Sustainability At HERE State College


Our Sustainability Initiatives

HERE State College is committed to implementing environmentally sustainable practices and encouraging residents to get involved in sustainability efforts. We strongly believe that sustainability paves the way to a better future for all of us, which is why HERE State College has taken the following steps to ensure that our building maximizes energy efficiency and minimizes waste:

  • We installed reflective roofing and white concrete instead of dark, non-reflective surfaces which can absorb the sun’s heat and contribute to regional warming.
  • We are conveniently located near major public transportation and provide bike storage to our residents. This encourages eco-friendly transportation and reduces pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.
  • We installed efficient faucets throughout the building which can reduce average water usage by more than 30%.
  • We sourced the building’s materials and products from eco-conscious manufacturers that focus on minimizing energy usage and environmental impact.
  • We implemented energy-efficient lighting and improved heating and cooling systems which reduced our energy usage by 5.5%.

Fun Facts About Going Green

There are many reasons why sustainability is important, but it can be hard to understand the full impact of our actions. Below, you’ll find a few fun facts on why going green is crucial, especially in America:

  • Every year, more than 900 million trees are cut down to supply American paper!
  • Paper makes up the largest part of our trash and takes up 50% of all landfill space.
  • If the average American recycled all of their paper, they could save about 4 ½ trees per year.
  • Recycling one glass bottle saves enough energy to power a 100-watt lightbulb for 4 hours.
  • Recycling one aluminum can saves enough energy to run a TV for 3 hours.
  • Only 1% of the world’s water supply is accessible and usable, which is why it’s crucial to minimize our water usage!

These fun facts are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to sustainability. Sometimes, it’s difficult to know where to start, which is why we’ve provided tips on how you can reduce your environmental footprint below!

Recycling Tips

Many of us are already aware about the importance of recycling materials like paper, plastic, glass, and aluminum. HERE State College provides appropriate recycling bins for your convenience. Please contact our staff if you need assistance locating them. Remember the following tips when recycling your items:

  • Make sure recyclable items are relatively clean before putting them in the bin! For containers, give them a quick wash with soap and water. For paper, don’t recycle anything that has been permanently contaminated by oils or food waste.
  • Do not put plastic bags in the recycling bins. If you store your recyclables in plastic bags, remember to dump them out into the recycling bins. Plastic bags need to be recycled separately! Many grocery stores offer plastic bag recycling services.
  • Break down any cardboard boxes before placing them into recycling bins and ensure that they aren’t contaminated with oil or grease stains.

What you may not know is that it’s equally important to recycle batteries, lightbulbs, and electronics! Items like these contain special materials that can be reused and may harm the environment if not recycled properly.

  • The US generated 3.01 million tons of electronic waste in 2007. Only 13.6% was recycled.
  • If disposed of incorrectly, the mercury in one fluorescent bulb can pollute 6,000 gallons of water.
  • Disposable batteries contain valuable metals and plastics that can be reclaimed and reused. If not properly recycled, batteries can deposit lead, acid and mercury in lakes, streams and landfills.

Many local businesses and organizations offer recycling services for these special items. A quick Google search can help you find the closest drop-off location to you!

Sustainable Lifestyle Tips

The three Rs, reduce, reuse, and recycle, encompass a wide spectrum of actions you can take to make your life more sustainable. Some of these actions are very small and easy, but together, they can make a big impact! Let’s start by breaking down some ways that you can reduce the amount of waste you create.

  • When shopping for an item, choose the one with the least unnecessary packaging.
  • Minimize packaging by buying items in bulk instead of single-serve alternatives.
  • Think before you print: Is your document ready to be printed? Is it absolutely necessary to print?
  • Switch to fluorescent lightbulbs. They last longer and use less energy than other alternatives!

Next, let’s take a look at the many ways you can reuse containers and products.

  • Take a reusable cloth bag to the grocery store instead of using paper or plastic bags.
  • Avoid single-use items like paper napkins and paper towels. Replace them with reusable sponges, cloth napkins, and kitchen towels.
  • Use real dinnerware and cups instead of paper plates, disposable cups, and plastic utensils.

Finally, let’s consider how we can recycle as much as possible.

  • Purchase clothes and other items from thrift shops or yard sales.
  • Purchase products and packaging made from materials that are easy to recycle.
  • Donate gently used clothing and items to thrift stores, homeless shelters, or similar organizations instead of throwing them out.

If you’re new to sustainable living, you can start by gradually incorporating a few sustainable practices into your life. Once they become a habit for you, consider adding a few more! Sustainability is a marathon, not a sprint. As long as we make a consistent effort over a long period of time, we can all make a positive impact. Please reach out to our staff if you want additional information on the building’s sustainability efforts!

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