What can you do at Bowdoin to help reduce waste?  We’ve outlined 6 simple steps everyone can follow.  Also, for a clever and entertaining story about having too much "stuff" check out this video called The Story of Stuff, we highly recommend it

1. Eliminate unwanted catalogs – go to to sign up for their free service that lets you decline paper catalogs you no longer wish to receive.  For academic and administrative departments, start a program that systematically reduces the amount of unwanted mail.  Contact Keisha Payson for more details on how to implement this simple program.

2. Think Reusable – as in reusable mailing envelopes, reusable mugs, reusable water bottles, reusable EcoContainers, reusable grocery bags & reusable lunch bags.  You spend more money at the Café every time you use a paper cup - discounts are provided if you bring your own mug.  If you use a reusable lunch bag at the Express in Moulton Union or Magee's Pub you can get a card stamped (ask the server for a card).  After 8 stamps you will receive a $1 off coupon to Magee's or the Cafe and you can also enter your card into our raffle.  Twice a semester we pick a lucky winner.  Prizes include Bowdoin logo accessories such as reusable water bottles and reusable mugs!

3. Buy Used Items -  Utilize websites like CraigsList and eBay to search for perfectly good yet gently used items.  To get rid of items you no longer want but that still have a usable life, post them for free on the digest, or check out the Bowdoin Classifieds at, the Salvation Army, and Goodwill!  There are also several consignment shops in Brunswick, particularly for women's clothing.

4. Borrow seldom used items – Get together with roommates, friends or other academic departments to borrow and lend seldom used items (e.g.  iron, vacuum cleaner, paper cutter, blender).  Again, use the digest as a way to seek items you are looking to borrow.

5. Print Double Sided – While Bowdoin's paper use has steadily declined since 2006, the campus uses roughly 1,500 cases of paper each year, which equates to nearly 7.5 million sheets annually.  Help decrease those numbers further by printing only what you really need and always printing double sided.   Also, if you do need to print single sided and have drafts you don’t end up using, reuse the back sides rather than just recycling.  You can cut them into quarters, bind them and use them as note pads.  Or pick up a professionally binded green pad at the campus copy center - made from wasted single sided sheets of paper from campus computer labs.

6. Rechargeable Batteries -  Ever think about how many batteries you have thrown away in your lifetime? Rechargeable batteries can significantly reduce your waste, and the number of your trips to the hardware store to buy the throw-aways!  Available in any office products store, or on the website of Bowdoin’s office supply vendor.