The University of Texas at Arlington

Staff Advisory Council

Stepping Toward Sustainability

The idea of sustainability is based on the simple principle that everything we need for our survival and well-being depends, in some part, on the natural environment. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to pursue sustainability “is to create and maintain the conditions under which humans and nature can exist in productive harmony to support present and future generations”.

Have you ever wanted to lead a more sustainable lifestyle but didn’t know how? Here are three easy ways to get started in the kitchen, closet, and office!

 


 

The Kitchen

 

A Picture of a cutting board with vegetables cut in different ways. A bucket with herbs and spices inside of jars inside of it. Lastly, a recipe of Ox Tail Stew created by UTA.

Food scraps are a great way to be more sustainable in the kitchen. Some great scraps for replanting are:

  • Leafy vegetables that grow heads (romaine, bok choy, celery)
  • garlic
  • green onions, leeks or fennel
  • tomato
  • Avocado
  • Citrus Fruits (especially key lime)

Can’t replant your scrap? Consider a composting bin or worm farm. Not only will this give you a great use for your scrap but you’ll have the opportunity to produce compost tea, a nutritious treat for any garden.

*Shopping Tip: When purchasing produce look for heirloom options. These are plants that have not been genetically modified and have the potential to bear the same produce when planted.

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The Closet

 

A picture of a man, sitting down, intensely watching a preson sewing a sock.

Fast Fashion refers to cheaply produced and priced garments that mimic the latest fashion trends and get pushed through markets quickly to maximize profits. Fashion production comprises 10% of global carbon emissions. How can we help?

Enhance instead of toss!

Before you decide to throw away your sock with the small hole, toss that favorite t-shirt that has seen better days or swipe your card for a new pair of pants consider other options.

  • Repair your worn clothing or modify used clothing like donning socks and hemming pants (basic sewing skills are quick and easy to learn)
  • Repurpose old clothing to a new use. For example, you can turn a t-shirt into a pillow keepsake, make cleaning rags, or use the fabric scraps as a great pillow filling substitute.

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The Office

 

The words reduce, reuse and recycle in purple and green colors.

Your sustainability efforts don’t have to end at home! There are ways to be more eco-friendly in the office and when you’re on the go by reducing waste.

  • Reduce paper/printing usage by only printing documents when necessary, requesting email receipts when available and providing digital copies of resources as an option
  • Use reusable tools like wheatgrass utensils and stainless-steel straws instead of single use products
  • Take advantage of our recycling bins across campus

Want to learn more about how you can be sustainable and what efforts are being made on our campus? Check out the Office of Sustainability!

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Resources

  • “Learn About Sustainability” https://www.epa.gov/sustainability/learn-about-sustainability