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Sustainability at ESF
Sustainability Pledge

The ESF Sustainability Pledge

Want to make sustainable changes in your day-to-day life? Already rethinking your habits? Become part of the sustainability community at ESF by signing the Sustainability Pledge. All students, faculty, staff and alumni are invited to participate!

Recognizing the interdisciplinary nature of sustainability, our pledge focuses on sustainable actions with respect to energy, water, materials and zero waste, transportation, food, and wellness. By signing, you are committing to uphold the sustainable values learned at ESF during and after your time here.

As a member of the ESF community, I am committed to being an environmental champion by engaging in sustainable practices while on campus, at work, and at home. As I take this pledge, I promise to continually educate myself about environmental issues and engage others in empathetic dialogue about sustainable practices. While we recognize and celebrate the importance of advocating for large-scale, industry-wide and societal change, every small step and individual action we take to integrate sustainability into our daily lives contributes to our collective efforts to improve our world and society as a whole.

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I pledge to take energy-conscious steps to help increase energy efficiency and decrease energy consumption. I commit to continuously educate myself about energy conservation and use techniques to reduce my carbon footprint.

  • Prioritize using natural light and supplement with task lighting
  • Replace incandescent and fluorescent light bulbs with LEDs
  • If you have a roommate, share appliances and electronics
  • Turn off lights and unplug devices, chargers, and appliances when not in use
  • Set your thermostat near 68° in the winter and near 76° in the summer
  • Choose ENERGY STAR appliances when buying new
  • Buy carbon offsets to reduce the net emissions of your energy use
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I pledge to learn, and share water-wise practices, such as being conscious of water use and preventing the introduction of pollutants into natural waterways. In doing so, I commit to acting as a water steward, to protect and ensure safe water access for both humans and wildlife.

  • Take shorter showers
  • Turn off the faucet when brushing your teeth or shaving
  • Repair leaks or report for maintenance
  • Carry a reusable water bottle with you and use refill stations
  • Run the dishwasher and washing machines only when you have full loads
  • Water plants only during the cool parts of the day
  • Install faucet aerators and water-efficient shower heads

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I pledge to account for the impact of my daily commute and to consider options such as walking, biking, carpooling, or public transportation. I commit to reducing the carbon footprint of my transportation and will actively support sustainable transportation for future generations.

  • Walk or bike to your destination at least once a week
  • Use public transit or micro-mobility to travel
  • Avoid multiple trips — run all your errands together and carpool with others
  • When traveling, consider carpooling with others who live in the area
  • Adopt fuel-efficient driving techniques
  • Reduce air travel as much as possible, or buy carbon-offsets when you do

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I pledge to reduce the environmental footprint of my food by adopting sustainable eating practices, such as eating plant-rich foods. In doing so, I commit myself to promoting regional food systems that support and strengthen local communities for the economic, social, and cultural wellbeing of the planet.

  • Buy local, seasonal, and organic foods when you can
  • Reduce food waste by planning meals ahead and buying only what you need
  • “Lug Your Mug and Pack Your Plate” to events and meetings #LYMPYP
  • Reduce your meat consumption — try Meatless Mondays and learn how to cook meatless meals
  • Opt for unprocessed snacks like fresh fruits, vegetables, beans, and nuts
  • Support local food systems - shop at the farmers market or volunteer at community garden

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I pledge to be attentive, considerate, and compassionate towards my own wellbeing and the wellbeing of those around me. In doing so, I commit myself to upholding the dignity of each life and working towards building a more equitable, socially, and environmentally responsible world.

  • Take wellness breaks
  • Spend time outdoors away from your devices
  • Get involved in campus or community groups, find others that share your interests
  • Take time to be present for yourself and others
  • Prevent burnout by setting and respecting reasonable boundaries for yourself and those set by others
  • Remember that your downtime does not need to be productive
  • Practice viewing situations from other perspectives