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Fast Facts

Here are some eye-opening, intriguing, or otherwise valuable facts about NYU’s environmental impacts, the state of the global environment, and how you can begin to do your part for sustainability.

NYU Facts
  • NYU Green Grants have awarded a total of $480,000 to 66 projects (about half of them student-led).
  • Through our Recycling Department, NYU currently recycles more than 30% of its waste stream.
  • When NYU launched its sustainability initiative, we made the largest US purchase of wind energy of any academic institution to date. Since that time, NYU has focused its energy investments on the NYU CoGeneration Plant and other campus initiatives.
  • NYU's CoGeneration Plant came on board in 2011, helping us to achieve the Mayoral Challenge of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent—six years ahead of schedule.
  • Conserve energy: Every year NYU uses enough paper to stack the top of Empire State building, twice... and enough electricity to power 18,000 American homes!
  • Conserve water: NYU’s annual domestic water use may amount to a volume nearly half the size of the Central Park Reservoir!
  • Bring your own bag and the NYU Bookstore will donate to one of four environmental non-profit organizations.
Global Facts
  • Every ton of recycled paper saves almost 400 gallons of oil, three cubic yards of landfill and seventeen trees.
  • Americans consumes six times more energy than the world average. Energy Information Administration.
  • The energy saved from one recycled aluminum can will operate a television set for three hours.
  • As many as 17 trees are required to make one ton of paper.
  • Making aluminum from recycled aluminum uses 90 to 95 percent less energy than making aluminum from bauxite ore.
  • The energy saved from recycling one glass bottle will light a 100-watt light bulb for four hours.
  • Each day 50 to 100 species of animals and plants are driven extinct by human influences.
  • Each year, the US sends 500 million tons of solid hazardous waste to landfills and adds 3 million tons of toxic chemicals into the air and water.
  • The average American produces 1,609 pounds of waste each year. Recycling, composting and reuse can cut that waste stream by up to 75%.
  • Americans consume an average of 2,200 standard two-ply napkins per year — or the equivalent of more than six napkins per day.
Green Tips
  • Use laptops instead of desktops. They use more than 50% less energy and require less resources and energy to produce.
  • Set your computer to sleep or hibernate mode when it’s not in use. Screen savers don’t save any energy at all.
  • Switch your bulbs with compact fluorescent lights (CFLs). They last 8–12 times longer and use 25% less energy than incandescent bulbs while delivering the same light levels. - Energy Information Administration.
  • When you shop for a new appliance, look for the Energy Star label — your assurance that the product saves energy.
  • You can maximize the heating and cooling efficiency by keeping blinds and curtains open during the day and closing them at nights to insulate the windows.
  • Arrange desk and chairs next to windows to cut down on the need for artificial lighting during the day.
  • Use corded home phones as they consume little energy, while cordless units draw constant power during charging and stand-by mode.
  • You can get cash back by recycling your old electronics such as cell phones and mp3 players.
  • Download your software. More than 1 billion unwanted computer disks are being thrown away each year, though most software can be downloaded online.
  • Use rechargeable batteries. Otherwise dispose of batteries properly because they contain toxic chemicals. Find the nearest drop-off location by calling 1-800-8-BATTERY.
  • To save on paper, always print and copy double-sided (“duplex”). Most public NYU printers can be configured to duplex.
  • Get your leaky sink and shower faucets fixed. A leak of just one drop per second will waste 2,400 gallons of water a year.
  • Try switching to cold or warm water when doing laundry. 85–90% of the energy consumed in washing your clothes is used to heat the water.
  • Turn off the power strip or unplug any electrical device that’s not being used. Many appliances, such as computers, TVs and VCRs draw power even when turned off. NYU may expend as much as $750,000 per year on these “phantom loads”!
  • You can reduce your CO2 emissions by carpooling with others. Connect with people using the “Carpool” application on Facebook.
  • Shave your showering time down by three minutes for a savings of 513 pounds of CO2 every year.
  • Plastic shopping bags create unnecessary waste. Next time you grocery shop, bring your own reusable bag.