Sustainability Tips

This is a compilation of all of the Sustainability Tips newsletters we have sent over the past few years. We send this to all faculty and staff, monthly.

April 2022

There is an old saying that goes, “The best time to plant a tree was 30 years ago. The second-best time is now.”

The same can be said about making sustainable choices – refusing, reducing, reusing, and recycling. It’s too late to do these things yesterday or last year, but it’s never too late to start. And it’s better to start today than tomorrow.

This is the last Sustainability Tip that I will write for the university because I am retiring from teaching after 31 years. I know that the Sustainability Committee will continue the good work that they do, but sustainability is not the responsibility of a committee or a government or any organization – it’s up to all of us. Make good purchasing decisions and lifestyle choices. If you need some ideas, all of the previous Sustainability Tips are available for reading on the Sustainability Committee website.

Peace and sustainability!

David Luneau

March 2022

UA Little Rock is celebrating Earth Day on Wednesday, April 20, 2022, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Ottenheimer Library Plaza. We will have a variety of vendors, including sustainability demonstrations, and earth-friendly products and houseplants for sale. Back by popular demand, Entergy will be giving away desk lamps and smart power strips. The Tesla Owners Club of Arkansas will bring a couple of Tesla models for the campus to view.

Also, there will be electronics recycling at Lot 15 for your personal products that are not owned by the university. The gates will be open so you can access the area.

February 2022

To prevent outside faucets from freezing, be sure to disconnect hoses. Drip faucets when the temperature is predicted to drop below 20oF per Southern Living.

Do you have to run water for a while to get hot water to your kitchen sink? Consider keeping a water pitcher to collect the water that you would otherwise just run down the drain. You can then use that water to water your house plants.

November 2021

Battery Collection Tubes are currently located in the following areas:

·        Main Campus Mail Room

·        Housing Commons 2nd floor Housing office

·        DSC 1st floor Information Desk

·        Law School Library Main Desk

·        Facilities Management Warehouse

We are currently not accepting batteries from personal use outside the University. For larger batteries, a pickup can be scheduled by contacting Facilities Management at 501-916-3390.

Every campus building has a Toner/Ink Cartridge collection box. These boxes can be used for all types of toner and ink cartridges, and staff can bring cartridges from home as well. If you have a large supply of outdated or obsolete cartridges in the department, a pick up can be scheduled by contacting Facilities Management at 501-916-3390.

October 2021

Did you know that only 9 percent of plastic waste is recycled? Twelve percent is incinerated, and 79 percent ends up in landfills or the natural environment.

We should all strive to recycle our plastic waste. Learn more about what can and cannot be recycled in Pulaski County at https://www.mydoright.com/. To reduce your plastic consumption, and often save money at the same time, try these tips:

· Use bar shampoo instead of liquid shampoo. That’s right – you can buy shampoo in a bar, and even shampoo and conditioner in one bar. “Love Beauty and Planet,” available at Wal-Mart and Target, comes in a small, recyclable cardboard box and outlasts a bottle of shampoo.

· Refuse straws at restaurants.
Nearly 500 million straws and stirrers are used every day in the U.S.

· Take reusable bags with you to the grocery store.
Worldwide, single-use plastic bags are used at the rate of two million every minute!

· Avoid purchasing meat, chicken, or fish packaged with Styrofoam trays.
Look for minimal packaging, or ask the butcher to wrap your food in butcher paper.

Last month’s Tip suggested replacing liquid fabric softener with dryer sheets. Since dryer sheets contain plastic, an even better solution is to use reusable wool dryer balls.

For further reference:

Half of All Plastic That Has Ever Existed Was Made in the Past 13 Years

In 2014, scientists found a new kind of of “stone” on the beaches of Hawaii. It was made of sand, organic debris, volcanic rock, all swirled together with melted plastic. So they proposed the name “plastiglomerate” and they suggested that, as plastic lasts pretty much forever, these stones could be a marker of the Anthropocene in the rock record.

September 2021

Did you know that only 9 percent of plastic waste is recycled? Twelve percent is incinerated, and 79 percent ends up in landfills or the natural environment.

We should all strive to recycle our plastic waste. One of the best ways to reduce your plastic consumption, and save money at the same time, is to change out some of your household products. Here are some tips on how to do this.

· Use dishwasher pods instead of liquid detergent.
Dishwasher pods are available in grocery stores next to liquid dishwashing products.

· Replace liquid or powdered detergent with washer sheets. These can be purchased online at places like Earth Breeze and TruEarth.
They take up less space in your laundry room and have minimal packaging.

· Switch out your liquid fabric softener with dryer sheets.
As with washer sheets, there is minimal packaging and no large plastic jug.

· Buy trash bags made with non-petroleum-based plastics, such as the Hippo Sak. These bags are made from sustainable plant-based materials and are biodegradable.

April 2021

April 22 is Earth Day, so watch for Earth Day activity information in the coming days. There will be more energy-saving giveaways, Campus Garden tours, and more.

Meanwhile, if you are planting this spring, consider plants that are native to our area. The local insects and birds will benefit from native plantings. The Audubon Society is sponsoring a native plant sale that features several local nurseries. Shopping is done online, and the plants will be ready for pickup on Saturday, April 24, at a time of your choosing.

If you are preparing a garden, consider supporting the UA Little Rock Campus Garden. There is a plant sale at the Campus Garden this Friday, April 9. You can preorder plants online.

Live Sustainably!

March 2021

We recycle many types of materials on campus, such as:

  • Paper and cardboard
  • Plastic
  • Aluminum cans
  • Printer cartridges
  • Batteries
  • and more…

Watch for new drop-off locations for battery recycling on campus in the very near future.

Contact Facilities Management prior to any large scale clean out of paperwork, non-confidential files, soft bound books, magazines, etc. and they will deliver bulk recycle rolling barrels to assist you.

A complete list of materials that we recycle on campus can be found on the Sustainability Committee’s recycling page.

February 2021

If you don’t compost at home, consider helping out the UA Little Rock Campus Garden by participating in the Compost Bucket Program.

It’s easy – take a bucket home to collect food scraps then drop off the full bucket at one convenient location accessible 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. The compost bucket shelf is located in front of the University Police station at 3340 Fair Park Boulevard, directly across from U.S. Pizza.

Compost Bin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s what goes in the compost bin:

  • Food scraps from fruits, vegetables, cheese, grains (excluding avocado seeds)
  • Coffee grounds and filters
  • Tea bags (no staples)

The organic matter decomposes naturally and provides the Campus Garden with a nutrient-dense mixture, replenishing the soil of lost minerals and nutrients used by the year-round vegetable production.

For questions about the composting program or to learn more about how to get involved with the Campus Garden, email garden@ualr.edu.

Compost Area

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

December 2020

Here are four cold weather tips to save you money and energy:

  • One simple way to save energy during cold weather is with your drapes or window coverings. Open them on sunny days to let heat in, and close them at night to help retain heat.
  • Seal leaks around windows. You don’t need sophisticated equipment to find air leaks on a cold day – if you can feel the cold air coming through cracks, then you can save money by sealing the leaks. A tube of caulk is a cheap and easy way to lower your heating bill.
  • Seal switch plates and receptacle covers. Foam insulators can be placed between the cover and the walls to block air leaks. You just need a small screwdriver to remove the plate, and the foam insulators are available at places like Home Depot and Lowe’s.
  • If you decorate with lights during the holidays, use LED bulbs. They use about 1/6 of the electricity of traditional incandescent bulbs. Also, be sure to put your lights on a timer so they don’t stay on all day and night.

November 2020

November 11, from 9 am to 2 pm the Sustainability Committee will be giving out LED bulbs, LED desk lamps, and smart power strips. If you were not able to pick up these items last week at the campus garden, please stop by the Chi Omega courtyard between the library and the Donaghey Student Center next Wednesday and pick up some or all of these items that were donated to the committee by Entergy. First come, first served. Limited quantities are available.

The advanced power strips can be used to automatically turn off peripheral devices when you turn off a “main” device, such as a computer or television. You can follow the links below to learn more about how to use them.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rmdP80Ibqk4 (43 second video)

https://www.walmart.com/ip/Maxlite-APS-8-1350J-8-Outlet-Power-Strip-with-Surge-Protection/844622019

October 2020

Think Globally:

TED, as in TED Talks, is launching a Climate Change initiative called COUNTDOWN this Saturday, October 10. There will be five free online sessions with more than 50 speakers, including corporate directors, scientists, politicians, actors, activists, and so on. All of the sessions will be available for later viewing on TED’s YouTube channel, so if you can’t watch it live you can catch it later.

Act Locally:

This Saturday Keep Little Rock Beautiful will be joining the Great Arkansas Cleanup in Murray Park from 9:00 am to noon. You can help clean up Murray Park and part of the shoreline of the Arkansas River.

September 2020:

Here are a few things you can do to live more sustainably on your next grocery shopping trip:

  1. Avoid the plastic bags – bring your own reusable bags (best), or ask for paper
  2. Pass on the bottled water – Central Arkansas tap water is cleaner than most bottled water!
  3. Avoid disposable plates and utensils, especially the plastic ones
  4. Skip the single-serving containers of things like yogurt and coffee – there is less waste with larger or more environmentally-friendly containers

You can find many other grocery-shopping suggestions and sustainability information at sites like:

https://www.thedailymeal.com/cook/least-eco-friendly-things-you-buy-grocery-store-gallery

https://www.greenmatters.com/p/grocery-stores-sustainability

https://www.bustle.com/p/how-to-shop-eco-friendly-at-the-grocery-store-with-8-sustainable-hacks-10148694

May 2020

In a recent 12-month period, we recycled the following amounts on campus:

1.5 Tons of mixed plastic bottles/aluminum cans

12 tons of mixed paper/cardboard

450 toner/print cartridges

You can learn more about other items recycled on campus at https://ualr.edu/sustainability/campus-recycling/.

Remember: refuse, reduce, reuse, recycle!

April 2020:

The 50th anniversary of the original Earth Day (April 22, 1970) occurs April 2020, but it appears that the big celebrations that had been planned will not be happening because of the coronavirus pandemic.

So, what can you do to mark this Earth Day anniversary? Plant some native trees, bushes, or grasses.

Native plants attract and support local insects, such as bees and butterflies, as well as birds and other wildlife much better than plant species that are non-native. The UA Extension Service explains the reasons for planting natives and gives guidance for creating a butterfly garden. Other good resources for identifying and buying natives are Pine Ridge Gardens, the Missouri Wildflowers Nursery, and the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Local nurseries carry some native plants as well, but you have to ask if a plant is native. Most of their plants are not Arkansas, or even U.S., natives. While they may be beautiful, non-natives such as azaleas, crape myrtles, and daffodils are not as beneficial to bees and butterflies as natives such as coral honeysuckle, dogwoods, and purple coneflowers.

So, while you are social distancing this spring, get up close and personal with some native plants. Your bees, butterflies, and birds will appreciate it.

March 2020:

Want to lower your energy bills and reduce your carbon footprint?

Most of the local electric and gas utilities offer a free service that many homeowners are not aware of – a home energy audit. Even better than just getting an energy audit, you may be able to get free insulation (installed), duct repair, caulking, LED bulbs, showerheads, and more.

Contact your local utilities and see what they have to offer. Here are a few of the utilities that offer this service for FREE. The links take you right to the pages that tell you how to sign up for an audit:

Entergy Arkansas

North Little Rock Electric

CenterPoint

First Electric Cooperative

February 2020:

Stay informed about what’s recyclable in your area. If you live in Pulaski County and have curbside recycling with Waste Management, the city of Little Rock recycling site is very informative. There is a list of “GOes” and “NOs” to help keep the recycle stream free of contaminants.

Did you know that you can recycle pizza boxes as long as they aren’t greasy?

Glass is not currently picked up curbside by Waste Management, but there are drop-off locations listed here.