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Reduce Your Consumption Footprint

In the book Cooler Smarter*, The Union of Concerned Scientists' dissect the average American’s personal contribution to greenhouse gas emissions based on five broad categories: food; transportation; home heating and cooling, stuff you buy; and other home energy use.  

On average,10% of our individual contribution to greenhouse gas emissions  as Americans comes from material purchases. That’s approximately “two tons of emissions”!

As you enter the New Year, we challenge you to think about how you want to spend that 10%.


Three Opportunties to Reduce Your Consumption Footprint

1. Rethink purchases. Ask yourself:

  • Do I really need this?
  • Is it made well?
  • Where is it made?
  • Will it last a while?
  • Is it energy efficient?
  • Will it replace something less energy efficient?

2. Go vintage.

  • Creatively shop and donate in Harvard Square: Second Time Around (STA), Oona’s, Goodwill Store, and other second hand shops.

3. Shop sustainably.


Reuse, Reduce and Donate:

  • Cosmetics Drive, donate cosmetics (anything unopened) to a local women’s shelter through February 7th. Check with your Green Team for a drop-off location nearest you.  
  •  Freecycle at HLS, February 13, 11am-2pm
  • Harvard Recycling and Surplus Store, Thursday's, 11-2pm, 175 North Harvard Street, Allston
  • Habitat for Humanity Stuff Sale, end of school year.
  • Check out other reuse options at Harvard here.


Don't Forget to Recycle!

1. Clothes and Shoes.

  • H&M now accepts clothes for recycling – any brand. Earn a $5 gift certificate towards an H&M purchase when you participate.
  • Drop off your old tennis shoes at Karma Yoga Studio near Harvard Square (shoe recycle bins are near the stairway) or Niketown on Newbury Street (shoe recycle bins are near the elevator).

* Cooler Smarter: Practical Steps for Low-Carbon Living, Union of Concerned Scientists, p. 22,60,161.