Housing and Residence Life
Housing and Residence Life

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Conserve


Help the Office of Housing and Residence Life take steps towards going green and conservation, in the long run it will help save resources, money and ultimately our environment.  Take a look at the following tips to learn what you can do to go green and conserve in the Residence Hall.

These tips offer great ways to conserve energy and water in your Residence Hall.

  1. Hang dry clothes. Not all your clothes need to be dried in a dryer. In fact, some clothes actually do better when not dried that way. Buy a sturdy drying rack and use it for drying t-shirts, cotton and linen clothes, and lingerie.
  2. Cold water. Wash laundry in cold water to save on the energy needed to heat water. Unless you have stubborn stains or odors, cold water will get your clothes clean. Cold water also preserves the life of your clothes so they last longer.
  3. Full load of laundry. Throwing a blouse or a pair of pants alone into the wash is a waste of water, energy, and detergent. Make sure you are running a full load of laundry each time you use the washing machine.
  4. No air conditioning. If you can, try to get by without air conditioning. If this isn’t possible, turn down the A/C while you’re away instead of turning it all the way off. It will take less energy to get it back up to a comfortable temperature.
  5. Energy-efficient refrigerator. Refrigerators run constantly and require lots of energy to stay cool. Be sure the refrigerator you purchase for your Residence Hall room is energy efficient.
  6. Showers. Save both water and energy when you take shorter showers.
  7. Report leaks. Immediately report any leaks such as dripping toilet, sink or shower to maintenance. A leak can waste incredible amounts of water in a short time.
  8. Water off. Don’t keep the water running while brushing your teeth or shaving. Instead, turn off the water until you need it again.
  9. Power strips. Connect all your electronic devices to power strips, then turn everything off with the flip of a switch when you are not in your room.
  10. Sleep computers. Use less energy to power your computer by putting your computer in sleep mode after 15 minutes and turning it off at night.
  11. Light bulbs. Whenever possible, switch the light bulbs in your room to energy-saving compact fluorescent bulbs.
  12. Natural light. If you get natural light from your windows, make sure your overhead lights are turned off whenever possible.
  13. Convert a halogen torchiere lamp. A simple conversion can turn a hot halogen lamp into a cool, green compact florescent one that looks great too.
  14. Live plants. Unless it is against your Residence Hall rules, invest in a few live plants for your Residence Hall room. Not only will it add a personal touch, but plants are a great way to improve indoor air quality.

These tips are great ways to save the environment by eliminating packaging, transportation, and harmful chemicals.

  1. No dryer sheets. If you want your laundry to smell fresh without the chemicals of the dryer sheets, put a few drops of an essential oil on a wash cloth and throw it in with your clothes.
  2. Cleaning products. Clean your Residence Hall with simple and all natural products such as baking soda, vinegar, tea tree oil, or lemon juice.
  3. Dusting. Use an old piece of clothing or old towel to dust. Instead of one-time-use dusting clothes full of chemicals, these reusable rags can easily be thrown in the laundry with your clothes. If you miss your furniture polish in a can, try a natural version using olive oil instead.
  4. Toothpaste. Skip the tube of toothpaste that uses manufacturing, packaging, and transportation to your store and use homemade toothpaste with baking soda and water.
  5. Body scrub. Make a simple, yet luxurious, body scrub with just a bit of oil, sugar or salt, and a few drops of essential oil for scent.
  6. Shampoo. No matter what hair type you have, there is a recipe for eco-friendly shampoo you can easily make right in your Residence Hall room.
  7. Hair conditioner. Another way to save on packaging and manufacturing is to make your own hair conditioner with simple ingredients such as eggs, avocado, honey, or yogurt.
  8. Facials. For the ultimate in pampering, make your own facial scrubsthat are also earth-friendly.
  9. Mouth wash. Make your own eco-friendly mouthwash using herbs, mineral water, and essential oils.
  10. Drink tap water. Bottled water not only requires manufacturing of the plastic bottle, but shipping that sometimes takes those bottles from half way around the world.
  11. Water bottle. Use a reusable water bottle for that tap water you will be drinking instead of paper or styrofoam.

Follow these tips to reduce, reuse, and recycle around your Residence Hall.

  1. Community board. Set up a community board for your Residence Hall that facilitates swapping items so that used furniture, clothes, and gadgets don’t end up in the landfill.
  2. Recycling bin. Each Residence Hall has a recycling bend, please use it.
  3. Cartridges & Batteries. Used ink jet cartridges and batteries are harmful for landfills, also place these in the recycling bends located in the building.
  4. Recycled paper. When purchasing paper for your schoolwork, make sure it is recycled. Also, when you are finished with the paper, put it in the recycling bin.
  5. Bags. Take reusable bags with you to the store. If you forget and end up with plastic or paper bags, reuse them in creative ways.
  6. Rechargeable batteries. Whenever possible, select rechargeable batteries in your electronic devices. This reduces the number of batteries that need to be recycled or might make their way to the landfill.

What ecofriendly things can a college student do to help the environment? More than you might think, actually. The typical college student's lifestyle can lead to quite a bit of waste, especially paper, so small steps to conserve and recycle can really add up! Here are some environmentally friendly tips for a greener college life.

As a college student, there are plenty of small things you can do to help the environment. Here are 10 simple ideas.

  1. Recycle everything, especially paper! Think about how many pieces of paper you go through in a semester. There's your class notes, your scrap copies, your term papers, your daily school newspapers, and assorted stuff that you've printed out from the Internet... it all adds up. Look for a paper recycle bin on campus-- you might find one near a Residence Hall or large classroom building. And recycle other items as well, including cans, bottles, and cardboard boxes.
  2. Walk, bike, and limit your use of a car. Most campuses are very pedestrian friendly, and many college towns offer good public transportation and bike paths. Ask yourself if you really need a car as a college student, because if you can get by without one, you can save a good deal of money on gas, repairs, and overpriced student car insurance. If you do own a car, try to use it as little as you can.
  3. Use your printer wisely. You can save paper by printing on both sides of the page. Many professors don't mind if you turn in a paper like this-- just ask first. Save pages that you've printed and use the backs to print out drafts and other things you don't have to turn in. In addition, many printers have multiple settings for print quality. Use the high quality print setting for things that have to look nice, but use the low quality setting for things that don't. This will save ink. While you're at, consider cutting down on the things you print out. Do you really need to print out that web page, or can you just bookmark it?
  4. Limit the use of disposable cups and plates. If you're moving into your first apartment it can be tempting to buy disposable cups and plates to save time. This adds up to a lot of waste and money. Buy yourself some inexpensive plates and wash them. You can do this if you live in a Residence Hall room too. Many Residence Halls have a kitchen, and if yours doesn't, wash dishes in the bathroom sink.
  5. Limit the use of paper napkins. Since college students eat a good deal of fast food, napkin use can add up. It's good that you want to be clean, but one napkin will probably do the trick!
  6. Use compact fluorescent light bulbs. These bulbs cost more, but they last longer and ultimately save you money. If you live in a Residence Hall, get yourself a lamp and screw in one of these bulbs. Lamp light is much more pleasant and environmentally efficient than overhead Residence Hall lighting.
  7. Buy green. Buy recycled products whenever you can, especially paper. Buy environmentally safe cleaning products as well. Some of these products cost more-- but many don't, or the price difference is negligible.
  8. Carry a water bottle. Think of how many bottles of water get consumed on a campus every day. Save waste and money and carry a refillable bottle. If the tap water on your campus is questionable, buy large containers of waters to refill your bottle.
  9. Use refillable binders instead of notebooks. This is a simple way to save waste. If you want to save your notes after the semester is over, take them out of the binder and staple them. Or you can go electronic and take all of your notes on a laptop.
  10. Buy used clothing. Lots of students do this to save money, but it's also a great thing to do for the environment. Reusing clothes decreases the use of resources to make clothing and puts a dent in the problem of worldwide sweatshops.

Resources: www.onlinecollegecourses.com/2010/05/09/50-great-green-tips-for-dorm-life/