Whether you work, live or study at ANU there is plenty you can do to reduce your environmental footprint. There's even an ANU Green Key app to assist residents of ANU halls and colleges to self- evaluate energy and water consumption in their rooms.
Find what you can do to reduce
Although ANU is actively implementing energy efficient systems across campus, it's still vitally important that everyone plays their part in reducing energy use.
Here are some simple, practical ways you can reduce your energy use:
Heating & cooling
Use curtains and blinds, when appropriate, to keep out excess heat, and let the sun in when the weather is cooler for free heating.
If possible, set your heating/cooling system to a broader temperature band. Setting the thermostat to a range of 20°C-25°C will still maintain a comfortable environment without using larger amounts of energy.
Wear the right clothes
It's not about being fashionable - it's about wearing appropriate clothes for the weather. Bring a jacket or jumper so that you can adjust your temperature according to the weather.
Where possible, open windows and let natural air in when the temperature outside is between 20°C-25°C and close them when it's hotter or colder.
Enable energy-saving features of your computer
Enable the energy-saving features of your computer, so that the screen blanks out and the hard disk goes into energy-saving mode when you're not actively using the computer.
Switch off computer monitors
When you're out of the office for more than 15 minutes, switch off your computer monitor.
Switch off the office lights
If you're leaving the office for over 30 minutes, or if your office is already well-lit by natural light, switch off the office lights.
Energy efficient appliances
Purchase energy efficient appliances & turn them off at the wall when not in use.
Report drips and leaks
Report leaking taps, showers, toilets and urinals, to either your Building custodian or raise a service request.
Turn it off
Turn off taps fully and check for drips.
Wait until it's fully loaded
Only turn on the dishwasher and washing machine when it is fully loaded.
Take shorter showers
Try to limit shower time to 3-5 minutes. That's more than enough time to be clean and hygienic. Play your favourite song (as long as it's not American Pie) and aim to finish by the time the song ends.
Not only does it save water but it significantly reduces the energy used to heat the water.
The more you recycle, the less the University has to pay for waste disposal. The University could slash its waste disposal bill by up to 25 percent if the recycling rate improves.
Clean office paper goes in the blue bins, while rigid plastic, cans and glass containers go in the yellow-lid co-mingled bins. A number of dedicated cardboard bins are located around campus. These are for cardboard only. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out where these are located.
Recycle your food and drink containers. You might be astonished to know that a large proportion of waste to landfill from ANU is due to food and drink containers. If there isn't a recycling bin near you email email@example.com
Many other items can be recycled on campus.
Avoid printing paper and if you must make it double sided
Consider whether you need to print in the first place.
Use reusable water bottles, mugs and crockery
Carry your own drink bottle and refill via one of the many drinking water fountains on campus.
Purchase your coffee in a reusable mug - if you drink coffee twice every day you will use close 500 coffee cups a year. Instead of creating a mountain of waste why not BYO coffee cup. Plus campus coffee shops support the use of own cups. ANUgreen Keep-Cups can be purchased from the University Shop.
Purchase durable crockery and cutlery for building occupants and guests, to avoid the need for disposables.
BYO your own lunch
Save money and avoid creating waste by bringing your own lunch.
Avoid plastic bags
It's really easy to avoid collecting plastic bags - carry a foldable one in your bag or backpack. Laundry bags or mesh bags work well for produce. Put bread from a bakery into a pillowslip or reuse a paper bag.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org for prompt action on litter.
Buy in bulk and bring your own bags and containers
Take your own bag every time you shop. Shop at bulk food stores such as the ANU Food Coop to avoid food packaging.
Purchase second-hand goods when you need them and donate them when you don't
There are a variety of second-hand outlets in Canberra, including Salvos and Vinnies stores and Tiny's Green Shed in Mitchell and Mugga Lane, Symonston. There are also a number of online resources for sourcing cheap or free used items, ranging from appliances to bikes and furniture. These include the University's own Billboard Classifieds and several external sites:
Help with transport surveys
Four times a year ANUgreen surveys how people travel to ANU. This is a great opportunity to learn practical skills which you can put on your CV. For survey dates email email@example.com.
Walk whenever possible
Get some exercise and enjoy the fresh air. Walking will help you feel calmer and inspire creativity.
Ride a bike to campus
Cycling is fun and good for relieving stress. It is also a great way to save money and get fit. For trips of less than 5km cycling is often faster than driving in traffic and finding parking. Bicycle storage is available all across campus.
To get access to bicycle shed email firstname.lastname@example.org
Use public transport
ACTION buses run regular services to ANU and to Canberra city. The Blue Rapid service, for instance, runs from town centres to ANU every 5-8 minutes weekdays.
Participate in the ANU Car Share scheme
Available for work or private use, staff and graduate students are able to borrow an ANU car on an hourly basis. Ideal for lunchtime trips or use on the weekend. For more details and rates information visit the ANU Carshare webpage.
Use a campus bicycle to travel around campus
Staff and graduate students have access to timely treadly bicycles for cycling around campus.
Find a colleague to share the driving, share the costs, share a conversation and halve the emissions.
Reduce your need to travel
Combine multiple trips into one when possible and use video conferencing instead of travelling for business.
Use low-emission vehicles
Electric and smaller, fuel-efficient vehicles generate fewer emissions and are cheaper to run than big gas-guzzlers.
Report water wastage
If you notice any water leaks please call x 54000. Please note that periodically sprinklers will be turned on during the middle of the day for testing and routine maintenance.
Dispose of harmful liquids and materials responsibly
Never dispose of fat, oil, paint, chemicals or any other potentially harmful substances down stormwater drains or in the landscape. Anything put down the stormwater drain will end up in Sullivans Creek, contaminating the water and posing a danger to wildlife.
Bin your rubbish
Litter in the landscape can injure or poison wildlife. Toxins from plastics can leach into waterways and soils and food scraps can encourage greater numbers of pests such as feral cats or foxes.
Avoid walking and driving on planted areas
Please don't take that shortcut! Walking and driving over the landscape compacts the soil and damages the vegetation, especially under wet conditions. Impacted soil structure and vegetation can take a long time to recover.
Leave wildlife alone
Do not bother or feed native animals, particularly birds. Animals that are fed can become dependent on your food source.
Get involved with monitoring and voluteering
There are lots of opportunities to get involved with monitoring and volunteering programs including bird and frog monitoring and rehabilitating and endangered woodland.
ANU Green Key app
The ANU Green Key app is designed to assist residents of ANU halls and colleges to self- evaluate energy and water consumption in their rooms.
The app collects data about lighting, electricity, heating and water use and then generates a mark (high distinction, etc.) to reflect the student's monthly energy and water usage score.
Find out how you're tracking with ANU Green Key and take steps to reduce your energy and water use today!