Student Green Living Guide

Personal actions in your living space can add up to large reductions of energy and water use and waste on campus. Check out the guides below and take action to reduce the University's environmental impact.

Moving to campus
Relocating provides many opportunities for reducing the University's and your personal impact on the planet. Please consider the following list as you prepare to move into a residence hall this year.

  • Take advantage of the printers already on campus and leave your printer at home; having a personal printer uses unnecessary energy and increases personal cost by having to purchase paper and ink. Students have print credits on campus and can access printers in almost all campus buildings.
  • Use reusable packing materials and boxes or bins whenever possible for your move and help reduce waste on campus during move-in.
  • Look for the EnergyStar label when selecting a mini-fridge, TV, or other electronics.
  • Bring a drying rack and skip the dryers.
  • Bring a resuable water bottle.
  • When you get to campus, pick up a Lug-a-Mug and use it to get discounts on drinks around campus, take out drinks from the dining hall, and reduce waste from single-use cups on campus.
  • Take the campus sustainability pledge.

Living on campus
Consider the following individual actions you can take on campus to lower the energy you consume each day. Collectively, we can have a large impact on the University's emissions.

  • Unplug chargers when they are not in use, chargers will still use energy regardless of whether they are actually charging your phone or iPod. Or plug all of your electronics or appliances into a power strip; you can turn the power strip off when you leave the room and reduce vampire energy.
  • Replace traditional incandescent light bulbs in desk lamps with compact florescent bulbs or LED bulbs which use significantly less power and last longer than traditional bulbs.
  • Only do laundry when you have a full load and use cold water, most of the energy used by washing machines is used in heating the water.
  • Utilize your computer's energy saving options and turn your computer off and unplug it when you are not using it.
  • Turn off lights whenever you leave the room and use natural light when possible.
  • Take shorter showers, if every student were to cut their shower time by one minute each day, the University would save around 1.2 million gallons of water per school year.
  • Turn the water off while you brush your teeth.
  • Use the transportation options on campus or carpool rather than drive alone.
  • Use reusable shopping bags on and off campus, many stores offer discounts, including ETC on campus when you bring your own bag and choose products with the least packaging.
  • Recycle all paper, cardboard, 1 & 2 plastics, glass, and aluminum in the right bins on campus - check the recycling guide for more information.

During Move-out
Please be sure to donate or recycle your unwanted clothes, kitchen supplies, odds and ends, furniture, and other items at the end of the year. Anything that can be reused is accepted. Look for Big Yard Sale collection bins or ask your RA for details about how you can donate to the Yard Sale.


Real Time Energy Use
Visit the University's Dashboard to watch energy consumption in the residence halls on campus in real time. What are you doing to help bring down your hall's energy consumption? Tweet @BeAGreenSpider and let us know!
Virginia.org Green
Virginia.org provides information about environmentally friendly destinations and businesses around Virginia.