Sustainability Tips

Waubonsee is committed to contributing to the health and well-being of individuals, the communities which we serve, the local economy and the global environment. The greater sustainability movement begins with the self. Each of us can take simple action in our own lives to make lasting impacts on ourselves and our environment. The Center for Sustainability has been created to offer simple solutions for personal and environmental well-being on our campus and in our community.

Recycling at home
Waubonsee serves communities in Kane, Kendall, DeKalb, LaSalle and Will counties of Illinois. Each community offers a different recycling program. For specific details about your community’s recycling programs, please consult your service provider, your city's website or the Illinois Recycling Association.

While community recycling programs differ, there are a number of general recycling rules that can make a positive impact:

  • With plastic containers, determine if the item can be recycled by looking for the recycling symbol on the bottom of the container. If there is no symbol, it is most likely that the item cannot be recycled.  If there is a symbol, then look for the number inside the symbol – some programs only accept specific numbers.
  • Rinse cans, bottles and other containers so they are free of food debris.
  • Do not place the following items in your recycling bin: plastic bags, plastic wrapping, broken glass, food waste, plastic with no recycling symbol, oil, tires, batteries.
  • Flatten bulky cardboard to fit to the requested size determined by your recycling provider.
  • Most communities offer special recycling programs for items such as batteries, electronics, hard cover books, light bulbs, motor oil, eyeglasses or toxic materials. Be sure you are disposing of these materials properly.
  • When in doubt, throw it out. Most recyclable products should be fairly obvious – if you are unsure of whether or not an item is recyclable, it may be best to place it in a trash container. Incorrect items placed in a recycling container could, potentially, contaminate the entire collection load.

Support local food options
Mass food production, packaging and travel contribute greatly to greenhouse gas emissions.  You can reduce your personal carbon footprint by supporting local food options.  Most communities within Waubonsee's district sponsor seasonal farmers markets, and many farms in our region offer Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) programs. Consider growing your own food in a garden on your property or by investing in a community garden plot.

Consider your purchasing habits
Support your local economy by purchasing food, art and other products from local merchants. Reduce the harmful impact on the environment by investing in second-hand items and/or giving preference to products sold in minimal to no packaging.

Switch to natural cleaning
Indoor air quality is typically much worse than outdoor air quality. Get the toxins out of your home by switching to natural cleaning. Try using water, vinegar and lemon juice as an all-purpose spray on your countertops, appliances and floors. Additional ingredients, such as essential oils or baking soda, are also great (and affordable) ways to naturally clean the home. 

Consider lifespan energy savings
When purchasing new appliances, take the time to compare the amount of energy the appliance consumes. An appliance that consumes less energy can save you significant amounts of money in energy costs over its lifetime.

Scoop the poop!
Pet waste left on the ground can contaminate our waterways. Properly dispose of your pet's waste by placing it in a biodegradable bag before sending to a landfill or by tossing it into the landscape compost pile.

Reduce your landfilled waste
You can save yourself a backache and help the environment by reducing the amount of waste you send to the landfill. While recycling is a great first step, consider adding to your efforts by composting food and landscape waste, reducing your purchases and donating your unwanted items to local organizations.