Five Reasons to Use Our Water Bottle Filling Stations

Stay hydrated and green this season with our water bottle filling stations! Here are five reasons to take advantage of these awesome filling stations:

Stop by our water-bottle filling stations for a quick refill before class!

1. You Can Save the Environment… Using a refillable water bottle is better for the environment, as many disposable water bottles simply get thrown out. For instance: In 2012, only nine percent of the total plastic waste generated was recycled according to the EPA. If you already purchased a disposable water bottle, don’t worry! You can still fill it up at the station. Just remember to recycle it at one of our Student Centers recycling stations as it takes a disposable bottle 1,000 years to biodegrade in a landfill. 2. …And Money (Lots of It) Refilling a water bottle is much cheaper than constantly buying bottled water. If you were to replace 200 bottles of water a year with free refillable water, it would amount to an annual savings of $300! 3. Convenient Locations Don’t worry about being caught without water when you need it. We’ve got multiple water filling stations and other water fountains in the Johnson Center, SUB I and The Hub. In addition, there are many filling stations located around campus, including in the Aquatic Center and the RAC!

There are plenty of stations around campus so you can fill up wherever you are!

4. Clean Water, Healthy Body All the water from the filling stations is throughly filtered to purify it before consumption – making for a safe and tasty drink of water! 5. Look Stylish While Saving the Planet There are many companies that make stylish and durable water bottles, such as Klean Kanteen, Camelbak, and Nalgene. Just make sure yours is free of BPA (Bisphenol-A), a chemical linked to health concerns in animals and humans.

Lighting Up Your Business

By Keith L. Epps  
Image of Keith Epps

Keith Epps, Student Centers Building Supervisor

At a work location, lighting accounts for 20 to 50 percent of electricity consumption. Lighting is changing rapidly, with new efficient or improved technologies available every year. Whether you’re constructing a new building or upgrading existing lighting in locations, keep these two factors in mind: Daylighting: Having well designed lighting, including natural day lighting, enhances visual comfort, reduces eye fatigue and improves performance, which can lead to higher productivity. Aesthetics: Quality lighting makes spaces pleasant and inviting for employees and customers, opening the door to lower absenteeism and more business. Coupled with energy savings, these benefits can make today’s lighting technologies a profitable investment. You can see how lighting impacts a work area at the Johnson Center information kiosks, where reflective lighting creates a more friendly atmosphere. When you take advantage of the most recent and advanced energy-efficient lighting, lighting sources, fixtures and controls, you could save as much as 50 percent on lighting energy. Having a good design and energy-efficient lighting typically will pay for itself in energy savings within a couple of years. Choosing energy-efficient lighting offers other benefits, including reducing the load lighting puts on air conditioning, ventilation, refrigeration and your overall electrical system. Explore all your options for lighting up your business. Green Tip of the Month: Clean dust from under your refrigerator (even the small fridge in your residence hall room), base of vent and exposed coils in the back; don’t make your fridge work so hard!!!!

Reduce, Report and Rethink

By Keith L. Epps It takes planning and focus to build a workplace that promotes a sustainable environment, as we are trying to do here at Mason. 

Sometimes physical plant investments are required to save energy and money over time. But there is a lot that each of us can do just in the course of the day that requires only our creative ideas and effective habits. I call this emphasis on every day routines “Reduce, Report and Rethink.” The most important aspect is to be mindful. Which means that we take notice of what happens around us and thinking through our choices that we otherwise make automatically. 

Rather than passing it by, you can make a difference to Reduce, Report and Rethink!!! For example:

Turn Lights Off

Turn off lights when you finish a meeting or when a room is empty (unless it has a motion sensor). If you are replacing lighting, specify compact fluorescent lighting, which use much less energy and last longer than ordinary light bulbs.

Shut Down Your Computer

Set it so that it goes into sleep mode after only a few minutes. Or shut it down totally if you are going to be out of the office for several hours.

Power Down

Use a power bar for your electronics as many electronics draw current even when turned off. One flip of the switch on the power bar can turn off several devices at once. If you are going to be gone for a while (vacation, winter break, etc.), unplug all those extras that you do not need. All electronics draw power that is wasted if you are not around to enjoy them. That trickle adds up quickly. Why not unplug to reduce the load? The university wants to assure that equipment is well maintained and occasionally monitored. Report that damaged or unclean “whatever” or, at least, find out if it has been reported. Early detection can prevent major expenses later on. Does it feel like you are being nosy about energy consumption around you? Well, then, good for you. You are now part of the Reduce, Report and Rethink patrol! Keith Epps is a building supervisor within Student Centers. He is on a mission to deploy small, routine changes that end up saving significant resources every day.