Get Involved

What Can You Do?

Everyone on campus can become a part of the college’s sustainability efforts. One of the easiest ways is to reduce, reuse, and recycle. Americans recycle about 34% of all waste, up from 6.6% in 1970, when the first Earth Day was celebrated. New York City lags behind this national average, diverting about 17% of recyclables from the landfill. We can do better! Brooklyn College has recycling centers across campus with info decals on how to recycle. Much of what we dispose of can be recycled—from plastic yogurt containers and food containers to the aluminum foil on your hot dog! Additionally, all campus offices have blue paper-only recycling bins. More information is available here (PDF).

If you have any questions or comments regarding recycling bins or if you need recycling bins for a special event, contact the Facilities Custodial Office, extension 5265.

Groups, Clubs, and More

Brooklyn College Campus Sustainability Committee

The committee has members from across campus and welcomes students, staff, and faculty with an interest in making our campus “greener.” Contact Sustainability to find out the schedule for future meetings and how to get involved.

Compost Volunteers

Volunteers pick up green scraps several times a week from the campus cafeteria and bring them to the Brooklyn College Garden at the western edge of campus. Meet the director, learn the basics about composting food scraps, and enjoy the great outdoors. Volunteer with a friend! E-mail to sign up.

BC Sustainability Club

This student club aspires to promote the ideals of sustainability through cross-department, interdisciplinary relationships on campus while building relationships with members of the surrounding community. E-mail the BC Sustainability Club or visit their Bulldog Connection page for more information.


New York Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG) is New York’s largest student-directed organization. Its principal areas of concern include environmental protection, transportation alternatives, and public health. Get involved by e-mailing NYPIRG.


Think Before You Print

Take a second to consider whether you have to print out that document or report.

Print on Both Sides

If you must print, try to print on both sides. Save paper by using your computer’s print preview option to make sure you get the look you want the first time.

Be Scrappy

Get the most out of every page before you throw it away. Use the back of paper you no longer need as scrap paper to jot down your notes.

Go Electronic

Send memos and notices via e-mail or conduct a paperless meeting. Use mobile devices, share your screen, or use a projector to display to display important documents.  Use paperless notebooks or apps to take notes. Remember your three “R’s”: Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle.

Greet the Sun

Try a little natural light before turning on the overheads. About 25% of the electricity consumed in the United States is used to light offices spaces. Opt for natural light instead.

Flip a Switch

Turn off the lights in your office when you leave for the day.

Shut Down Completely

Power is still being used unless you unplug whenever you can. Turn off your computer, and don’t forget to switch off your monitor, speakers, printer, and power strips.

Raise a Window

If you’re in an office with windows that aren’t sealed shut, take advantage of some fresh air on temperate days instead of going straight to the air conditioner. Get as much fresh air in as possible. Fresh outdoor air helps keeps virus particles from accumulating inside.


Fill up your own stainless steel bottle at home or in one of our new hydration stations with some water instead of buying bottled water. Reducing plastic waste not only saves you money, but also drastically reduces the number of bottles that aren’t recycled and end up decaying in landfills for centuries.

Use Send-Back Programs

Some companies offer mail-in return and recycle programs that allow you to return certain items after you used them. Many programs may charge a fee, but some do not and even cover the shipping cost. If you are on campus, print the return label, package the item, and drop off or request a pickup from the mail room or Central Routing.

For more tips on going green at home, work, and school, visit the following:

Brooklyn. All in.