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By Sustainability Office on September 21, 2015

Did you know that you can get a FREE home energy assessment through NYSERDA’s Green Jobs Green NY program?  Most certainly, your home is wasting energy and costing you money.  A home energy assessment can help you determine where and how energy and money is being lost while also highlighting cost-effective measures to make your home more comfortable, affordable, and energy efficient.

During this information session we will:

  • walk you through the process of signing up for the home energy assessment
  • uncover typical myths about energy efficiency including windows, furnaces, new house vs. old house, and others.
  • review insulation types (fiberglass, foam, cellulose, and air sealing)
  • preview what equipment or testing is performed during a home energy assessment
  • discuss rebates, grants, and financing opportunities to help offset the cost of implementing energy savings projects

Hope to see you at 7 PM on September 29 (Tuesday) at the Hamilton Public Library.

Please contact John Pumilio, director of sustainability, with any questions.

This event is sponsored by Colgate’s Office of Sustainability.

Office of Sustainability Logo - Samantha Lee

2015 GREEN SUMMIT: Climate Change in Our Time

By Sustainability Office on September 1, 2015

Office of Sustainability Logo - Samantha Lee

On September 17, the Office of Sustainability will be hosting the 15th annual Green Summit.  The title of this year’s event will be Climate Change in Our Time.

As you likely know, the end of 2015 is gearing up to be a momentous year for climate issues globally, nationally, and here on campus.  In June, Pope Francis released his heavily anticipated encyclical on the environment.  In August, the White House finalized the Clean Power Plan, its flagship policy to combat carbon emissions from power plants.  This coming December at the 21st meeting of the Conference of Parties (COP-21) in Paris, there are high expectations for a global agreement on emissions reductions.  And here at Colgate, we are in the midst of updating our plan to achieve climate neutrality by 2019. The purpose of this year’s Green Summit is to highlight issues of climate change (at Colgate and beyond) from various faculty perspectives.



The 2015 Green Summit will kickoff at 4:30 p.m. in Golden Auditorium (Little Hall) with a faculty panel discussion.

Panelists for this events include:

  • Adam Burnett, William R. Kenan Jr. Professor of Geography
  • April Baptiste, Associate Professor of Environmental Studies
  • Engda Hagos, Assistant Professor of Biology
  • Mark Shiner, University Chaplain and Catholic Campus Minister
  • Peter Klepeis, Professor of Geography

The panel will be moderated by John Pumilio, Director of Sustainability.  We will invite questions/comments from the audience.



At 9:00 p.m., the 2015 Green Summit will conclude with a private showing of Naomi Oreskes’ award-winning documentary, Merchants of Doubt.  The program will take place at the Hamilton Merchants of DoubtMovie Theater.  Seating is limited and tickets will be given on a first-come, first-served basis.  Tickets are FREE and can be picked up in the Ho Science Center room 245 (Steve Dickinson’s office) or in Lathrop Hall room 109M (John Pumilio’s office).

To follow the latest news, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

To submit questions in advance of the forum, use #GateGreenSummit.

The 2015 Green Summit is sponsored by CORE Scientific Perspectives, Environmental Studies, Lampert Institute, Office of Sustainability, Upstate Institute.

**We encourage all Green Summit attendees to attend a special event hosted by the Lampert Institute for Civic and Global Affairs.  The event entitled, “Edible Memory: How Tomatoes Became Heirlooms and Apples Became Antiques,” by Dr. Jennifer Jordan, Professor of Sociology and Urban Studies, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee will take place at 7:00 p.m. in 101 Ho Science Center (Meyerhoff Auditorium).

The 2015 Green Summit is sponsored by the Lampert Institute for Civic and Global Affairs, the Picker Interdisciplinary Science Institute, the Upstate Institute, Environmental Studies, and the Department of Sociology and Anthropology.

We look forward to seeing you at our 15th annual Green Summit!

Colgate Community Garden Summer Programs

By Sustainability Office on July 27, 2015

Article by Beth Roy, manager, Colgate Community Garden

The Colgate Community Garden team has been hard at work this summer in our new location just south of the Colgate Townhouses on route 12B.  The garden is thriving, and there are several events in July and August that we would like to share with you.

Come to the garden for a tour or to lend a helping hand! One of the members of the garden team will be there to greet you.

  • When: Mondays 5:00-7:00 p.m.; Fridays 2:00-4:00 p.m.

Purchase fresh, organically grown produce from the Community Garden each week at the Farm Stand.

  • Where: 104 Broad Street (through August; will move to the COOP once the semester begins)
  • When: Tuesdays from 4:00-5:30 p.m.

Interested in gardening but don’t have a lot of space to garden where you live?  Interested in being a part of the Colgate Community Garden?  The garden has a community plot program where you can rent a space in the garden each year for a small fee.

Think it’s too late in the year to start a garden?  Think again!  We will supply you with the information you need to plant a successful fall garden.  Individual and group applicants both encouraged.  This could be a great opportunity for your campus group to come together to learn about growing your own food!

If interested, please contact garden manager Beth Roy (eroy@colgate.edu).


We hope to see you soon!

Recycling and Reusing at Colgate: Frequently Asked Questions

By Sustainability Office on June 23, 2015

by John Pumilio, director of sustainability

I frequently receive calls or emails from concerned individuals asking how to properly recycle or dispose of certain items that are either broken or no longer needed.  Items could be anything from office supplies, furniture, microwaves, coffee pots, computers, monitors, small electronic devices, refrigerators, and almost anything else you can think of that is not part of our normal recycling program or too big to fit in one of our trash bins.  This post will hopefully offer some guidance and give you more direction.

Let’s start with our basic campus recycling program.  Colgate has two stream recycling which means that we need to separate recyclable materials into two different bins:

  1. Paper Recycling.  One bin is for paper and all paper products.  These blue bins are usually identified by having a lid with a slit that facilitates paper recycling.  See image below (bin on left).  This bin is for print and copier paper, newspaper, notebook paper, envelopes, magazines, and catalogs. Pizza boxes, cereal boxes, corrugated cardboard, paper bags, and dry food boxes can also be recycled with paper.
  2. Bottle and Can Recycling.  The other bin is for bottles and cans that are made of plastic, glass, or metal.  These blue bins are usually identified by having a lid with two round holes that facilitates the recycling of bottles and cans.  See image below (bin on right). This bin is for all plastics #1-7, all glass bottles and metal cans, plastic milk and water jugs, yogurt containers, laundry soap and detergent bottles, plastic cups, and plastic grocery bags.

Paper and bottle/can recycling bins are located in every building on campus.  Please take a moment to find and place your recyclables in the proper bin on campus.  Check out Colgate’s Recycling Guide for more detailed information.


Slim Jim recycling containers frequently found around campus.

Okay, that was the easy part.  The following Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) should guide you on how to properly dispose of other types of items.

Q: What do I do with large electronic devices such as Colgate-owned television sets, computers, monitors, and printers?
A: Call the ITS helpline (x7111).  They will assist you in the proper recycling of your Colgate-owned electronics.

Q: What do I do with small electronic devices such as old cell phones, batteries, compact discs, digital cameras, iPods, cables and cords, printer cartridges, calculators, and other small electronic devices?
A: Bring these items to the second floor of the Coop (in the elevator alcove) or to any one of our 16 locations around campus (download eWaste map here) where they will be recycled safely and conveniently.  Please lend a helping hand and tape both ends of all batteries before placing them in a battery recycling bin.  Members of the Sustainability Office will come around every few weeks to empty the electronic waste bins in your area.  If a bin becomes full and needs more immediate attention, please call x6360 or email us at sustainability@colgate.edu.

Q: Where does our eWaste go?
A: Large electronic devices that are still functional will be reused.  Small electronics are transported to RCR&R in Rochester, NY for proper recycling.  Click here to find out more.

Q: Where can I recycle my personally-owned eWaste?
A: As a Hamilton resident, you can take your electronic waste to the transfer station in Poolville (Cranston Road). They are open from 7:10 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and will punch your card for each item (punch cards cost $13.50 and contain 5 punches).  As a Madison County resident, you can also take your eWaste free of charge to the Madison-Cortland ARC at 327 Farrier Avenue and Gary’s Auto Parts at 651 Fitch Street, both in Oneida.

Q: What do I do with my spent printer cartridges?
A: Fortunately, W.B. Mason will conveniently collect your old printer cartridges for recycling.  Simply hand it to the W.B. Mason representative the next time they make a delivery to your office area.  A second option is to place the cartridge in one of our eWaste bins located around campus.

Q: Can old clothing or textiles be recycled
A: Yes! But first you should always consider donating old clothing to charitable organizations in our area such as Worn Again Clothing, the Rescue Mission, or the Salvation Army. If you have old clothing or textiles that are beyond reuse, then place these items in a clear plastic bag and seal it. Then, set the textile recycling bag next to or on top of your other recyclables or recycling bins. Textiles are one of the least recycled items. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that the average person throws away 70 pounds of clothing per year. Thanks for doing your part.

Q: I have an item (such as a microwave, refrigerator, lab equipment, furniture, shelving, filing cabinet, etc.) that is no longer needed or wanted.  What do I do with these items?
A: First ask yourself if the item is still useable.  If you think the item still has value and can be reused, then visit the Surplus and Salvage and call or e-mail Joanne Vanderwood (ext. 7475; jvanderwood@colgate.edu).  She will help you post your items for reuse or resale at auction.  If your item is broken or is not salvageable, then you must contact B&G to put in a work order for pickup.  B&G will collect your item(s) for proper disposal.

Q: I have extra office supplies that I no longer need or want.  What can I do with them?
A: Visit the Salvage and Surplus webpage and e-mail Joanne Vanderwood at jvanderwood@colgate.edu to have your items posted.  If you have extra paper clips, folders, lamps, and other items that you think other people at Colgate might need, post it on the site.  Likewise, if you are looking for common items, put in a request before spending money on new items.

Q: What do I do with scrap metal that is no longer needed?
A: Call B&G and put in a work order.  They will come pick it up for recycling!

Q: Do you have links to other resources that explain how to properly recycle at Colgate or at home?
A: Yes!  Check out these additional resources:

Colgate’s Recycling Guide and website
Madison County Solid Waste Department
NYS Electronic Waste Recycling
NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) – recycling and composting

Q: I still have an item or questions about recycling, what should I do?
A: Call (x6487) or email (jpumilio@colgate.edu) Colgate’s Director of Sustainability.  I will be glad to help.

The hidden environmental impacts of the fashion industry

By Sustainability Office on April 28, 2015

By Grace Dennis ’15

Few shoppers consider sustainability when purchasing new clothing but surprisingly the fashion industry has a major environmental impact. From production to transport to disposal fashion is the third most polluting industry after oil and agriculture. The impact of clothing begins with the production of fabric materials. Growing natural fibers is incredibly resource-intensive, with cotton alone responsible for a quarter of the pesticides used in the United States. Textile dyeing, which is responsible for 20% of industrial water pollution, also adds to the industry’s environmental impact. Factory-made clothing is extremely inefficient with fabric usage. For each garment produced 15-20% of the fabric is thrown away as scraps. With 1 billion garments coming out of China alone each year, that’s a lot of wasted material.

With the growth of fast fashion and cheap clothing retailers like Forever 21 and H&M society has begun to see clothing as disposable. New wardrobes can be easily bought to follow changing trends and torn clothing can be discarded instead of repaired and worn again. This growing disposable mindset of fashion has lead to the major increase of perfectly good clothing in landfills. In fact, the average American throws away 68 pounds of unwanted clothing each year. Currently only 15% of discarded clothing in the United States is sold in thrift and consignment shops, like Goodwill. As clothing becomes cheaper to buy new, the perceived resale value of unwanted clothes has decreased considerably. Cheap clothing also removes the need to buy used clothing at discounted prices. Only 12-15% of Americans shop at resale shops, creating a major gap in the circle of reuse.

Many clothing companies have acknowledged the environmental impacts of the fashion industry and have begun working towards more sustainable practices. Sustainably harvested fibers, waterless dye processes, and zero-waste manufacturing are all being tested out by many clothing brands. Consumer involvement is also a vital step in decreasing the environmental impact of the fashion industry. A movement away from the disposable mindset of clothing will help address the massive amount of waste created by discarded clothing. Quality of materials and construction should be highly valued and clothing should be seen as an investment. Higher quality garments will last much longer before fading or ripping. Consumers will also be more likely to repair a piece of clothing if they see it as a quality investment.

When a piece of clothing is discarded there are two main ways to keep it out of a landfill:

  • Recycling- clothing that is too worn or stained can be taken to a textile recycling center to be remade into new fabric
  • Donation or consignment- still wearable pieces can be donated to thrift stores like Goodwill or resold at consignment shops or online retailers

In order to complete the circle of recycling more shoppers need to purchase used clothing. Used clothing stores today are much more upscale than many people imagine. Chains like Second Time Around, which has stores in 12 states, and the online retailer tradesy.com specialize in reselling brand name clothing for a fraction of the original price. These new resale stores simplify the shopping experience by eliminating the need to sift through racks and racks of clothes to find quality pieces.

While sustainability may not be a major consideration when purchasing clothing, simple measures can be taken to decrease the impact our clothing choices have on the environment. Shoppers should consider sustainable brands and used clothing stores when making purchases. Many rips can be easily repaired at home or by a tailor, greatly extending the life of a piece of clothing. Finally, unwanted clothing should always be recycled, donated, or resold to ensure it stays out of landfills.

A costly convenience: Keurig K-Cups

By Sustainability Office on April 6, 2015

By Lindsey Sagasta ’16

It’s easy to see how convenient Keurig machines are for the average college student vying for that extra 10 minutes of sleep or studying, however, the waste associated with the K-cups goes largely unnoticed, and that’s a problem. In the past few years, there has been a large amount of attention drawn to the waste generated by Keurig K-cups, and many protests have sprung up in response to the unsustainable products. At the forefront of this movement is the “Kill the K Cup” campaign. If you haven’t seen the viral video– I strongly suggest you to check it out as well as KillTheKCup.org.Picture1

This recent backlash and attention to the matter has even spurred the creator of the Keurig machine to speak out about the unfolding disaster. According to a Buzzfeed article based off of an interview with The Atlantic, John Sylvan regrets creating the device because of the waste associated with the single-use cups (which are not recyclable or biodegradable). In fact, it was calculated that if each pod that ended up in a landfill in 2014 was lined up, the Earth could be circled an estimated 10.5 times- maybe even more.

The vision Sylvan first had of the pod-based coffee machine was solely for offices, and now, almost one in three American homes is in possession of one, with many more similar pod-requiring appliances in the works (a Keurig for jello shots,  Coca-Cola: “Keurig Cold”, Campbells: Keurig Soups). And although subsets of Keurig, such as Keurig Green Mountain, have announced their commitment to a fully recyclable version of a K-cup by 2020, Sylvan is skeptical of their success. Sylvan told The Atlantic “No matter what they say about recycling, those things will never be recyclable,” largely because of the requirements of the machine’s brewing process.

Until the manufacturers of the cups can address their wrongdoings- there are things that K-Cup users can do to make a difference, and for some, Keurig is willing to assist you.

  • In the “Grounds to Grow On” program, customers using Keurig machines at their offices are able to “collect each brewed pack and return it to our disposal partner.” Left over grounds are collected for compost and use in a variety of agricultural applications, while the packs are given to Covanta Energy to gather energy from the waste.
  • Some environmentally conscious K-Cup lovers have taken to creative and practical ways of reusing the cups.
  • One nifty YouTube user has created a great tutorial on how to repack k-cups for her Keurig machine- using the plastic cups up to for or five times before sending them to the landfill AND composting leftover coffee grounds! (Also mentioning the “My K-Cup” option to reducing waste or using your own coffee)

Stay up to date with KillTheKCup.org if you want to learn more about current efforts to reduce waste and other sustainability issues regarding single-serve items. On campus, you can reduce coffee waste by refilling your coffee mugs at places such as the Coop, Hieber Café, or Frank.

Springing into sustainability

By Sustainability Office on April 1, 2015

By Mallory Hart ’16

As we can all tell, Taylor Lake is beginning to thaw, the snow is melting, and we might even hear some birds chirp outside our windows. Spring is coming! Adding some sustainable checkboxes to that spring-cleaning list of yours could be an easy and effective way to change some unsustainable behaviors. Here’s a list of a few easy things you can do this spring that involves enjoying the warmer weather, staying organized for school, sprucing up the dorm room, and considering your wardrobe.

  • Rent a green bike! It’s a great way to enjoy the outdoors while getting where you need to be. A favorite of mine is biking downtown on weekend mornings for brunch. The rental period for bikes in the spring is from April 1 – May 1 and only cost $15/month. Check out the website for more information colgate.edu/greenbikes
  • Midterms are over so it might be time to reorganize that messy binder and refill all the paper you used up studying. First, try using both sides of any scrap paper you might have. This can help reduce the amount of paper used in general. After, be sure to purchase 100% recycled paper for the rest of the year and continue to use both sides.
  • When its time for the actual dorm room clean up, think about the types of cleaning products to use. Typical chemical spray cleaners release volatile organic compounds and toxins, making air in most homes as much as five times more polluted than air outside. Method, The Honest Co.*, and Seventh Generation are some eco-friendly brands to keep in mind when purchasing products for the home (or dorm). As a general rule of thumb, use cleaning products that…
    • List ingredients
    • Contain no chlorine, ammonia, or synthetic chemicals
    • Are certified biodegradable
    • Come in recyclable packaging
    • Are Green Seal certified
  • Clean out your closet. It’s time to part ways with that old sweater you didn’t wear all winter – yeah; I’m talking about that one. While spring-cleaning usually involves putting away all of the heavy winter gear and replacing it with some fabulous new warm weather clothes, there are a few things to take into account before doing so. It’s important to DONATE your old clothes, since its good for the environment and society at the same time. When it comes to spring shopping, check out vintage stores! The clothes bought at thrift shops are second-hand, making recycling part of your wardrobe as well.

* Shout out to Colgate’s Entrepreneurs Weekend that is bringing The Honest Company’s Founder and CCO Jessica Alba on campus next weekend. Check out http://www.colgate.edu/distinctly-colgate/entrepreneurship/entrepreneur-weekend#ew_schedule for more information.

Get ready for the 13 Days of Green!

By Sustainability Office on March 25, 2015

By Ben Schick ’17

As March comes to a close and Hamilton begins to thaw out of the frozen tundra that has engulfed campus for four months, Colgate prepares for the coming of its annual 13 Days of Green.  13 Days of Green is a campus wide event lasting from April 10-April 22 that aims at raising environmental awareness on campus.  The event offers educational programming, events, and competitions that engage students in sustainability on campus and give them the tools necessary to lead a sustainable lifestyle.

This year’s 13 Days of Green consists of a variety of events that highlight different ways organizations around campus are working to make Colgate more sustainable. The full schedule for the 13 Days of Green will be available on the Colgate mobile app starting next week. However, here are some events to look out for:

  • Ongoing:  Window sticker design competition.  Colgate wastes large amounts of heat every winter due to open windows in residence halls.  Students can help Colgate save heat and energy by designing a window sticker reminding students to keep their windows shut during the winter.  The artist of the winning design will win a gift card to a restaurant in downtown Hamilton.
  • April 11:  Head down to the Community Garden at 1pm to get a tour of the garden and learn about sustainable gardening practices.  Food from Hamilton Whole Foods will be provided.
  • April 14:  Sustainable and local food brownbag.  Led by Environmental Studies Professor April Baptiste and Director of Sustainability John Pumilio, this brown bag will look at Colgate’s initiatives to incorporate sustainably grown and local foods into our dining halls.  We will also explore the emerging local food market network in Hamilton, NY.
  • April 16:  Vegetarian dietician appointments.  Led by the Shaw Wellness center, students have an opportunity to talk one-on-one with a vegetarian dietician to learn how to adopt a nutritious and balanced plant-based diet.  Sign up for a one hour slot from 4-8pm by emailing rhangley@colgate.edu.
  • April 18:  Tree planting with COVE Sidekicks from 1-3pm.  Sidekicks will be celebrating Earth Day by planting saplings at the top of the old ski hill.  There will also be tours of the Darwin Thinking Path and environmentally friendly snacks. All are invited!
  • April 22 (Earth Day):  The 13 Days of Green culminates with the Oak Awards.  Formerly known as the Green Awards, the “Oakies” recognize individuals and groups on campus that have made a positive impact on Colgate’s campus through sustainability-related efforts.  Come join us for the award ceremony and free dinner from Hamilton Whole Foods.  In addition, if you wish to nominate an individual or group for an Oakie, please fill out this form:https://docs.google.com/a/colgate.edu/forms/d/1zaYwaqVmhvylk0CEKCvKMbAqOxiQyHUukiaEI6fzWy0/viewform.

While the 13 Days of Green is a fantastic event that engages students in sustainable living at Colgate, it is by no means the only opportunity students have to get involved in sustainability on campus.  There are countless ways students can immerse themselves in sustainability on campus.  The events, workshops and competitions of the 13 Days of Green is meant to serve as a starting point for students on their road to living a sustainable life now and in the future.  For more information, on how you can get involved beyond the 13 Days, visit colgate.edu/green.

Say Goodbye to Styrofoam

By Sustainability Office on March 17, 2015

By Sara Reese ’16

As members of the Hamilton community, we’ve probably all ordered Dunkin Donuts coffee, thinking nothing of the Styrofoam cup that’s handed to us through the drive-thru window.  And we’ve all probably been to a campus event and been served take-out food on Styrofoam plates.  While the everyday consumer might not consider the type of tableware or cup that they use, the fact is, Styrofoam is harmful to the environment and also our health.  As members of a renowned liberal arts university with one of the most aggressive carbon neutrality dates in higher education, the sustainability of our purchases should always be considered.

Styrofoam is identified as the fifth largest contributor to waste in the environment – occupying an estimated 30% in our nation’s landfills.  Styrofoam is also non-biodegradable, meaning that it will persist in that landfill forever.  An important compound in Styrofoam is Styrene, which was identified as a potential carcinogen and neurotoxin by the U.S. Environment Protection Agency (EPA) several decades ago.  Additional chemicals found in Styrofoam have been known to leach into food and beverages as it is heated up in the Styrofoam tableware or cup, leading to human ingestion of these chemicals.  According to EPA studies, Styrene is now found in 100 percent of the fat tissues sampled from every U.S. citizen (including children).  Clearly, Styrofoam has negative impacts on our environment and our bodies.

On March 10th, the Colgate University Student Government Association unanimously passed both a resolution and a bill against Styrofoam.  The bill, acting as a change to bylaws pertaining to the Budget Allocation Committee, prohibits BAC-funded student groups from using BAC-funding to purchase Styrofoam.  That means when student groups host events and order pizza and drinks for pickup or delivery, there has to be explicit notice given to the vendor that Styrofoam cups or plates should not be provided.  The resolution informs all Colgate departments and offices that the student body dissuades the use of Styrofoam and suggests action to reduce Styrofoam purchasing.

This bill and resolution builds momentum towards the ultimate action that should be taken – a campus-wide Styrofoam ban and ban within the town of Hamilton itself.  With recyclable and biodegradable options being offered at comparable prices, Styrofoam should not be allowed.  This wouldn’t be an unprecedented action – many cities, counties, and states are already banning Styrofoam, including New York City.  There are also many colleges and universities that have banned Styrofoam on campus.

With Styrofoam now banned from BAC-funded events, I encourage all of us – students, staff, and faculty – to invest in reusable cups and mugs.  Instead of using disposable containers, consider purchasing a reusable container or thermos that can be used over and over.  Making more conscious purchasing decisions can protect our environment and our health.  Let’s say goodbye to Styrofoam.

A Drawback of Less Paper Waste at Colgate

By Sustainability Office on March 16, 2015

Over the past few years, Colgate has made a lot of progress in advancing sustainability on campus.  We have reduced our campus carbon footprint by 34 percent while achieving over $500,000 per year in avoided spending on energy, water, and other precious resources.  Perhaps the most astonishing progress has been in our use of printer and copier paper on campus.  In 2009, the Colgate community collectively purchased over 12.3 million sheets of paper.  If stack up, that would have been taller than three Empire State Buildings in height.

Colgate employees purchased over 12.3 million sheets of paper in 2009.

Colgate employees purchased over 12.3 million sheets of paper in 2009.


Last year, Colgate purchased less than 3.6 million sheets of paper.  That’s a 71 percent reduction in paper use or a savings of 8.7 million sheets of paper.  That’s the approximate equivalent of 550 trees saved per year!


Colgate employees purchased less than 3.6 million sheets of paper in 2014.  That's a 71% reduction compared to 2009.

Colgate employees purchased less than 3.6 million sheets of paper in 2014. That’s a 71% reduction compared to 2009.

What has led to this reduction in paper consumption?  Certainly, digital technologies and an increased awareness of printing only when necessary have contributed.  We also set campus printers to double-sided printing a few years back and installed print-release stations that eliminates most accidental or otherwise unclaimed print jobs.

A few years ago, a few of our more environmentally and cost-conscious employees began collecting perfectly good “scrap” paper from other departments.  Instead of purchasing new paper, they would simply “recycle” this used paper with printing on only one side by running it through their own printers.  According to Roxanne Benson, who has been working in Outdoor Education for the past 8 years, she has never purchased new printer paper.  She has always been able to collect old paper from other departments.  Recently, however, Roxanne’s stockpile of paper has been running low.  When she contacted all her “usual suspects” for a new supply, she was dismayed to discover they had none to spare.  They thought Roxanne’s practice of reusing paper was such a good one that they began doing the same.  While this best practice may be good for Colgate and for our environment, it means hard times for our more sustainably-minded community members.  Chin up, Roxanne, and thank you for helping to advance sustainability at Colgate!