Humboldt State University

Resources & Tools: Eco-Groovy Tips

Key:

School

Instead of dropping some hard earned cash on new pens and notebooks, stop by the Reusable Office Supply Exchange (ROSE) on campus in House 53 and stock up on essentials at no cost.

Yep, those mass produced mini-pizzas are pretty tasty, but they're also trucked in from hundreds of miles away and are pretty unsustainable to produce. Instead, go for local, organic products like fresh fruits and vegetables or a Humboldt grassfed burger at the J Grill.

Take the big step and dedicate your studies to sustainability. Design your courses around environmentally responsible practices and research green technologies, study environmental politics or learn how to restore salmon habitat.

Get more at the Appropedia Learning Portal.

Social Life

Discover your bioregion! Hike the Lost Coast, climb over logs at Fern Canyon, explore the cliffs near Trinidad or traipse the Manila Dunes. The North Coast is an outdoor adventurer's paradise. Get off the couch and go exploring. Check out some great sustainability projects while you're out discovering.

Host a 250-mile potluck where you and your friends bring dishes made with food grown within a 250-mile radius of your home. The best part? You'll learn more about all of the wonderful local foods available and leave with a full belly. Learn more about local food.

So, think you're real eco-cool? Why not host a zero-waste party at your pad? No throw away cups, plates or napkins. No food wastes tossed into the trash. No discarded plastic wrappers left on the back patio. Tough to coordinate? Yes, but just think how easy clean-up will be the next morning.
Zero-waste party planning ideas: MIT Zero-Waste Party and MIT ZeroWasteEvent PlanningGuide Wiki

Energy

Switch all of the light bulbs in your apartment or house to compact fluorescents (and turn them off when you leave). Read more about CFL and LED lighting.

Make a dedicated effort to cut your electricity usage by 10 percent over the previous month. Turn off unused appliances, unplug unused appliances to eliminate phantom loads and throw on a sweater instead of cranking up the heater. Learn how to make awesome thermal curtains.

Install solar panels, put in a rainwater catchment system and grow your own food, dramatically reducing your ecological footprint. Read more about solar power and the electrical grid.

Transportation

Walk, bike or ride the bus to school or work more often. Hopping in your car for the daily half-mile sojourn to campus or the office is pretty silly, especially when the sun is shining and the birds are singing, practically inviting you to leave your car at home. Check out the benefits of cycling.

Meticulously plan your commute to eliminate unnecessary trips. Starting a carpool with fellow students or co-workers is a good way to start.

Ditch the car completely. Rely on your feet, bicycle and the bus to get you from point A to B. Watch your carbon footprint shrink exponentially.
Build a backpack frame bike trailer.
More information on cycling.

Food

Buy more local and organic products. Local food means less fossil fuel expended in delivering products to your kitchen table, and organic products don't depend on harmful toxic pesticides. Get the scoop on organic food.

Start a garden! Greens, peas, string beans, squash, carrots and more can all be yours on the North Coast. Check out some sustainable gardening tips and ideas.

Expand the garden and produce even more of your own food. Plant an apple or pear tree. Buy chickens and enjoy fresh eggs. Find that perfect spot where tomatoes will grow. More information on agriculture.

Clothing

Hit up the local thrift stores for some totally cool threads. Sure, your new jacket won't be brand new, but it also won't require the use of more pesticides or generate more landfill fodder.

Learn to sew! Nothing says eco-chic like a knee patch sewed onto an old pair of blue jeans. Other than being fashionably green, you'll save money! Read a super simple sewing primer.

Go hardcore and make your own clothes. Peruse patterns at the local fabric supply stores, pick one you like and get to work with a sewing machine or needle and thread.

Home & Garden

Cut your water consumption by turning off the faucet while you brush your teeth. Installing a low-flow toilet, a low-flow showerhead and aerators on sinks also helps.

Become a self-contained scrap yard. Save all the extra items you come across — screws, bolts, pieces of scrap metal, nuts, washers — and never need to take a trip to the hardware store again. Find local supplies, some for free.

Get serious and invest in a rainwater catchment system for your house. Not only does using rainwater save money in the long run, it also promotes self-reliance — Ralph Waldo Emerson would be proud.
Appropedia's Rainwater Catchment Portal
Appropedia's Rainwater Catchment Category
Great local examples of rainwater catchment: Old Growth Cellars and M Street Residence in Eureka