Join an Organization
- The Pomona Organic Farm is a 2.5-acre working farm in the southeast corner of the College campus with fruit trees, vegetables, herbs, chickens, and the Earth Dome. The Farm is open to the public from sunrise to sunset every day and for Volunteer Hours on Saturday from 10am to noon.
- On the Loose is The Claremont Colleges Outdoors Club, which sponsors trips and events and rents outdoor gear.
Sustainability Jobs on Campus
- The Sustainability Office offers part-time work study positions during the year and full- or part-time positions during the summer. Contact us for more information. Open positions will be listed on Handshake.
- EcoReps are peer educators who increase sustainable living on campus through education, awareness, and action.
- The Green Bikes program offers part-time positions to students with basic experience and knowledge of bikes and bike repair. Open positions will be listed on Handshake.
- ReCoop provides part-time positions during the year to staff the ReCoop Book Room and various events, as well as nearly full-time positions for the week of ReCoop, spanning Commencement. Open positions will be advertised via email, Chirps, and other communications.
- The Organic Farm hires students throughout the school year and the summer. Contact the Farm Manager at email@example.com for more information.
- Many other organizations, such as On The Loose, the Outdoor Education Center and the 5C Environmental Analysis Program, provide employment opportunities throughout the academic year and the summer. Keep an eye out for positions listed on Handshake.
Serve on a Committee
- The President's Advisory Committee on Sustainability, the Associated Students of Pomona College Food Committee, and other sustainability-related committees often have openings for student, faculty, and staff involvement. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
- The Environmental Quality Committee is chaired by the ASPC Environmental Affairs Commissioner and engages in projects, programs, and events to advocate for campus sustainability. Contact the current Commissioner through the Pomona College Senate.
Things You Can Do on Your Own
In the Classroom
If you're looking to write a thesis or a term paper about campus sustainability issues, the Sustainability Office can help you pick a topic and connect you with the information you need. Your academic work might be what the College needs to move forward with a specific problem or technology!
Past academic projects that have helped the College move forward have included:
- Capacity for photo-voltaic arrays on the roofs of College buildings (including a cost-benefit analysis)
- Opportunities for heating Haldeman pool using solar hot water heating
- Thermal imaging of buildings to determine inefficiencies in insulation
- Designing a "Sustainability Pledge" program for all incoming students
- Assessing opportunities for cost- and energy-savings through the use of more efficient lighting solutions
Email email@example.com for more information about possible topics for projects and papers.
Environmental Analysis Program
The Pomona College Environmental Analysis Program is a formal academic program at the College which offers majors and minors in a variety of academic "tracks," including the sciences, politics, math, philosophy, and other subjects. This program also hosts lectures, film-showings, field trips, and other educational events open to the campus community. Contact the Program for more information.
Lectures and events
A variety of educational and extra-curricular organizations host sustainability-related events, including lectures, receptions, conferences, and panel discussions throughout the year. If you have an idea for an event, contact the Sustainability Office for assistance.
In the Bathroom
Reducing Water Use
- Turn off the faucet while soaping up your hands or scrubbing dishes. The classic water-saving tip.
- Use the dual flush. If the toilet is dual flush, use it appropriately! Pull the lever up for liquid wastes and push down for solid wastes.
- Reduce the water temperature. It takes a lot of energy to heat up water!
- Turn off the lights when you leave! Many forget this in bathrooms on campus.
- Turn down the fridge and defrost often! The higher your fridge setting, the more energy it uses. Defrosting the fridge every couple of months (at least) will also keep your energy use down.
- Use reusable whenever possible. Whether a hand towel for the bathroom and kitchen (keep one in your office if you don't want to share!), reusable plates and mugs and silverware for the kitchen, or refilling a reusable handsoap dispenser, there are a lot of ways to reduce waste.
- Buy in bulk. Coffee, sugar, and other condiments can all be purchased in bulk to cut down on individual packaging.
- Remember to recycle! Toilet paper cores, paper towels, and empty plastic bottles from shampoo and other bathroom products should be recycled.
Food and Refreshments
- Buy local, organic, and fair-trade. Coffee, sugar, and many other common kitchen items can be purchased from local businesses and with organic and/or fair trade certifications.
In Your Room
- Turn off the lights! Easy to do, and to forget.
- Use daylight whenever possible. No need for lights during the daytime if there's a window nearby!
- Use more efficient light bulbs. Fluorescent, compact fluorescent (CFLs), LEDs, and other efficient bulbs use up to 90% less energy than incandescent bulbs. LEDs are highly efficient and are available for FREE from the Sustainability Office.
Electronics and Appliances
- Eliminate phantom loads. Almost everything electronic, especially chargers, uses "standby" power as long as it's plugged in, even when turned OFF! Unplug items when not in use, or plug them into a power strip and turn the strip off. Researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory estimate that standby power, also known as the "phantom load," is responsible for 5-10% of U.S. residential energy use. If it were eliminated, 30 coal-fired power plants could be shut down for one year!
- Purchase Energy Star appliances. Energy Star certification is awarded by the EPA to products that use less energy, save money, and are better for the environment. When shopping, look for appliances that bear the Energy Star label. You can also view a list of Energy Star products.
- Use rechargeable batteries. Save money and reduce resource consumption and hazardous waste. There is also more information on why rechargeable batteries are a better choice.
Using Your Fridge
- Is your fridge empty? Turn OFF and UNPLUG.
- Leaving for break? Turn OFF and UNPLUG.
- Sharing is caring! Share fridges with friends to reduce energy use.
- Don't put your fridge against the wall - leave the coils in the back open to the air.
- Clean the coils on the back of the fridge if they look dusty or dirty.
- Don't open the door! Well, do it as little as possible. The number one variable in fridge energy use is how often you open the door.
- Understand how the heating or heating/AC unit works in your room: All residence halls use convection heating or heating/AC units. These units heat or cool air by blowing it over pipes filled with hot or cold (50 degree) water. These units recycle air already in the room. In other words, if you want to get fresh air into your room, you'll have to shut off the system and open your door or window!
- Mudd-Blaisdell, Gibson, Oldenborg: The chillers that cool water for the AC in these dorms are turned off when outside air temperatures fall below 55-65 degrees and the boilers that heat water are turned off when outside air temperatures reach 75-80 degrees. The hallways and common areas in all of these dorms are ventilated with warm or cool fresh air.
- Harwood, Wig, Lyon, North Campus: The heating in these dorms is only turned on when it is cool outside. When the heat is on in these buildings, residence can turn the knob on their heating unit to open or close the airflow flap. As long as the building heating is on, the units will be warm. Students can ask Maintenance to permanently turn off the heat to their room. Call Maintenance (909-607-2236) if your heater doesn't feel warm in the winter. The hallways and common areas in these dorms (except the short hallways in Clark III and V) are ventilated with warm or cool fresh air.
- Sontag and Pomona Halls: The heating/cooling only work in these dorms when the windows in the room are shut. Each room has an individual thermostat that can be adjusted. The screen normally displays the actual temperature. In heating mode (when room temperature is <70 degrees), the setpoint is adjustable between 60 degrees and 68 degrees. When not in the heating mode, the setpoint is adjustable between 76 degrees and 85 degrees.
- Adjust your clothes, not the thermostat. Socks, hats, and sweaters make very energy-efficient heaters!
- Use natural airflow to control the climate of your room or office. Use a fan instead of the AC when you can. Close your blinds when it's hot outside. don't leave the window open when the heat or air conditioning is on. Turn of the AC when you leave your room.
- Call Maintenance (909-607-2236) if the heat or AC in an academic building is too high or too low.
- Reduce toxins. Check out the array of green cleaners at Trader Joe's, Sprouts, and Ecoterra.
- Reduce waste. Use cloths and rags instead of paper towels.
- Conserve trash bags. Dump out the trash, reuse the bag.
- Fix it instead of buying a new one. Have faith in your or your neighbor's fixing abilities.
- Buy used. Before buying something new, post an ad on Chirps, check out ReCoop, visit a local thrift store, or browse Craigslist to see if you can get a used item instead.
- Get free recycled notepads from Duplicating Services (across from Seaver North, just beyond Millikan).
In the Laundry Room
- Only do laundry when you have full loads. Machines use the same amount of energy no matter how many clothes you put in. Pair up with a friend or roommate if needed.
- Do laundry less often. Items such as towels, sheets, sweatshirts, and jeans may only need to washed every once in a while.
- Purchase environmentally friendly laundry products. Look for products that are two or three times concentrated and that have natural ingredients; check for sites that can help you search for good brands!
- Donate leftover laundry products to ReCoop at the end of the year. Leave them in your laundry room at the end of the school year or bring them to a donation drop-off point.
- Wash using cold water. When washing on hot, about 90% of the energy used by the washing machine goes to heating the water! Only 10% actually powers the machine's motor. Advances in laundry detergent mean that hot water is no longer integral to getting clothes clean. Cold water washing also makes your clothes last longer.
- Use 1/2 the recommended amount of detergent. Since Pomona has efficient, front-loading machines, half or less of the recommended amount of detergent will still get your clothes clean.
- Air dry your clothes to protect them and to save energy. Shared drying racks are located in many residence hall laundry rooms, and you can also check out a small, foldable rack for use in your room through the Sustainability Office checkout program.
- Clean out the lint screen before using a dryer. Dirty lint screens cause dryers to use up to 30 percent more energy and can also be a fire hazard.
- Nix the fabric softener and drying sheets. Fewer chemicals mean a healthier you and a healthier environment.
Computing and Printing
- Set your computer to automatically enter energy-saving modes. Set your screen to go into sleep mode after five minutes of inactivity and your computer to go to sleep after 15 minutes of inactivity. Read these instructions from EnergyStar on how to enact these settings for various operating systems.
- Don't use screen savers. Screen savers were originally used to prevent monitor-damaging phosphor burn. However, today's monitors are not susceptible to such damage. Screen savers don't save energy and actually can use up to twice the energy of a computer screen in normal use.
- Reduce the brightness setting on your screen. The brightest setting on a monitor consumes twice the power used by the dimmest setting.
- Only turn on your computer when you are actually using it. We are often in the habit of turning on our computers when we are in our rooms or offices, whether or not we are actually using it. Kick the habit!
- Shut down your computer when you won't be using it for a few hours. Although sleep settings reduce power use, when you won't be using your computer for a long period of time (such as overnight), it is best to completely shut it down.
- Unplug peripherals such as printers, chargers, and speakers when not in use. Ensure that these potential energy thieves don't draw "phantom load." Another option is to plug them into a power strip that you can switch off when not in use. "Smart" power strips detect when devises are off and shut off power to those outlets.
- Read and annotate PDFs on your computer rather than printing them out. If you want to digitally annotate or highlight a PDF, use Adobe Acrobat Professional or Foxit. In Word use track changes.
- Use less paper when you print by:
- Printing double-sided. To change print settings on campus printers, click on the "Properties" button on PCs or switch to the "Layout" menu on Macs. ITS charges the same per page, no matter how many sides you print on.
- Printing on scrap paper (one-sided documents) whenever you don't need a professional or final copy. Duplicating charges half-price if you bring in one-sided documents for reuse when making copies or flyers!
- Reducing font size.
- Reducing paragraph spacing. Try 1.5-spaced instead of double-spaced.
- Reducing document margins. This increases the amount of text that can fit on a page and reduces pages needed to print a document. The setting is often found in Word under File > Page Setup or under Format > Document.
- Print two or more pages to a sheet of paper. When printing pdfs or other documents, try printing two or more pages to each side of paper - with two pages per sheet and double-sided, that's using 1/4 of the paper!
- Go paperless in class. Use Sakai to turn in assignments and Microsoft Word Reviewing/Track Changes tool to provide feedback electronically.
- Have a printer in your office only if you need it and if you do have a printer of your own:
- Opt for paper with high recycled content and sustainability certifications. Buying post-consumer recycled paper truly closes the loop by reusing paper recycled by consumers (as opposed to pre-consumer content, which is basically mill scraps from the factory). Processed chlorine-free (PCF) means no hazardous chemicals used to bleach the paper (and then released into the environment). Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification verifies that the paper products and trees were produced in a sustainable manner.
- Refill ink cartridges or purchase remanufactured. This will not only reduce greenhouse gas emissions, solid waste, and toxic pollution, but can cost 20-60% less than purchasing a new cartridge!
Purchasing a New Computer
- Only buy a new computer when necessary. Technology today progresses so quickly it is hard not to feel like you need a new computer every couple years. Rather than toss the old computer, upgrade you current one and keep it in good shape. This helps cut down on waste, which can release heavy metals and toxins into the environment if not disposed of properly, and also reduces demand for virgin materials needed to manufacture computers.
- Opt for a laptop instead of a desktop. Laptops use between one-fifth and one-half as much energy desktop computers. They also require less energy to manufacture, resulting in fewer greenhouse gas emissions. They also require fewer materials to manufacture.
- Opt for an Energy Star certified model. Energy Star appliances meet strict energy-efficiency requirements, set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Energy (DOE). They typically require 70% less energy than conventional models.
- Keep it cool. One of the most important ways you can extent your battery's lifetime is to not let it overheat. Here's how:
- Use a cooling pad when using your laptop on your lap. A cooling pad sits under your laptop and allows for more airflow, usually with a motorized fan.
- Avoid putting your laptop on a soft surface. Your computer's fan cannot function properly when it is on a soft surface, such as a pillow or a blanket.
- Keep your desk clean. A messy desk can lead to dust in your computer's vents, which clogs the cooling fan.
- Don't store your laptop above 80 degrees.
- Do not fully discharge your battery every time. Unlike nickel-metal hydride batteries, lithium ion batteries (the kind used in most laptops today) do better when they are not fully discharged each cycle. Instead, it is better to only discharge partially before recharging. A full discharge is only needed about every 30 charges.
- Old computers and larger computer accessories (printers, etc.): Throwing away old computers can result in the release of toxins and heavy metals into the environment through landfills or incinerators. Bring your Pomona College computer to ITS, and they will dispose of it properly. If you have a non-College computer, bring it to the Sustainability Office for proper disposal.
- Peripherals and smaller computer accessories (mice, keyboards, etc.): These can be recycled either at the Recycling Center near the mailroom area or in the white dumpsters in the parking lot behind Mudd-Blaisdell.
- Ink cartridges: Recycling ink cartridges keeps toxic materials out of landfills and saves energy because they can be remanufactured. Bring them to the Sustainability Office or dispose of in the appropriate bin in Smith Campus Center near the mailroom.
- Walk, bike or skateboard!
- Pay a visit to the Green Bikes shop in the basement of Norton-Clark III (entrance on 6th Street across from the football field). This student-run maintenance and repair shop services bicycles for all members of the five-college community. Labor is free, parts are at-cost. See their site for current hours.
- Get a Green Bike. The shop rents about 250 bikes each year, free of charge, to campus members. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out when bikes will be distributed next.
- Check out a folding bike from the Green Bikes Shop or from the Outdoor Education Center in Pomona Hall during normal business hours. Rentals are free and for 24 hours.
- Take public transit. See the Public Transit Guide on the Smith Campus Center website or download a more extensive guide to 47 fun destinations. The Los Angeles Metropolitan Authority also maintains an online trip planner.
Reduce Driving Impacts
- Leave your car at home and use Zipcar instead. Yearly registration for Pomona students costs $15 and for staff and faculty costs $35 per year. Hourly rates range from $7.50 and $9.50, and include gas, insurance, and 180 miles. You can also rent a car for a full day for as low as $69. Zipcars live in the parking lots next to Lincoln-Edmunds, between Carnegie and Pearsons, and in front of Sumner Hall. Check out the Pomona College Zipcar webpage for up-to-date information. Before registering online, pick up a Zipcar card at the ASPC Office so you don't have to wait for one to be mailed to you.
- Save gas by driving smartly and maintaining your car:
- Don't idle. If you're stopping for more than ten seconds - except in traffic, of course - turn off your engine. Idling for more than ten seconds uses more gas than simply restarting your engine.
- Don't speed. As a rule of thumb, you can assume that each 5 mph over 60 mph is like paying an additional $0.20 per gallon for gas.
- Travel light and pack smart. Hauling an extra 100 pounds in your vehicle reduces fuel economy by up to 2 percent.
- Keep your engine tuned properly. Checking spark plugs, oxygen sensors, air filters, hoses, and belts are a few examples of maintenance that can save you up to 165 gallons of gas per year, resulting in potential savings of over $400.
- Check the tires. Have your wheels aligned and keep your tires properly inflated. Low tire pressure wastes over two million gallons of gasoline in the United States every day.
- Know when to use the air. Air conditioning can decrease your fuel efficiency by as much as 12 percent in stop-and-go traffic, so consider cracking the windows. But at high speeds, driving with the windows open can decrease the overall efficiency of the vehicle.
- If you have a plug-in hybrid or electric car you want to bring, use a charging station. Twelve parking spots equipped with these are available in the South Campus Parking Structure. Charging is available through the ChargePoint network at a discounted price for campus members. Email email@example.com for more information.
- Think before buying. Do you really need the item, or can you do without? The planet and your wallet will thank you for reducing your consumption.
- Fix it before you chuck it. Before buying a new item because the old one is broken, try to fix it yourself, or ask your neighbors if they can help.
- Buy used. Shop at ReCoop, thrift stores, and garage sales to reuse!
- BYO Bag. "Paper or plastic? Neither! I choose cloth!" Or just ditch the bag all together and carry your items.
- Shop local businesses. The Village and surrounding neighborhoods are full of locally-owned businesses - everything from cleaners ad pharmacies to restaurants and bike shops. Keep local in mind when choosing where to shop!
- Shop at the Claremont Farmers Markets. Do you go to the store to by produce, hummus, bread, flowers, honey, jam, or dried fruit? Try buying these things and much more at Claremont's weekly Sunday morning farmers' market in the Village or other markets throughout the year.
- Use Greenware. If your event includes food, check out a Greenware Kit! Kits are customized with reusable plates, cups, bowls, and silverware, 100% recycled napkins, a compost bucket, and helpful signage. Submit an order through the Greenware checkout form or contact firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
- Host a BYO event. Suggest or require that attendees bring their own dining ware.
- If using disposable, use biodegradable/compostable. Spudware, BioWare, and other brands are available from many vendors.
- Buy organic/local/fair trade. Buying organic, local, and fair trade reduces many of the negative impacts of food production.
- Buy in bulk and reduce packaging. Stay away from individually-packaged items and reuse plastic bags to buy in bulk. This reduces waste and often cost!
- Use reusable dishes. Non-disposable dining ware is available by requesting "Correlleware" in the Notes for your request on the CaterTrax website.
- Request organic/local/fair trade.
- Request no individually-packaged items.
- Have other ideas? Suggest them! Want a sugar bowl instead of individual packets? Only large plates so people don't take a second for dessert? Just ask!
- Recycle. For larger events (especially events through Catering) request recycling cans to make sure they're there. Post signs on your recycling and "landfill" cans explaining what should go in them (email email@example.com for ready-made signs). Remember that plastic wrap, tin foil, and many other items are recyclable.
- Compost. Bring compostable scraps to campus composting locations. Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you'd like to borrow a bucket to collect compostable wastes.
- Use less paper. Print double-sided whenever possible, and request one-sided (used) paper for Duplicating jobs.
- Conduct electronic outreach. Using email, Facebook, Smith Campus Center screens and other methods instead of flyers and table tents can reduce costs and paper use.
Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle
The City of Claremont has co-mingled, single-stream recycling. That means that everything recyclable goes into the same bin, including:
- Plastics #1-7 including cups, plastic bags and film, plastic packaging, and six-pack rings. Look for the triangle symbol on the bottom - if it has #1-7 in it (which almost all plastic items do), throw it in! This includes some Styrofoam items, so keep an eye out!
- Aluminum, steel, and tin including cans, foil, and trays.
- Glass (all colors)
- Paper and cardboard including newspaper, corrugated cardboard, cereal boxes, magazines, telephone books, mailing envelopes with bubble lining, and paper bags (staples and envelopes with plastic windows are okay!)
- Packaging including milk cartons, wine boxes, and egg cartons.
The Smith Campus Center Recycling Center (located in the Mailroom area) and the Sustainability Integration Office (located in the lower level of Harwood) accept hazardous and electronic waste, such as:
- Small electronics including cell phones, computer accessories, CFLs and other fluorescent bulbs, and anything that plugs in
- CDs and DVDs
- Printer ink and toner cartridges
- Brita water filter cartridges
- Cardboard boxes
Compostable items can be disposed of at the Farm or in any of the 12 large brown compost bins around campus.
To check out a compost bucket for collecting compostable waste, see the checkout page.
- Fruit and vegetable scraps
- Vegan food scraps (no meat or dairy)
- Coffee grounds
- Green waste (flowers, leaves, etc.)
DO NOT COMPOST:
- Non-vegan food scraps (anything with meat, eggs, cheese, etc.)
- Industrially-compostable items (utensils, cups, plates, to-go containers)
- Thin paper products (napkins, tissues, paper towels)
Donate to ReCoop!
ReCoop Office collects unwanted or surplus office items year-round to be used in another office on campus. Donated items must be gently used and useful for a modern office. For a list of current inventory, please visit: ReCoop Office Inventory. To donate or reserve an item, please email email@example.com.
- Clothing and costumes
- Working electronics including lights, fans, extension cords, power strips, kitchen appliances
- Microwaves and fridges
- Storage bins and water filter pitchers
- Whiteboards and bulletin boards
- Binders, notebooks, and other school supplies
- Laundry and cleaning products
- New and old sheets, bedding, and pillows (these are either cleaned and sold or donated to animal shelters)
- Old clothing (either donated or turned into rags)
*Please tape together!
Other: contact firstname.lastname@example.org to see if ReCoop will take it
Hazardous Waste and Electronic Waste
Hazardous and electronic wastes should NEVER be placed in normal trash receptacles! Items that can't be disposed of at the SCC Recycling Center (e.g. items too large to fit in these containers) should be brought to the Sustainability Office, located in the lower level of Harwood. Items to dispose of here include:
- Broken electronic equipment (e.g. computers, TVs, printers) - if it still works, donate it to ReCoop!
- CFL bulbs
- Motor oil
- Paint and paint-like products
All medications, whether over-the-counter or prescription, should be disposed of as hazardous waste.
- Sell your books to other Pomona students at a ReCoop book sale.
- Donate to the Prison Library Project, which accepts all book donations and sends them to inmates who request them. Drop books off at the Claremont Forum Bookstore in the Claremont Packing House.
- The Huntley Bookstore buys back books year-round.
- Selling books online is easy and usually yields the highest prices.
- Look for book donation boxes for Better World Books and similar organizations around campus at the end of each semester.
If you have a bike to get rid of, donate it to Green Bikes! They will spiff it up and loan it out to Pomona students in the future. Bring your unwanted bike to the Green Bikes Shop during shop hours.