Sustainable Living Guide 2015

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Sustainable Living Guide




The daily choices you make matter. From personal wellness to citizenship, water savings to energy usage, your choices help build a responsible community. Appalachian University has a major impact on our environment, our local economy, and the health of our community. The sustainable lifestyle depicted here is not a suggestion, it represents who we are. Together we can make a difference!

Be Well your personal sustainability is as important as the environment

get a checkup

take care of yourself

Preventative care is a healthy habit. Visit the on-campus health center or your local physician for regular checkups to make sure your body stays healthy.

Listen to your body and mind. You must have water, nourishment and sleep, but make “me” time, too. Relax, reflect and be mindful of your life choices.

university recreation

a beautiful mind

be responsible

UREC is a great way to get involved and get moving. It offers active choices from a climbing wall, to adventure trips, to group fitness. Take advantage of UREC.

A healthy outlook is vital to your overall wellbeing. Appalachian’s mental health ambassadors work to remove the stigma associated with mental health and to make mental health issues part of campus discussion. Apply to be an ambassador or learn more online.

Be aware of your actions and your limits. Friends look after friends. Your actions impact others. Be smart, be safe, and check out It’s Up To Me.

quit smoking

Yes, it’s bad for you. Respect yourself, others, and the environment. Think of the money you will save.

drink more water

The healthiest thing you can drink is water. Keep your water bottle filled so you can feel refreshed and hydrated all day.

Think About Your Food your dietary choices affect your life

read the ingredients

fair trade

eat local

Where your food comes from matters. Know who you support with your purchases. Your dollars can do good things.

Seek out fresh produce and products grown in the region by attending local farmers’ markets. You’ll be enjoying a healthier diet and supporting your community growers.

eat seasonally

learn to cook

consume less meat

Eating produce in season increases the chance your food was grown locally. In the summer, eat veggies and summer fruits; roots, hearty greens, and apples in the fall. Even locally sourced milk and eggs are more abundant certain times of the year.

With just basic kitchen knowledge, sustainable food choices are easier to make. Cooking your favorite foods using local ingredients can make a real difference in how well you eat and how much you spend.

Studies show that diets higher in fruits and vegetables reduce cancer and heart disease. Too, by limiting meat consumption, you can decrease the grain, energy and water used for production.

Labels on food can be misleading. Read the ingredients listed abd choose unprocessed foods or foods with the fewest ingredients.

control your portions

Less is more. Learn to control portions. Your waistline and your wallet will thank you.

Conserve Clean Water all the water that will ever be is right now

use a water bottle

Start by buying a resuable water bottle; it will save you money and keep plastic bottles out of the landfill. Filtered water filling stations are available across campus.

wash full loads

Be sure your dish- or clothes washer is full before you run it. Use cold water instead of hot. Consider sharing a load of laundry with a friend — they can help you fold.

fix the leak

save in the shower

Don’t be a drip. Fix leaks immediately. Twenty drips a minute wastes a gallon of water a day. (Not to mention driving you nuts.)

Who needs a thirty minute shower? Really? Set a five-minute timer or listen to just two of your favorite songs. You’ll have plenty of time to get squeaky clean.Go a step farther and brush your teeth while you’re in there.

turn it off

When you are washing dishes, your hands or brushing your teeth, turn off the water between rinses.

don’t flush meds

Flushing medications contaminates the water supply. Learn about Operation Medicine Cabinet and how they can help dispose of medicines. keep streams clean

Even the smallest pond or stream supports a local ecosystem. Keep pets on leashes, watch your use of pesticides, soaps and chemicals. And remember, litter here can end up in our oceans. What to do? Adopt a Stream!

Be Energy Savvy consider how to best conserve

unplug it

let it sleep


Screen savers don’t save energy so program your computers to sleep. Just that little step can save up to 70 percent of the energy used. Let it sleep — or turn it off.

The fridge is a huge energy guzzler. Place it in a cool spot; don’t set temps too cold, clean the coils monthly, and keep it full. And, hey, close that door!

use your windows

choose efficiency

temper, temper

Live off campus? Open or close windows to adjust temperature or regulate air flow. Close curtains to warm a room and open them for light.

Quality counts. Buy and use products that are energy efficient. For example, use LED bulbs or Energy Star®certified projects. The extra cost will always save you money in the long run.

Did you know most plugged-in devices draw electricity even when turned off? Use a power strip and unplug when not in use.

charge wisely

Most electronics take only minutes or a few hours to charge, not all night. Charge devices only when they need a boost.

Set thermostats to 68º in the winter and 72º in the summer. Adjustments of just a few degrees can save a lot of energy. Layer up or layer down. You’re easier to adjust than the heat.

Think Before You Go so many ways to get from here to there

hop on the bus

drive smarter

Appalcart is free. Transit service is provided throughout campus and the Boone community. In addition, low-fare van service to other towns within Watauga County.

Take your time and drive the speed limit. You’ll save gas, create fewer emissions and be safer. Relax, be courteous, and enjoy the drive.

use the stairs

share the ride

heading home

Zimride is your ride sharing resource. Match up with others going where and when you need to go. This web-based resource will amaze you, save you money, and make you new friends.

Find out about regional public transportation options from NCDOT.

If for no other reason, use the stairs to work those legs and lungs. Elevators are energy gobblers, too, so think before you push UP. It’s eco- and heart-smart.

human power

Move your legs and arrive in style. Walking, biking, even unicycling will get you there — sometimes as quickly than a car or bus, without the fuss.

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Use Less Stuff what we want and what we need are not the same

pass it on

Have items someone else could use? Bring your unwanted clothes, furniture, electronics to a local thrift store or set up a swap meet with your friends.

clean with green

Clean with products that are designed to be sensitive to the enivronment. These decisions lead to better water and indor air quality for yourself and others.


Before you buy it, see if someone has one to borrow.

you don’t need it

When it comes to all the stuff in your life, ask yourself: do I really need it? Can I get by without it? Chances are you don’t and you can.

purchase quality

Buy quality items that last! A cheap pair of shoes or small appliance is not cheaper if you have to replace it every year.

shop local

consume less

Support your local businesses and farmers. Spending your money in the community helps strengthen the local economies and saves resources. Local products are often higher quality and you’ll make lasting friendships along the way.

Be intentional about what you consume, especially paper and prepackaged foods. Pay attention to the items and resources you use unconsciously everyday: napkins, condiments, cups, and bags.

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More is not always better. Learn to control your portions. Your waistline and your wallet will thank you.

sustain and save being green on a budget


The biggest myth around sustainability is “I can’t afford it.” Take a minute to set personal goals of living more sustainably and you’ll save money, too.

sustainability audit

Do a sustainability audit. Ask yourself: How can I reduce my consumption? How far do I drive every day? How much gas do I use? How often do I print unnecessarily? How often do I eat out? How long are my showers? testimonials

Check out and learn from these savings testimonials from fellow Appalachian students’ personal sustainability audits. “I cut fuel consumption in half (saving over $200 per month) by setting specific goals related to driving less — walking to campus, taking the AppalCart, carpooling when I could.” “I gave up eating out so often! By trying to eat at home more, I saved at least $20 per week.“ “I unplugged my appliances and electronics when I wasn’t using them, insulated my windows and lowered the thermostat. My electricity use dropped fifty percent.” I’m a huge coffee drinker. I saved almost $0.80 per cup (about $50 per month) by using refillable filter cups for my Keurig. And I decreased my trash! A month’s worth of used K-cup packs can fill up one kitchen-sized trash bag!”

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learn to cook

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Ten percent of all food offered in our dining facilities is locally grown.

Lead and We all share the opportunity and responsibility to make Appalachian, Boone, and our world a better place. Beyond mindful and sustainable living practices, we encourage you to get involved in our community, become a leader, and a truly engaged Appalachian citizen. Below is a sampling of the many organizations and opportunities that exist for you to make an even bigger difference.

Appalachian Voices Blue Ridge Conservancy Blue Ridge Women in Agriculture Boone Area Chamber of Commerce Boone Area Cyclists Boone Community Network Elkland Art Center High Country Local First Lettuce Learn Project New River Conservancy Sustainability Task Force Watauga County: Cooperative Extension Watauga County Farmers Market Watauga Riverkeeper


Take the pledge Sign the Sustainable Living Pledge online at sustainabilityguide

Future generations can live, work and meet their needs, only if our generation is conscious of all we do and the effects of all we do. Sustainability crosses all areas of life, from the natural environment to urban planning to health care and economics. I want to live in a sustainable community. I pledge to use the Sustainable Living Guide as a benchmark of sustainable practices and a reminder to remain conscious of the fact that how I live now will affect future generations.