Reducing Our Waste

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. Think Reusable – as in reusable mailing envelopes, mugs, water bottles, grocery bags etc! Save money at Bowdoin if you:

  • Use a reusable lunch bag at Moulton or Pub Express Lunch! Get a stamp for each use; 8 stamps gets you a $1 off coupon to Magee's and enters you in to a raffle for Bowdoin Bookstore prizes or local restaurant gift cards.
  • Get a Pub EcoContainer and save $0.25 off your meal every time you use it!
  • Ask for a reusable mug at the Cafe (or bring your own!) and get a 5% discount off your drink.
2. Buy Used Items - Utilize websites like CraigsList and eBay to search for perfectly good, gently used items. To donate items you no longer want, visit a local Salvation Army or Goodwill, or post them to the Bowdoin Classifieds. There are also several consignment shops in Brunswick, including "Estilo" and "It's All Good."

3. 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.

4. Print Double Sided – While Bowdoin's paper use has steadily declined since 2006, the campus used about 1,250 cases of paper in FY 13-14, which equates to nearly 6.25 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 side for notes or scratch paper! 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.

5. 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 throwaways! Available in any office products store, or on the website of Bowdoin’s office supply vendor.

6. Purchase items from Recycled/Reused materials - To increase the market demand for recycled material it is critical that people close the recycling loop by buying products made from recycled material. Products made from recycled material include paper, toilet paper, cereal boxes, fleece jackets and more.

The Bowdoin Bookstore offers a variety of products made from recycled material and other environmentally preferable products - check out the list below:

  • Earth Write pencils by Papermate
  • Recycled computer/copy paper from Corporate Express, 50% recycled, 30% consumer waste
  • Double pocket Bowdoin folders in recycled paper or plastic
  • Loose-leaf 3 Ring binders, made of recycled milk jugs
  • Earthbound spiral notebooks, envelopes and filler paper
  • Bowdoin College desk pad calendar and refills printed on recycled paper
  • Bowdoin spiral notebooks made from recycled paper
  • Sierra Club Calendars which a portion of their proceeds goes to support the efforts of the Sierra Club to preserve and protect the environment
  • Greeting cards all printed on recycled paper
  • Re-usable canvas tote bags
  • Newsprint, drawing and sketch pads in assorted sizes made with premium recycled acid free paper
  • Refillable Water Bottles
  • Sustainable Bowdoin travel mugs in stainless steel