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We all play a role in creating a sustainable society.

Try these simple tips to integrate sustainability into your life. 

Two reusable cups.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Minimizing waste is a great way to reduce negative environmental effects from the manufacturing of products and the disposal of material.

  • Only buy what you need and upcycle old items into new items when possible.
  • Print double sided – this reduces your paper usage in half!
  • Purchase a reusable to-go container and use a reusable water bottle.
  • Shop at second hand stores first.
A faucet running water.

Water Conservation

Water plays a vital role in our life. Try these simple tips to minimize your usage of water.

  • Take shorter showers. Shortening your shower by 1 minute can save 2 gallons of water.
  • Run the dishwasher. If a dishwasher is full, it uses less water than hand washing.
  • Turn off the water when you brush your teeth and wash your hands.
  • Do full loads of laundry.
Two students working on a solar panel array.

Energy Conservation

Practicing energy conservation minimizes the negative environmental impact of energy production.

  • Air dry your clothes.
  • Unplug electronics when they are not in use – some electronics pull electricity even when they are turned off but still plugged in.
  • Adjust the thermostat a few degrees up in the summer and down in the winter. It’s amazing how much energy a few degrees can conserve!
  • Share a frig and microwave with your roommate verse purchasing your own.
A man riding a bike.

Transportation

How you get around plays a large role in your personal carbon footprint and impact on the environment.

  • Ride your bike or walk. This reduces your transportation carbon footprint to zero!
  • Take public transportation.
  • Combine errands. When possible, reduce the impact of driving by combining errands into one trip and shopping at stores near to each other.
  • Carpool. Going to the same place as your friends? Jump in the car together to reduce your gas and air pollution.
A Starbucks employee handing a drink to a young woman.

Fiscal Responsibility

Economic sustainability is distributing money and resources equitably so that all may obtain basic human needs. Being economically sustainable should allow the economy to function, prosper, and thrive.

  • Shop local to stimulate your community’s economy and keep jobs strong in Brookings.
  • Purchase products with environmental and/or socially just certifications, such as, Energy STAR, B- Corps, or Fair Trade.
  • Only buy what you can afford.
  • Set aside money monthly for a future emergency or a special event.
Three young women sitting at a picnic table.

Social Sustainability

Social sustainability ensures all people are treated with equity and have access to basic human rights, including but not limited to: clean water, nutrition, education, healthcare, sanitation, shelter, security, a meaningful livelihood, and the opportunity to pursue their aspirations.

  • Advocate for equity for all.
  • Always treat others with fairness and kindness, making sure they have stable access to basic human needs.
  • Learn about a culture, faith, gender, or sexual orientation you know little about.
  • Volunteer in your community.

Take the Sustainability Pledge