- This first way to go green might shock you (no pun intended)! How many of you leave for class and leave your phone on the charger or your computer plugged in? The U.S. Department of Energy reports appliances continue to draw electricity even when the products are turned off, and nearly 75% of all electricity used to power electronics is consumed by products that are actually switched off! A phone that’s charging, for example, only uses 5% of the power drawn from an outlet. The other 95% is wasted when it’s left plugged into the wall (The Terrapass Footprint).
2. SAVE H20.
- One simple way to save water is to take shorter showers. Include timers in your bathrooms and encourage members to take showers less than five minutes long. Taking shorter showers by one to two minutes could save 700 gallons of water per month. Also encourage members to turn the faucet off while brushing those pearly whites, and make sure the faucet isn’t still dripping before leaving the bathroom. One person turning the water off while brushing his or her teeth and only turning water on to rinse will save three gallons of water per day, while fixing leaky faucets or turning faucets all the way off will save nearly 20 gallons per day!
3. CREATE A GREEN TEAM.
- You have an Executive Council, so why not have a Green Council, too? Members of this council can be divided into committees: recycling, conservation, compost, energy reduction and more. These women can be responsible for heading up green projects, relaying important facts and information to chapter members at meetings and getting involved with campus wide initiatives.
- The recycling team, for example, could be responsible for developing a recycling center in your chapter house or on your dorm floor. This could be as simple as making sure trash cans and recycling bins are available, or hanging up signs about what can and can’t be recycled. Education is half the battle!
4. SEE YA, STYROFOAM.
- Invest in Alpha Phi Reusable water bottles and coffee mugs and ditch the Styrofoam or paper cups. We love this adorable Camelbak water bottle and this durable monogrammed tumbler. Another way to reduce the use of plastic water bottles is to invest in a filter pitcher for the chapter house. This commercial might inspire you.
5. THINK ELECTRONICALLY.
- Do you often pass out papers at chapter meetings? Consider an electronic alternative. Share minutes and other chapter related materials via Google docs. It’s free and easy to get started.
Greek Communities around the nation are taking the initiative to make a difference. Check out the program at Cornell and the efforts at Towson. Tell us what your chapter does to go green. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kristen Mitchell is the Program Manager of Marketing and Communications at the Alpha Phi Executive Office. She can be reached at email@example.com.