With the newly created Office for Sustainability, the University of Basel now strengthens its orientation towards sustainability. Many of the goals within the context of sustainability can be achieved only with your help – through your personal engagement in your studies, at work and in your daily lives. In private as well as professional areas, you can make small changes that have big and positive impacts on our world.
In the topic „Get active!“, you will find information and tips on how you can change your own personal behavior and make a contribution to a more sustainable development – whether at the University of Basel, at home or even just out and about.
Use Energy Consciously
Saving electricity is indispensable for ecological reasons and is also sensible for economic reasons in view of constantly rising energy prices. The following tips also make it quite simple. For example, a university can save several thousand francs by avoiding standby mode. Using standby operation causes unnecessary energy loss when a device is in standby, wait or off mode. In Switzerland alone, more than two billion kilowatt hours are consumed each year in this way for no benefit. You can find many more useful tips in the factsheet.
- Switch off the light
- Ventilate and heat systematically
- Goodbye Standby
- Make use of the energy saving options on your PC
- Use CO2-neutral search engines
- Only switch on the coffee machine when used
Use resources in a fair and responsible manner
Whether recycled or burned, the life cycle of virtually all products and materials from manufacture to disposal requires huge amounts of energy or other resources. For this reason, the central aim should be to avoiding creating waste, following the principle of: avoid - reduce - recycle - dispose. But sustainability does not end with resources: social aspects have to be taken into consideration in the production of and trading with products. The factsheet contains several tips on fair and responsible use of resources in day-to-day life.
- Buy fair
- Avoid waste - refill and reuse
- Recycle instead of discarding
- Reduce your usage of paper easily
- Use recycled paper
- Reduce your water consumption
13,400 kilometers each year: This is the average distance traveled by every inhabitant of Switzerland each year within Switzerland. This means that traffic is the most significant cause of noise and the main source of nitrogen oxide and greenhouse gases in Switzerland. Traffic routes seal the soil, cut through the landscape and interfere with the habitats of flora and fauna. The tips contained in the factsheet will help you protect the environment while allowing you to remain mobile in day-to-day life and in your leisure time.
- With the bycicle or by foot
- Use public transportation
- Build carpools
- Less distance travelled thanks to Skype, telephone- or video conference
- Choose the train for business trips
- Compensate CO2-emissions
- Leisure time
Strawberries and asparagus in winter, fish from Vietnam and steaks from Argentina – nowadays, everything is available all the time. But the production of such foodstuffs often involves great environmental impact and inhumane working conditions in the countries of the southern hemisphere. For example, our food is responsible for one third of the environmental impact in Switzerland (WWF Switzerland (2011): food factsheet). Environmental impact is not only includes emissions into the air (such as CO2 and other greenhouse gases, dust and ozone) but also emissions into the soil and water (over-fertilization, acidification, hormones, etc.) as well as consumption of resources (energy, water, land usage, among other things) and waste. As consumers, we can reduce such negative impacts through our shopping behaviour, our food and choice of recipes. We have collected a few tips for sustainable food and drink in the factsheet.
- Regional und seasonal – the best choice
- Goods from fair trade
- Meat: Less is more
- Tapped instead of bottled water
- Refill instead of throwing away
- Food labels
- Sustainable catering