bare feet in the sand

the beauty of nature in a consumer economy


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Northeastern University

I just finished my first course on the way to my new career.  I took Biology 101 at Northeastern and I think I chose a good university for me.  They offer courses that are part on-line and part in the classroom over 6 weeks.  And they are very environmentally aware.  On my very first day I noticed this:

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It is an incredibly sanitary, almost waste-less way to encourage people to use refillable water bottles.  They also have dual-flush toilets, up for liquid waste, down for solid waste, another way of reducing water waste.

A little more research and it turns out I was even more right than I knew.  Northeastern was a founding member of the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment.  It has really committed to sustainability, as shown in their website, and I see the proof in the buildings.  I found one more thing on their website that I’m really excited about.  It’s called INSHORE and it sounds like exactly the work I want to be doing.  I don’t know if I will stay at Northeastern for a long time, but it’s working for me now and it’s good to know that I what I want is out there.

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Reduce Your Garbage

Here are my simplest suggestions as a way to start.  Carry a reusable shopping bag and if you must, get a paper grocery bag.  Use dishrags and sponges for cleaning the kitchen rather than paper towels.  Carry a refillable bottle and ask for tap water instead of buying bottled water.  Don’t use disposable silverware or paper napkins, even for parties.  Start shopping first at stores that carry used goods.  Find out if any grocery stores near you accept compost or look into how you can compost yourself if you have a garden.

Some suggestions from Edward Humes’ book, Garbology:

1.  Refuse.  Say no to unwanted mail, paper bills, and promotional items.

2.  Remember that things that last longer may end up being cheaper in the long run, even if the initial price is higher.  You won’t need to throw it out and replace it.  For example, better made clothes can be washed and rewashed many times over.

Some suggestion from Garbology, based on Bea Johnson:  (This is her blog: http://zerowastehome.blogspot.com/p/about.html)

1.  Buy in bulk.  It reduces packaging.

2.  Refill wine bottles at local events (if you have them).

3.  Make your own multipurpose cleaner with vinegar, water and castile soap.

4.  Use handkerchiefs instead of paper tissues.

5.  When packing a lunch, wrap sandwiches and other food in a cloth napkin.

6.  Only recycle paper after both sides have been used.