Sustainable College Living

Colleges and universities across the nation are taking strides to become more sustainable, but they are not alone. Students can also participate to help their schools with sustainability efforts.

By taking small steps, you can help your college or university reach its sustainability goals, and you can help protect the environment.

How to be Sustainable in College

  • Walk or bike to campus instead of driving. Carpool or take public transit for longer commutes.
  • Take a reusable mug for coffee refills–some coffee shops even offer a discount if you have your own mug.
  • Consider the source of your food, whether you’re eating in your apartment or dorm room, at a restaurant, or at the dining hall. Think about where your food came from, what’s in it, and how it was produced. Choose locally-grown foods whenever possible.
  • Use compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) rather than regular light bulbs. Natural lighting is also a good alternative if electric light isn’t necessary.
  • Refillable binders can save you money because you can reuse them for multiple semesters. (Opt for recycled paper, and remember to use both sides when taking notes.)
  • Get involved with campus organizations, community groups or businesses that encourage sustainable living.

This list contains only a few ways for students to practice sustainable college living, but there are many other actions students could take. For more information on sustainability at the University of Florida, visit Sustainable UF.

Adapted and excerpted from:

A. Falken, “Colleges and Universities Lead the Way in Sustainability,” U.S. Department of Education (Accessed 08/2015).

M. Campbell, “Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food,” UF/IFAS Extension Pinellas County (06/2013).

Environmentally Sustainable Back-to-School Supplies for College Students,” Smith College (Accessed 08/2015).

The Green Guide,” Sustainable UF (Accessed 08/2015).

Tips For Students,” Goucher College (Accessed 08/2015).

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