Call to Action
10 STEPS TO SUSTAINABILITY @ LOYOLA UNIVERSITY CHICAGO
Welcome to Loyola University Chicago! You’ve joined a university community doing some pretty innovative stuff to try and make the world a more sustainable, better place to live…and we know you’ve probably got the basics covered (like turning off the lights when you leave a room and the water when you brush your teeth) so we thought we’d give you a few more ideas. These 10 steps aren’t going to save the planet, but we’ve found they’re pretty effective solutions to some of Loyola’s most pressing environmental challenges. We hope you’ll join in and eventually help us come up with a few more solutions while you’re here—but if you’re looking for some ways to get started today, here are 10 things you can do this year that will make a difference:
EATING WELL, EATING WISELY
10. Eat LESS meat and MORE locally grown, fresh foods served in the dining halls.
Raising livestock for consumption can be a carbon intensive industry. LUC’s dining halls offer a healthier collection of more sustainable food options: local and seasonal produce grown within 250 miles of the City of Chicago, Monterey Bay certified sustainable seafood, organic fruits and veggies on occasion and fair-trade, hormone-free beverages. In addition, tray-free dining reduces plate waste by nearly 30% while conserving water and even more energy.
9. Visit LUC’s Monday Farmers Market and help build your local food economy.
It runs June through late October and is located on Sheridan Road just steps north of the Loyola “L” stop. Local farmer grown and food products include local artisan cheeses, breads, baked goods, eggs, and of course produce—come be surprised by how tasty and affordable supporting your local food economy can be these days. Even if you can only afford 1 item a week, remember that every dollar counts towards building smart eating habits and, it’ll probably continue when you can afford to buy more, later. Plus, the money you spend at the market goes directly to the farmers! Besides, it’s just a fun place to hang out even if you don’t buy something this week.
8. Watch your water use and avoid bottled water entirely.
Buying bottled water instead of drinking tap water from re-usable bottles is not only expensive but unnecessarily uses fossil fuels for extraction and transportation of bottled water. Plus it creates a lot of plastic waste. Only 1 in 4 plastic bottles are recycled each year. And annually, 31.2 billion liters of bottled water consumed in the U.S. requires 17 million barrels of oil to produce. Drinking tap water has a significantly lower carbon footprint than drinking bottled water, and it is the same or better quality and taste as bottled water. Mundelein Hall has a re-usable bottle refill station that tracks and displays how many single-use plastic bottles have been kept out of the landfill—try using it! Want to learn more about all the issues surrounding bottled water? Stop by a booth this year organized by your peers running the “Think Outside the Bottle Campaign” and petition drive.
MINIMIZING YOUR WASTE
7. REDUCE is the first “R” in “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle”. Commit to taking back that first “R” and avoid creating waste in the first place.
Here are just a few easy, useful ways to REDUCE waste: use a travel mug, a reusable water bottle, reusable shopping bags, share documents electronically, and Rethink next time you go to purchase something. Ask yourself if the item can be reused somehow. And of course Recycle - properly recycle your items and volunteer to help organize RecycleMania in the spring.
Loyola has clearly labeled recycling and trash receptacles clustered around campus to help remind us all what goes where—making sure trash doesn’t contaminate the recycling bins and that everything that can get recycled stays out of landfills. And if you’ve been recycling all year round like a responsible Loyolan, why not consider stepping it up a notch and helping out at RecycleMania in the spring? It’s a friendly recycling competition where we spend 8 weeks monitoring how much of our waste actually get recycled and then see how we compare to other colleges and universities around the country.
6. Think Green & Give and IggysList.
Are you holding onto something that you no longer want but that you think someone else might use? Consider selling it on IggysList (a place for free, online classified ads in the Loyola University community) or donating it at the end of the year to Think Green & Give—a charitable collection event held every year during spring move-out.
5. Print Double-Sided as often as possible.
All University Library and Computer Lab computers and printers are set to default print double-sided for you. This saves you a few cents per print and saves a lot of paper over time, so get in the habit now and do it whenever you can.
GETTING AROUND CAMPUS AND THE CITY
4. Use your U-Pass.
If you’re a full-time student at Loyola, you are issued a U-Pass by the University and the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA). Your U-Pass is your ticket to free and unlimited rides on Chicago “L” trains and buses. Use it instead of a car to get to campus…and to music fests, street fairs, museums, downtown shopping, restraints…basically, all the fun things Chicago has to offer! If you still think you might need occasional use of a car, don’t bring one to campus. Instead, join one of the car-sharing programs with vehicles adjacent to campus.
3. Visit ChainLinks and tap into pedal power.
ChainLinks is Loyola’s student-run and managed bike rental and repair program. Whether you are new to biking or have many miles under your belt, you might want to visit these folks to rent a bike and pedal your way around campus and the city. And don’t forget about security—be sure to use the protected bike cage on campus and a strong U-Lock when securing your bike to one of the many racks located on both lakeshore campuses.
BECOME A SUSTAINABILITY LEADER!
2. Take a class or two with a sustainability theme.
We all come to Loyola to study different things, but sustainability issues affect every field of study. Whether you’re interested in business, medicine, law or any of the other 71 undergraduate majors, you can probably find a class that fits into your program and helps you better understand the challenges to sustainability confronting our society. Consider taking Loyola’s Center for Urban Environmental Research & Policy’s Solutions to Environmental Problems class. Check out electives in your major or minor or brainstorm how your research and class projects might focus on a sustainability theme.
1. GET INVOLVED!
Meeting people, learning about the topics and collaborating with others make sustainability at LUC not just effective but incredibly fun! Go to www.luc.edu/sustainability to see what else is happening on campus and how you might get more involved and join one of the many student groups committed to making LUC more sustainable.