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10 Tips for a Greener Pomona

Follow these tips to do your part in helping Pomona achieve its sustainability goals.

In July, Pomona College hired its first-ever sustainability coordinator. Bowen Patterson '06 majored in Environmental Analysis and was actively engaged in sustainability issues while at Pomona. After graduation, she earned a Master of Planning and a Graduate Certificate in Sustainable Cities at USC. She also worked concurrently part time for Pomona's Campus Planning and Maintenance office, assisting students with sustainability projects on campus.

We asked Bowen to offer Pomona’s staff and faculty some easy ways to help Pomona College be greener. According to Bowen, the following actions are an important part of improving Pomona College’s environmental impact. Try to do them as often as you can, and we’ll be closer to reaching our sustainability goals!


  1. Bring your one-sided scrap paper to Duplicating Services--they can make a notepad for you or reuse the paper for copying flyers.
  2. Always use non-disposable plates, cups, coffee mugs and silverware. No more disposable coffee cups! When getting soda or coffee from the Coop Fountain, bring your own cup.
  3. Turn your office or lab lights off when you leave for more than a few minutes, particularly when you leave at the end of the day.
  4. Don’t drive to campus alone--bike, walk, rideshare, or take transit. Contact Human Resources for more information about incentives for these alternative modes of getting to work.
  5. Always make sure to print and copy double-sided, when possible.
  6. Turn off office equipment (e.g. printers, computers) when you leave your office, and make sure your computer is set to enter “sleep” mode when not in use.
  7. Purchase and use recycled paper as much as possible.
  8. Make sure you have a recycling bin in your office and if you do, use it! Make sure trash does not contaminate the recycling bin. All clean paper, plastic, glass, and aluminum (except aluminum foil) can be recycled. Consumer electronics, printer ink cartridges, CDs and DVDs, batteries, packaging materials and more can be recycled at the recycling center in the Smith Campus Center Living Room.
  9. Consider “paperless” classes: Have students turn in assignments electronically whenever possible, and review on your computer instead of on a hard copy. Also consider using Sakai and other electronic readers before printing articles or ordering readers for students to purchase.
  10. Be conscious of how many office supplies you use, and whether they come in excessive amounts of packaging. Use only as much as necessary!

Also, stay attuned to what Pomona is doing to plan for sustainability and provide your input. Over the next year, the College will be completing a campus-wide sustainability audit to understand our environmental impact and, from there, will be creating a Sustainability Action Plan to establish goals and guide our progress. Your feedback and ideas will be very important to this process

For more information about these or any other actions you can take to improve sustainability at home or at work, contact the Bowen Patterson at or x71765. Let her know if you have an idea for a project or a concern or question about something happening on campus. Also, let her know if you are interested in giving a talk on campus or bringing someone to campus to speak about sustainability issues.

To read more about Bowen and the new position of Sustainability Coordinator, please visit our news archive.