Food

 
  1. Learn More

    Why: Supporting local farmers keeps cash in the local economy. Food from local farms also travels fewer miles and is often less environmentally damaging than conventional produce. Shop at the Union Square Greenmarket or sign up with Corbin Hill, the farm share on campus, plus read labels to learn the origins of your food.

  2. Learn More

    Why: Organic farms don't use pesticides, antibiotics, or other harmful chemicals. Going organic is a great way to stand behind organic farmers and support agricultural practices that are kinder to the environment.

  3. Learn More

    Why: Meat production requires 6 to 17 times more land, 4.4 to 26 times more water, 6 to 20 times more fossil fuel, emits 7 times more acidifying substances, and uses 6 times more biocides than soybeans.

  4. Learn More

    Why: Of the world's seafood stock, 80 percent are currently exploited, depleted, or recovering. The Monterey Bay Aquarium released a highly respected guide to navigating sustainable seafood choices.

     

Water

  1. Learn More

    Why: The plastic needed to meet Americans' demand for bottled water requires more than 17 million barrels of oil a year. And 86 percent of bottles end up in landfills where they will spend up to 1,000 years before they degrade. Why buy bottled water when New York City has some of the cleanest and tastiest water in the world, and it's free!

  2. Learn More

    Why: Water is a finite natural resource and it takes energy to treat it, heat it, and deliver it to your tap. Some faucets use as many as five gallons of water a minute. For two dollars, you can purchase an aerator that will cut that to half a gallon per minute. Turning the tap off while brushing your teeth, shaving, or washing dishes will further reduce your water footprint.

  3. Learn More

    Why: Taking a 10-minute shower instead of a 15-minute shower reduces water use by 12-35 gallons a day or 12,775 gallons a year. And only taking a 10-minute shower every other day would reduce your water consumption by an additional 4,500-12,000 gallons a year. Go farther: Install a low-flow showerhead that can cut water use by more than half.

     

Advocacy

 
  1. Learn More

    Why: It's going to take a high level of awareness on campus to meet our sustainability goals. Pitch in by joining a student organization: Among them are ReNew School and the Urban Forestry Club. Or pledge to attend upcoming sustainability activities on and off campus.

  2. Learn More

    Why: Every little action helps. If you see a way to reduce waste in your workspace, suggest it.

  3. Learn More

    Why: The more The New School community knows about the Pledge, the more people will sign it—and change their behavior.

     

Your Ideas

Tell us about other actions you are currently taking or planing to take.

 


About You

All information gathered will be used solely for this pledge initiative. Your information will not be shared with any other party. You can expect only occasional emails related to the Pledge. This information will also help monitor meeting our goal of 1,000 pledges and provide statistical data to share with the campus.

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