Student Sustainability guide

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New School Bikes! A new student, faculty, and staff group designed this bumper sticker to encourage commuting to campus by bike.


Student Services Facilities Management


Sus•tain•a•bil•it•y: Environmental, economic, and social justice that abides by the definition of “sustainable development” formed by the Brundtland Commission, established by the United Nations in 1983: Meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. The New School is committed to becoming a more sustainable institution and to improving the eco-literacy of the campus community. With these objectives in mind, The New School has signed on to the following public initiatives: PlaNYC University Challenge—In 2007, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg asked local colleges and universities to commit to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent in ten years—a goal that is more ambitious than the citywide goals proposed in the PlaNYC sustainability master plan. The New School was one of the original nine signatories of the PlaNYC University Challenge. American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment (ACUPCC)—The New School is one of nearly 700 universities and colleges that

The new University Center is designed with a focus on efficiency and conservation.


have pledged to become carbon-neutral institutions as part of the ACUPCC. The university is committed to attaining carbon neutrality by 2040. Sustainability Tracking, Assessment, and Rating System (STARS®)—Designed by universities for universities, STARS®is a rating system used to assess sustainability performance in a number of categories. In 2010, The New School signed on as a charter participant to this initiative, launched by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE); the university was one of approximately 200 schools to sign on as early adopters. The New School received a Silver rating in August 2011. For details about current sustainability initiatives on campus, visit


Student Green Best Practices

The Student Sustainability Guide provides you with ideas for leaving a lighter environmental footprint. In this guide you will find links to university resources and other websites dealing with sustainability issues. You are encouraged to read about and research additional ideas for making your residence and The New School in general even greener. Minimize your impact on the environment by using the mantra “reduce, reuse, recycle.” Keep in mind that changes you make to preserve the environment today will affect you and others in the future.

A Student from Lang College demonstrates a solar panel as part of an internship opportunity.

Moving In Pack Responsibly for School—Try to pack your things in reusable storage crates and large canvas bags rather than cardboard boxes in order to reduce waste. If you must use boxes, reuse boxes from local stores or from people who have just moved rather than purchasing new ones. Choose Durable, Not Disposable—When shopping for the items you’ll need to live in your residence hall, try to select goods that are durable rather than disposable. The longer something lasts the less energy will be used and waste generated. Reuse whatever you can from your home, such as clothing, lamps, coffee makers, and other kitchen stuff. If you have to purchase new items, visit stores like Sustainable NYC in the East Village or Green Depot in SoHo that sell environmentally friendly products including those made with recycled materials. What’s better than free? is a nonprofit website for people giving (and getting) stuff for free in their communities.

less energy than standard models) and is EPEAT© registered, which ensures that it is more efficient, produces less waste, and is built with fewer harmful materials than other laptops.

It’s all about reusing and keeping good stuff out of landfills. Draw the Curtains—Curtains let you put a personal touch on your dorm room, and they’re great insulators. By drawing your curtains before you leave your room each day, you’ll keep the heat out during the summer and maintain a cozy temperature in the winter.

Everyday Living Dial Back on Temperature Control—At The New School—like most institutions— heating and cooling is still generated with fossil fuels, which contribute to the greenhouse gas effect and cost millions of dollars a year for an institution of our size.

Install Energy-Efficient Light Bulbs—Use only compact fluorescents (CFLS, the spiral bulbs) or the new screw-in LED bulbs for any lamps you bring into the room. GE and Philips make CFLs and LEDs appropriate for your lamps, and some are even dimmable. Look for “soft white” bulbs. These bulbs may be pricier, but they can last up to ten years and will work to reduce energy usage in the building.

Heating and cooling systems at The New School vary by residence. Your residence may feature radiators and air conditioning units or central air/heating. Some of these systems allow residents to control the temperature in their rooms, while others regulate the temperature automatically. Problems with heating or air conditioning should be reported to your RA.

Select a Computer with Higher Standards—If you’re purchasing a new computer for the academic year, you may want to consider that laptops use less energy than desktop computers. If you decide to purchase a laptop, make sure it is Energy Star© Certified (meaning it uses

It may take some time to figure out how to be comfortable without wasting energy, but the following tips will help you get started: –Wear – seasonally appropriate clothing in your


room. Expect to wear layers in winter and light clothing in summer. –Keep – the door to your room or suite closed when your air conditioner is on. –Set – air conditioners to 78 degrees in the summer and radiators to 68 degrees in the winter (the temperatures recommended by Con Edison) to use less energy. –If – your air conditioner has a timer, set it so the machine will turn on when you come back from class. If your air conditioner does not have a timer, switch it off when you leave your room and turn it back on when you return. –Fans – use 70 to 90 percent less electricity than air conditioning. Consider buying a fan for your room for the times when a breeze is all you need. –The – heating and cooling systems in Kerrey Hall at the University Center are energy saving and “smart,” but that doesn’t mean residents shouldn’t try to conserve energy. Remember, the optimal thermostat setting is 78 degrees in the summer and 68 degrees in the winter. Also keep in mind that if you open the window, heating and cooling will shut off automatically.


As of April 2013, all rigid plastics including take-out containers, fruit packaging, hangers, and yogurt containers must be recycled in New York City. These items should be placed in the “mixed” recycling bins on campus with all metals and glass.

Turn computers off when they’re not in use. It’s a myth that shutting down a computer regularly harms it or uses more energy to restart it.

Power Down—Last one out turns the lights out. Follow this mantra with your suitemates. If you don’t need the light, don’t turn it on, especially during the day. Put a sign next to the light switch to remind yourself to turn off the light. Turn computers off when they’re not in use. It’s a myth that shutting down a computer regularly harms it or uses more energy to restart it. Putting your computer into powersave or “eco” mode will also cut back on the electricity it uses while inactive. Follow the power-saving setting instructions for both PCs and Macs at the end of this guide. A device that is turned off but plugged into an outlet still draws electricity, which is referred to as a “phantom load.” Unplug chargers, devices, and small appliances with a power light, standby indicator light, or a clock when not in use. Using a power strip enables you to shut off multiple devices all at once when you leave the room.

Remember to Recycle—When you toss something in the trash, it is transported by truck or barge to a far-off landfill where it remains for a long, long time. Recycling and composting are two solutions to this problem. All paper, glass, metal, and plastic waste you produce must be recycled—it’s New York City law, and it keeps these items out of landfills. Rinse soiled items before putting them in bins because they must be somewhat clean in order to be recycled. Items that are difficult to clean, such as greasy pizza boxes, cannot be recycled. All residence hall floors have areas for you to sort your waste properly.

anyway! If you must take a plastic bag, recycle it at a local Whole Foods or Best Buy store. Dispose of E-waste the Right Way— Keep an eye out for e-waste (electronic equipment) recycling events at the end of each semester in the residence halls. Electronic equipment may contain toxic chemicals that are harmful to the environment if they end up in landfills. The vendor that The New School uses for electronic waste removal meets the highest global standards for responsible recycling practices. To recycle small electronics such as cell phones and MP3 players, place them in the blue tubes located in the lobbies of most buildings on campus.

Carry Reusable Grocery Bags—Both plastic and paper bags require energy to be produced and transported to stores. Plastic bags are made from petroleum and remain toxic even after they break down; some end up discarded in our oceans. Say “no thanks” to plastic or paper bags at the register and pack your own canvas or other reusable bag instead. The environment will benefit and so will you—a reusable bag is more durable and comfortable to carry

Keep Batteries out of the Trash— Rechargeable and lead-acid batteries release hazardous materials as they decompose, so it is illegal in New York City to throw them away in the trash. You can recycle all types of batteries on campus by placing them in the blue tubes located in most building lobbies.


Recycle Printer Cartridges—Drop off used printer cartridges for recycling in designated locations in the residence halls. Give Clothes a New Life—There are a variety of ways to recycle clothes in the city. You might want to check out places like Beacon’s Closet (10 West 13th Street) or Buffalo Exchange (East 11th Street at 1st Avenue), where they will pay you or give you store credit for items you bring in. If you’re feeling philanthropic, you can donate your clothes at the Union Square Farmer’s Market every Monday (at a booth at the north end of Union Square) and Saturday (at a booth on the northwest side) from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The Salvation Army also accepts donations. Find a list of their thrift store locations in New York City here. Donate Art Materials and Other Stuff— Parsons Green Supply Center on the 4th floor of 2 West 13th Street collects discarded art materials plus a random assortment of treasures ranging from furniture to old electronics to be reused for free by students.


Personal Hygiene Reduce Shower Water Waste—Try to spend less time in the shower because fresh water is finite and natural gas or oil is needed to heat the water. If you want to be a real eco-hero, don’t leave the water running while washing your body. Use only enough water to lather up the bar soap or body wash and then rinse after. When you’re done showering, turn the water valve all the way off to minimize dripping. If you have a leaky showerhead, fill out a work order to have it fixed. Reconsider Your Sink Habits—While brushing your teeth, turn off the water when you’re not using it. Guys who shave can conserve water by filling the sink with water instead of leaving the tap running. If you have a leaky faucet in the sink, fill out a work order to have it fixed. If you regularly use disposable Dixie cups, consider buying a reusable cup instead to minimize the waste you generate.

Make the Most of Your Kitchen Equipment ––Microwave Oven: Use the microwave rather than the stove whenever possible as it will use less energy.

Conserve Water When Washing Dishes— It is best to clean dishes with a soapy sponge or brush first and then rinse rather than letting the water run while you’re doing the dishes. If the faucet is leaky, fill out a work order.

You can rely on these manufacturers to live up to their green claims:

Shop and Eat Local and Sustainable ––Union Square Greenmarket: Try your hand

–Ecover – –Method – –Trader – Joe’s brand green cleaners –Whole – Foods brand green cleaners



Buy Sustainable Cleaning Products—Read labels. Many household products such as laundry detergent, dish soap, and glass cleaner contain ingredients that can be harmful to you and the environment. Seek out products with the Green Seal label, which indicates that they meet health and sustainability standards. Stay away from products with labels that say things like “caution,” “warning,” irritants,” or “corrosive.” Avoid products with chlorine bleach, ammonia, aerosols, nonylphenol ethoxylates, phosphates, or petroleumbased ingredients in them. Products labeled “disinfectant” should also be avoided because they can contain bleach.

–Seventh – Generation

Make sure you only buy detergents with a blue and white High Efficiency (HE) logo on the packaging because the machines on campus are designed for this kind of detergent.

Launder with Care—In general, try to avoid doing laundry unless you have a full load. Approximately 90 percent of the energy used to wash clothes is for heating the water, so select the cold wash cycle. Make sure you only buy detergents with a blue and white High Efficiency (HE) logo on the packaging because the machines on campus are designed for this kind of detergent. (Use the amount of detergent indicated on the label or your wash will be too soapy.) Try to use eco-friendly laundry products because they lack skin irritants and toxins harmful to you and waterways. Not all eco-friendly laundry products live up to their green claims, so look for “biodegradable” and “plant based” on labels. See the reliable brands for general cleaning and laundry products listed above.

––Refrigerator: Keep your refrigerator set to 35 to 38 degrees (per the Environmental Protection Agency’s recommendation). The temperature sensor is usually located next to the light in the refrigerator. Remember to close the refrigerator door while you contemplate whether you’re going to eat leftovers or a PB&J sandwich.

at cooking fresh, local food. One of the bestknown greenmarkets in the country is located right next to campus. At the Union Square Greenmarket, you will find approximately 1,000 varieties of fruits and vegetables from the region. The Union Square Greenmarket is


Composting is an easy and interesting way to reduce your waste stream by putting waste right back into the earth. Anything biodegradable can be composted.

Corbin Hill Farm brings farm-fresh local fruits and vegetables into Harlem and the Bronx and has a weekly pick-up on campus. Many New School students have been involved in the operations of the organization.

open on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. ––Corbin Hill Farm: Founded by a New School for Public Engagement faculty member, Corbin Hill Farm brings produce grown in New York State (much of it organic) to you. Buy a share and pick up a bundle of fruits and veggies each week right on campus. ––Trader Joe’s vs. Whole Foods: Both Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods have an amazing variety of organic, local, and/or sustainable products, though Trader Joe’s is typically cheaper. Whole Foods is known for its high quality produce and products and also has an extensive buffet and upstairs seating area if you want to grab a quick bite. ––The New School Dining Services: New School Dining Services has a deep commitment to serving healthy, sustainable food, which is organic and from local farms whenever possible. In 2012, nearly 50 percent of food expenditures were on food grown and processed within 250 miles of

back into the earth. Anything biodegradable can be composted, including all food scraps (meat and dairy included), paper napkins, coffee grinds, egg shells, dead flowers, biodegradable containers and utensils, etc. The compostable waste on campus is picked up and brought to a facility where it is broken down over time into compost, a nutrient-rich fertilizer that is then sold to local farmers and landscapers.

campus, and close to 20 percent of these expenditures were on certified organic foods. Dining Services also purchases foods carrying the Fair Trade and Marine Stewardship Council labels when available. In 2013, Dining Services committed to participating in the Real Food Challenge. More information about this national studentled food movement can be found here. The University Center’s cafeteria also offers a reusable container program for take-out food. This student-led project was launched in 2014 with seed money from the New School Green Fund.

Compost bins are also available to residents in Kerrey Hall and 20th Street Residence Hall. Residents in these buildings are provided with biodegradable bags ordered especially for the collection and brief storage of organic waste in suites. The entire bag and its contents can then be placed in bins labeled “compost” in your building.

Compost on Campus—Everywhere food is sold on campus (aside from vending machines), compostable waste is collected. To support this initiative, New School Dining Services provides compostable utensils, plates, cups, straws, sushi containers, and take-out containers.

When you order take-out off campus, look for places that use compostable or biodegradable containers. If you are going

Composting is an easy way to reduce your waste stream by putting organic waste right 6

to pick up your order, ask if you can bring your own reusable container. Compost at the Union Square Greenmarket —You can also bring your compost-ready scraps to Union Square on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. Note that the Union Square Greenmarket only accepts vegetable scraps, coffee grounds, plant materials, and egg shells; it does not accept meat scraps or dairy products. To collect food scraps for composting at the Greenmarket, place a plastic bag inside a container that seals and keep it in a dark, cool place. Empty the container every few days to prevent the scraps from rotting. Alternatively, if you don’t accumulate a lot of waste or are trying composting for the first time, you can store food scraps in the freezer until you are ready to take them to the composting bin. To minimize smell, it’s important to drop off your scraps often.



Waste collection signs on campus were designed by Parsons students through a Green Fund award. For questions or comments, contact the Office of Facilities Management at 212.229.5456 or

On Campus Sort Your Waste—Recycling is collected in all academic New School buildings. It’s important to take the time to locate these bins and sort your waste throughout the day. Look for the compost bins in these locations: –13th – Street Residence Cafeteria –Lang – Café at 65 West 11th Street –Café – 55 and Library Café at 55 West 13th Street –25 – East 13th Street, floors 2, 3, 4, and 5 –University – Center Cafeteria

Buy a Reusable Water Bottle—New York City has access to one of the cleanest water sources in the world. Plastic bottles are toxic to the environment and wasteful, so The New School has banned the sale of bottled water on campus. Stations where you can fill a bottle with chilled, filtered

Become an Eco-warrior—Help educate other people on sustainable practices:

water have been installed around campus. Purchasing your own reusable water bottle will also save you cash in the long run.

–If – you see someone throw a plastic bottle in the trash, politely inform him or her that the bottle should go in the recycling bin instead.

Bring Your Own Mug—Disposable coffee cups and lids make up a good part of the university’s waste stream, which means they will eventually end up in landfills. If you bring your own mug to any eatery on campus, you can fill up with coffee or tea for just $0.99.

–Encourage – your friends to start composting. –Remind – your suitemates to shut off lights and electronics when they leave the room. –Introduce – someone to the Student Sustainability Guide.

Make a Pledge—Join over 1,000 members of the New School community in taking our Sustainability Pledge. This online pledge asks you to select the actions you will take to help make the university a more sustainable institution.

–Speak – to your RA about planning more educational programming including fun competitions and hands-on projects around sustainability issues.

Join a Student Organization—Joining a student group involved in sustainability issues and projects on campus can be a great way to enhance your time at The New School. Here are a few of the active groups on campus:

Graduates can commit to striving for a more sustainable and equitable society through their careers with the Graduation Pledge. When you pledge, you will wear a green tassel at Commencement with hundreds of others who have made the same promise.

––The Food Community The Food Community


engages the New School in conversations about food systems by facilitating community meals on campus. Students and faculty are encouraged to help prepare, cook, and eat these meals, as well as dialogue about tangible ways to have more direct, sustainable relationships with food. The Food Community also works with Real Food Challenge to shift food purchasing on campus from conventional to more sustainable sources. To get involved, send an email to ––The Sustainable Cities Club brings together New School students and New York professionals committed to sustainable urbanization. Through research, events, and interventions, the group addresses energy use, material consumption, public awareness, climate change adaptation, and futurefocused smart city development. Visit their Facebook page to find out about events and meetings. To get involved, send an email to


Contact the Office of Student Development and Activities at 212.229.5687 or to inquire about other active groups.

issues of sustainability on campus. Applications are accepted each spring. Visit the link above for more information and to view a list of past projects.

Improve Your Eco-literacy—Nearly 100 courses are offered at The New School each academic year that address sustainability across many disciplines, programs, and schools. Topics include sustainable food systems, zero-waste fashion, environmental economics, and climate change in cities.


To find courses relating to sustainability, speak with your advisor or conduct a keyword and title search for “sustainability” in the online course catalog. Attend Public Programs—Through an array of public programs on campus that address topics related to sustainability, the university brings thought leaders and the general public together to discuss various critical global issues. To find these events, view the University Events Calendar and select the “Environment, Sustainability, and Climate Change” theme in the right sidebar. Apply for a Grant from The New School Green Fund—Got a bright idea? The New School Green Fund annually provides funding for student projects that address

Biking is a great form of exercise and it cuts down on your travel time to get to class.


Take the Subway Not a Taxi—There are 15 subway lines and six bus routes around The New School’s Greenwich Village campus. Using mass transit is far more affordable than a cab and is often faster. Aside from saving money, mass transit shrinks your carbon footprint, as tailpipe emissions from cars contribute to the greenhouse gas effect and air pollution. Bike to Class—Biking is a great form of exercise and it cuts down on your travel time to get to class. There are bike racks located in front of most New School buildings, and all residence halls have secure bike storage. Recycle a Bicycle and Craigslist are great resources to purchase used bikes. Make sure to purchase a helmet and bike lock and follow street traffic regulations. Citi Bike, a long-awaited bike share program, was launched in New York City in May 2013. There are many stations adjacent to residence halls and academic buildings. Weekly and annual passes are available.


“The New School Bikes!” bicycle handbook is also a great resource for members of the New School community to learn how to ride safely and find tips on where to buy a bike. Pick up a hardcopy from the Office of Athletics and Recreation or request a PDF version by emailing

Moving Out

If you have ideas about additional information, tips, and resources that can be added to this Student Sustainability Guide, email


what recycling opportunities are available in your building. Clothing, cleaning supplies, non-perishable food, e-waste, and books are typically collected in all residence halls. You can drop off other items at Parsons Green Supply Center or, if you plan ahead, try selling them on Craigslist. Packing to Go Home—Dig out those large canvas bags and crates you used to move in and pack them again to move out.

Don’t Toss It, Recycle It—You’ve just finished the year and you want to give yourself a big pat on the back. But then you realize that the Office of Student Housing and Residence Life gives you only 24 hours to move out after your last final or project is completed. It’s not exactly a long time to make sure your room is completely vacated, especially if you’re sharing a suite with four or more people. You’re tempted to just toss the stuff you don’t want down the chute and leave campus. Don’t! There are some simple ways to make sure your stuff goes on to another life.

Be Part of the Solution—If you have ideas about additional information, tips, and resources that can be added to this Student Sustainability Guide, email

Each year, Student Housing and Residence Life provides students with opportunities to donate unwanted items. At the end of each semester, look for signs posted in your residence or speak with your RA about

–GreenBiz –

Online Sustainability Resources – – –GrowNYC – –The – Natural Resources Defense Council –Sierra – Club – – –TreeHugger – –DotEarth – (the New York Times) –Inhabitat – –PlaNYC! –


Energy Settings for Personal Computers Changing your computer settings can greatly reduce the amount of energy you use.

The Student Study Center

Consider the following facts: Windows Idle state consumes between 32.21 and 91 watts. Sleep mode consumes between 2.64 and 3.18 watts. Standby mode consumes between 1.23 and 0.93 watts.

Macintosh Idle state with display on consumes about 150 watts. Idle state with display off consumes about 47 watts. Sleep mode consumes about 1.45 watts

How to Set Your Computer to Save Energy

or hibernate. If you are unable to select a hibernate time-out, you may need to enable the hibernate feature: Select the Hibernate tab in Power Options Properties, check Enable Hibernation, and click Apply, then OK.

Windows XP

Step 4: Set monitor to enter sleep mode after five to 30 minutes of inactivity; ten minutes is recommended. The lower the setting, the more energy is saved. The Turn Off Hard Disks setting does not save much power and can be ignored.

Step 1: To configure power management, click on Control Panel. Step 2: Control Panel has two views. In Theme View, double-click on Performance and Maintenance and then on Power Options. In Classic View, double-click on Power Options.

Windows 7 users will find that this process has been made easier: To adjust your settings, just go to Control Panel, select Hardware and Sound, and open Power Options. Consider using the Balanced option, which balances performance with energy consumption, or Power Saver, if you are a true sustainability champion. All settings can be adjusted under Edit Plan Settings.

Step 3: The Power Options Properties dialog box will be displayed with the Power Schemes tab selected. Here time-outs can be set for your monitor, system standby, and hibernation. Desktop users should set Hibernate to Never. Laptop and notebook computer users can specify an alternative power scheme to take effect when the PC is running on battery power, either standby 10

Macintosh Step 1: Click on the Apple Menu (apple icon) in the upper left corner of your screen. Step 2: Go to System Preferences. Step 3: Click Show All (if necessary). Step 4: Select Energy Saver from the Hardware row. Step 5: Set Put the Computer to Sleep When it is Inactive to 30 minutes or less using the slider. Step 6: Set Put the Display to Sleep When the Computer is Inactive to between five and ten minutes using the slider. For more information, visit If you have questions related to these Power Down procedures, send an email to


Windows Step 4 Note: Your screen may not look exactly like this if you have a different operating system, but the instructions are basically the same.

Macintosh Step 3

Macintosh Step 4

Macintosh Step 5

Setting Your Computer to Double-Sided (Duplex) Printing

Step 4: In Layout, change Print Type to 2-Sided or click 2-Sided Long Edge; click Apply, then OK.


Step 5: To set duplex printing as the default, click on the pull-down menu labeled Presets and choose Save as.... Enter a name for the printing preset you are creating, such as Duplex; click OK.

Windows XP

Step 1: Open File and select Print.

Step 1: Open Control Panel and select Printers and Faxes.

Step 2: Click Preferences or Properties button.

Step 2: Right-click your default printer (verify that the printer has the duplex option installed). You will have to repeat this process for each printer you use.

Step 3: Open Layout tab.

Step 3: Select Printing Preferences (also accessible from Print in a program such as Microsoft Word) by right-clicking on the printer you would like to use.

Step 1: Open the File menu in a program such as Microsoft Word and select Print.

To go back to single-sided printing for a single document, follow these steps:

Step 2: In the window that appears, select your shared network printer. Step 3: Click on the pull-down menu labeled Copies and Pages and select Layout/Finish. Note: All university printers should have this duplex printing option, but personal desktop printers may not. Step 4: In the Layout section, under Print Type, select 2-Sided. In some Macintosh operating systems, there may be an option under 2-Sided to specify the binding. Select Long-edged Binding if you usually print in Landscape. If you are printing two pages per sheet, choosing Short-edged Binding may provide more convenient page breaks.

Step 4: Under Print on Both Sides, select None, or under 2-Sided Printing, select 1-Sided, then OK.


To go back to single-sided printing for a single document, follow these steps: Step 1: Choose Standard from the Presets pull down menu. Your printing will continue to be single-sided until you reselect the Duplex preset you created.

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